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Staying Out of Trouble 2018: Hot Topics in Ethics and Avoiding Professional Discipline


Speaker(s): James Q. Walker, Ronald C. Minkoff, Sarah D. McShea
Recorded on: Dec. 17, 2018
PLI Program #: 219389

Ronald C. Minkoff is the head of the Professional Responsibility Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC and one of New York State’s leading practitioners in the field of attorney ethics and professional responsibility.  In addition to representing businesses and individuals in commercial litigation, Mr. Minkoff represents attorneys in partnership disputes, disciplinary cases, and legal malpractice actions.  Mr. Minkoff is a member of the Executive Committees of the New York State Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, a member of the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct of the New York State Bar Association, which helped draft and continues to revise the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, a member of the Policy Implementation of the ABA Center on Professional Responsibility, and a past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.  He has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at Columbia University School of Law, New York University School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, Cardozo School of Law and Brooklyn Law School. He has served as the editor of the New York Legal Ethics Reporter, and has written extensively for that and other publications on all aspects of the “law of lawyering.”


Sarah Diane McShea has practiced in the professional responsibility field since 1980.  Her solo law practice is devoted to advising lawyers and law firms on professional responsibility matters. She represents lawyers in disciplinary proceedings; litigates sanctions and disqualification issues; provides ethics and professional advice to lawyers, law firms, government agencies and in-house law departments; represents bar applicants; and serves as an expert witness on professional responsibility issues. McShea is a member of the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct and serves on several other bar association professional ethics committees as well. McShea is a contributing editor to The New York Rules of Professional Conduct (Oxford, 2011); a founding member and Past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) and a Trustee of the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust. She also teaches professional responsibility as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law and previously was an adjunct at Columbia University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School. She is a former Deputy Chief Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee in the First Department and former Bureau Chief (Public Corruption) in the Kings County District Attorney's Office. She graduated from Yale College and Boston University School of Law.


James Walker concentrates in government investigations and enforcement proceedings, complex commercial litigation, professional liability and legal ethics.  Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in investigations of potential violations of the securities laws, and law firms and lawyers in litigations and proceedings involving investigations of criminal, regulatory and/or professional misconduct claims.  Mr. Walker is the Chair of the New York County Lawyer’s Association Professional Ethics Committee.  He has served on the New York City Bar’s Professional Discipline, Professional and Judicial Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Securities Regulation Committees, and on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, where he has been a member since 1996.  Mr. Walker frequently lecturers on legal ethics, internal investigations and corporate governance, and has published articles addressing on attorney-client privilege, professional ethics, and issues arising under the securities laws.