Professional Responsibility & Legal Education

Alexander Hamilton on Judicial Independence

Short video featuring Adam White
Adam J. White October 20, 2016

What is the proper role of the Supreme Court in the government and in society? Adam White, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton's take on the role of the Supreme Court, and what judicial independence means for America today.

Ethics CLE Teleforum -- 2016: Recent Developments Impacting the Ethical Practice of Law - Podcast

Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Podcast
W. William Hodes, Ronald Rotunda, Thomas D. Morgan September 16, 2016

Our panel of three experts in legal and judicial ethics discussed several recent cases and regulatory developments in the field, with an eye to translating these developments into practical wisdom about their likely impact on law practice in 2016 and beyond.

Topics included the American Bar Association's move to expand the scope of the regulation of race, gender and other harassment and discrimination into the practice of law generally, including law firm management; amendments to the rules of discovery to help reduce the gamesmanship now often infecting the process; the extent to which the Supreme Court's decision in the North Carolina Dentists case may foreshadow limitations on the ability of states to regulate the practice of law without running afoul of the antitrust laws; whether competent legal advice must include a business advice component in certain settings; and how the use of social media to complain about a sitting judge can cross the line into unethical conduct.


  • Prof. W. William Hodes,Professor Emeritus of Law, Indiana University & President, The William Hodes Professional Corporation
  • Prof. Thomas D. Morgan, Oppenheim Professor Emeritus of Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law, George Washington University Law School  
  • Prof. Ronald Rotunda, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law  

Sanctioning (Government) Lawyers - Podcast

Litigation and Professional Responsibilities & Legal Education Practice Group Podcast
Richard W. Painter, Thomas H. Dupree, Jr. August 30, 2016

On May 19, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order in which it found that lawyers from the United States Department of Justice violated their duty of candor in the course of their representation and imposed sanctions. The court initially required additional ethics training for all Justice Department attorneys practicing in 26 states for a period of five years. The Court concluded, in part, that “the Justice Department lawyers knew the true facts and misrepresented those facts to the citizens of the 26 Plaintiff States, their lawyers and this Court on multiple occasions.” The Justice Department acknowledged that its attorneys made mistakes and misrepresentations to the court and opposing counsel, but contended that none were intentional, and agreed to some limited sanctions. Since then, the court has stayed its order.

What are the limits, if any, to Court sanctions for attorney conduct? Thomas H. Dupree Jr., who formerly served in the Department of Justice, and Richard Painter, whose experience includes service in the White House Counsel’s Office, discussed these issues on the podcast.


  • Mr. Thomas H. Dupree Jr., Partner, Gibson Dunn
  • Prof. Richard W. Painter, S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law, University of Minnesota Law School

Limits on Settlements - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
David Min, Paul J. Larkin July 20, 2016

On June 10, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch, James Lankford, and Mike Lee introduced the Stop Settlements Slush Fund Act. The Act would prohibit the Department of Justice from enforcing settlements that allow parties to give money to outside parties chosen by the administration instead of the Treasury. Many of these outside parties have been non-profits that Congress had recently removed from federal funding.


  • Paul J. Larkin Jr., Senior Legal Research Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • Prof. David Min, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

The Least Dangerous Branch? Reflections on Bickel’s Classic - Podcast

Professional Responsibilities & Legal Education Practice Group Podcast
Erwin Chemerinsky, James A. Haynes, Ronald Rotunda July 14, 2016

The Federalist Society's Teleforum series, Legal Classics Revisited, will consider Professor Alexander Bickel's 1962 book, The Least Dangerous Branch. In a life cut short just before his 50th birthday, Professor Bickel contributed to our understanding of American constitutional law. Among his more provocative concepts was the "counter-majoritarian difficulty." It is not unique to observe that in a nation governed by elected representatives, an unelected Federal judiciary with lifetime tenure represents an anomaly. Alexander Hamilton penned Federalist No. 78 to explain and defend the idea. Professor Bickel takes Hamilton's idea and his title and spends his book exploring the questions: How can an unelected branch of government be a co-equal branch of government? How can society enjoy the benefits of an impartial judiciary without seismic jolting along the fault line between majoritarian and counter-majoritarian institutions? Professor Bickel's questions are still extremely relevant today.


  • Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
  • James A. Haynes, Attorney and Alternate Judge, U.S. Dept of Labor, Employees Compensation Appeals Board
  • Prof. Ronald Rotunda, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law