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Staying Out of Trouble 2020


Speaker(s): Deborah A. Scalise, James Q. Walker, Ronald C. Minkoff
Recorded on: Dec. 15, 2020
PLI Program #: 277655

Ronald C. Minkoff is a partner in the Litigation Group and Head of the Professional Responsibility Group. Mr. Minkoff is one of New York State’s leading practitioners in the field of attorney ethics and professional responsibility, representing attorneys in a wide variety of matters including law firm partnership disputes, attorney discipline cases, legal fee disputes and legal malpractice and professional liability cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. He also provides ethics opinions and advice to a wide variety of law firm clients.  In addition, he also serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice lawsuits and attorneys’ fees disputes.

Mr. Minkoff is a member of several Bar Ethics Committees, including the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) and the Committee on Professional Discipline of the New York State Bar Association. He is also the Chair of the Committee on Professionalism and Professional Discipline of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, a former member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism, and a past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He has written extensively for the New York Professional Responsibility Report, The Professional Lawyer, The New York Law Journal, and other publications and served as the co-Managing editor of the New York Legal Ethics Reporter. Mr. Minkoff has served as an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at Columbia University School of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York University School of Law, Fordham Law School, and Brooklyn Law School. He is a frequent lecturer on the law of lawyering.

In addition, Mr. Minkoff represents businesses and individual professionals and executives in a wide variety of commercial litigation, including business break-ups, securities lawsuits, and domestic and international trade disputes. He represents several law firm partners and law firms in partnership disputes, lateral transitions and law-firm dissolutions. And he represents an internationally known petrochemist in an oil and gas venture dispute. Mr. Minkoff is on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

Mr. Minkoff was named Best Lawyers’ 2011 New York Ethics and Professional Responsibility Lawyer of the Year. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers for many years for his work in Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, and Regulatory Enforcement matters. He has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for Professional Liability: Defense Work and Business Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine for nine consecutive years.

Mr. Minkoff is a graduate of Columbia Law School (JD, 1980). He is admitted to practice in New York.


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. 

 


Deborah A. Scalise is a partner in the firm SCALISE & HAMILTON LLP in Scarsdale, New York which focuses its practice on the representation of professionals (primarily lawyers and judges) in professional responsibility and ethics matters and white-collar criminal matters.  Since 2002, Ms. Scalise has appeared before the Character and Fitness Committees, the New York State and Federal Grievance Committees and the Judicial Conduct Commission. 

Prior to 2002, Ms. Scalise was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Public Advocacy for the Westchester Region for the NY Attorney General’s Office and handled cases involving consumer frauds, civil rights and public integrity matters. Before that, she was Deputy Chief Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department where she investigated and litigated complex disciplinary matters. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, where she handled economic crimes and arson cases.  Ms. Scalise earned a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Jay College, CUNY and a Master of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College Graduate School, CUNY. 

In 2016, Ms. Scalise was appointed to the NYS Office of Court Administration CLE Board by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. She also testified before the 2015 OCA State Commission on Professional Discipline with regard to attorney mental health issues. Her authored materials, entitled “Ethically Dealing with Clients, Witnesses and Attorneys with Diminished Capacity,” were annexed to the Commission’s Report that issued recommendations as to the unification of the New York State disciplinary process. 

Ms. Scalise is a contributing author in “The Dementia Crisis” written by Robert Abrams, Esq., Editor, NYS Bar Association Journal, January 2017. She contributed a chapter to Oxford University Press’s The New York Rules of Professional Conduct: Opinions, Commentary, and Case Law, a treatise discussing ethical conduct, and frequently contributes articles related to professional responsibility and ethics issues for among others, the NYSBA Journal and State Bar News; the WBASNY and WWBA Newsletters; the WCBA Bar Journal; and the NYSTLA Bill of Particulars. 

In 2015 Ms. Scalise and her partner, Sarah Jo Hamilton were honored by NYCBA Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) for their continued support and contributions to LAP. In 2014, the firm received the WWBA’s Family Friendly Award.  In 2012, Ms. Scalise received WBASNY’s Marilyn Menge Award and in 2009 she received the Westchester County Above the Bar Pace Setter Award.  She was the subject of a profile in the ABA's Student Lawyer Magazine in its February 2005 issue.