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Professional Responsibility & Legal Education

“The Dog Ate My Emails!”: Document Retention Policies, Litigation Holds, and Legal Ethics - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Jamie Brown, Daniel Z. Epstein, Patrick Oot, Victoria A. Redgrave, Julie Goldsmith Reiser, Jerry E. Smith, Jack J. Park Jr. November 17, 2014

Once upon a time, corporations, government departments, and other entities made their own decisions about how long to retain documents created or received in the course of business.  Today, document retention policies can present difficult issues for the entities, for the lawyers who advise them, and for the courts that are called on to decide the consequences when documents are no longer available.  Particularly in the electronic age, where computers die, people delete their emails, and backups are not always reliable, document retention cannot be counted on.  What are an attorney’s obligations?  Should a lawyer bringing suit write to the other side and warn that entity not to engage in normal document destruction and to back up particularly important data?  Does the company being sued have to comply?  These are some of the questions that the panel will address.

In-house lawyers may face particular difficulties.  Does the lawyer represent only the institution, or does the lawyer also have obligations to the employees? Should the lawyer advise the employees to censor themselves in emails sent via the employer’s email system?  Should employees be encouraged to communicate about work through their personal email instead?  How does an in-house lawyer handle the conflicts between representing individuals who do not want to disclose discoverable emails for emails unrelated to ongoing litigation (perhaps because they made impolitic comments about their supervisors)?

Finally, the panel will discuss if there are special obligations for counsel representing government entities.  Government records have a unique status.  They document the conduct of public business and are necessary for transparency and, more formally, are subject to retention and preservation requirements.  Should lawyers advise government clients that backups cannot be destroyed for years, contrary to current IRS policy?  Should lawyers inform government employees that their personal emails, if discussing issues related to their work, may also be discoverable?  How does the government’s duty of transparency to the public affect its disclosure obligations and the lawyer’s corresponding obligations to her client?

The Federalist Society's Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group presented this panel on "'The Dog Ate My Emails!': Document Retention Policies, Litigation Holds, and Legal Ethics on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Jamie Brown, Global eDiscovery Counsel, UBS AG, and former Associate General Counsel, Commodities Futures Trading Commission
  • Mr. Daniel Epstein, Executive Director, Cause of Action
  • Mr. Patrick Oot, Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., and former Senior Special Counsel for Electronic Discovery Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Mrs. Victoria A. Redgrave, Managing Partner, Redgrave LLP
  • Ms. Julie Goldsmith Reiser, Partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
  • Moderator: Hon. Jerry Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Introduction: Jack J. Park Jr., Of Counsel, Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP; and Chairman, Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel III: Higher Education: Run for the Benefit of Students or Faculty or Administrators? - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Paul Campos, Daniel Polsby, Richard K. Vedder, Thomas D. Morgan November 17, 2014

**Due to technical difficulties, the first 20 minutes of this panel were not recorded.**

Success in today’s global economy virtually requires a college or post graduate degree, but colleges and law schools have raised tuition enormously.  The government subsidizes students to take huge loans to pay for college and law schools, loans which inflict an increasing burden on students, including law students, in a troubled economy.  Do these loans pay as much for faculty research and administrators as for direct student education?  Are faculties producing research that justifies these costs?  Are students getting a good deal now?  Could or will on line education provide students with similar education at a fraction of the cost?  Is it time to ask some hard questions about higher education?  Does education policy benefit average and below average students or does it merely benefit the top of the class?  This panel will focus to a significant degree on law schools.

The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Higher Education: Run for the Benefit of Students or Faculty or Administrators?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Paul F. Campos, University of Colorado Law School
  • Prof. Daniel Polsby, Dean and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Prof. Richard Kent Vedder, Ohio University
  • Moderator: Prof. Thomas D. Morgan, (retired), The George Washington University Law School

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

2014 National Lawyers Convention Opening with Justice Scalia - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Antonin Scalia, Leonard A. Leo November 13, 2014

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia opened the 2014 National Lawyers Convention on November 13 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Justice Scalia discussed the importance of Magna Carta.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC