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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 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.”


James Walker is a partner in the New York office of Perkins Coie LLP, where he also serves as that office’s Loss Prevention Partner.  He concentrates in government investigations and professional liability. Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in government investigations, civil litigation, and employment matters, and defends law firms and lawyers in malpractice claims, disqualification motions and professional conduct advice. Mr. Walker Chairs the New York County Lawyer’s Association Committee on Professional Ethics, is on the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct and Law360’s Legal Ethics Editorial Advisory Board, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) and Committee on Professional Ethics. He also serves on the New York City Bar’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Mr. Walker frequently lectures and publishes on topics that include internal investigations, technology and legal practice, and professional liability. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1990 and B.S. in Applied Math from Yale College in 1985. 


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.