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nce upon a time, people which I heartily recommend to all LSBA on the Louisiana Legal Ethics Web site
bought things called books. members (judges and lawyers alike) is and it's all there.
Authors worked hard to write an "e-book." You can read it at www. So here are a few questions: Do you
them. Publishers spent money lalegalethics.org. Part of Prof. Ciolino's need to know the details on permissible fi­
to print an author's words on nice-looking weblog called Louisiana Legal Ethics, it nancial assistance to clients? Exactly what
paper and to bind the printed pages be­ is an up-to-date, informative, well-written kind of lawyer advertising complies with
tween hard covers. Sometimes there was book about our current Rules, and it has new Rule 7 and what crosses the line? How
a dust jacket with stylish art and compli­ the distinct advantage of being free. No about the latest on imputation of conflicts
ments from other authors about the work printing, no pages, no binding, no blurbs, of interest to other lawyers in your firm
being published. People paid money to no art, no ink. (Well, there's a little art: (and this is indeed changing)? How should
buy these books, read them, and put them a drawing of a pelican whose beak is you respond to e-mails received by, but
on their shelves. The author was paid poking away at the scales of justice.) To not intended for, you? When can a lawyer
money by the publisher, and then, if the bibliophiles like me, this is a fine state of also be a witness? Can you communicate
book did well, the author received royal­ affairs. In fact, faced with the prospect of with former employees of a corporation
ties. Readers looked forward to holding reading this e-book online (it's about 140 represented by counsel? Precisely when
these objects in their hands and showing pages), I did what any 57-year-old, out­ are you duty-bound to report what you
them off at home. of-date, uncool guy would do: Iprinted it perceive to be professional misconduct?
But I write as a confessed dinosaur. out. I then held it in my hands and read it. What language should ordinarily be in­
Years ago, when I had the privilege of The verdict, you will not be surprised to cluded in a client engagement letter? How
serving as Louisiana State Bar Association hear, is the same: The book is good and can you tell if a fee is "unreasonable" or
(LSBA) president, I thought it would be it's essential reading for members of the not? Can you criticize a judge? Are you
a good idea for the LSBA to publish an legal profession in Louisiana. Plus, you as a supervising lawyer responsible for
up-to-date book on our Rules of Profes­ can't beat the price. the conduct of associates and paralegals?
sional Conduct. We would print each Rule, The format remains the same. After Must in-house counsel from out-of-state
describe its history, tell how it differed (if an interesting opening discussion of the obtain a "limited license to practice law"
at all) from the ABA Model Rule, give historical development of Louisiana ethics in Louisiana? Do you have to accept an
the reader information on how the Rule rules, Prof. Ciolino provides the text of appointment to serve as counsel for a
has been interpreted, and advise lawyers each current Rule, background informa­ criminal defendant?
of the kind of disciplinary trouble they tion on its adoption by the Louisiana Now I should add that even though
could get into for violating the Rule. Supreme Court, ABA Comments on the this e-book steers you quickly toward
Who better to turn to for this project, corresponding Model Rule, and (most the pertinent Rule responding to these
I thought, than the talented young law valuably) annotations citing Louisiana questions, the answers in some instances
professor at Loyola University named case law interpreting each Rule. Useful remain elusive. The Rules, which still
Dane S. Ciolino. He was smart, fearless, and user-friendly, the material is clearly stem primarily from the ABA Model
energetic and seemed to say yes to just organized and concisely written. One Rules, aren't always perfectly clear, and
about anything. So he agreed. new feature is that at the end of each Rule the cases and opinions interpreting them
In the middle of my term (January discussion, Prof. Ciolino provides Notes, can sometimes seem convoluted. (Take
200 I), Prof. Ciolino finished, and the giving us the very latest information on confl icts of interest -Rules 1.7 through
LSBA published, a book called Loui­ the Rule and advising when the page was I. J O-as one example.) But, through use
siana Professional Responsibility Law last updated. In other words, one doesn't of this e-book and certain other resources, 1
and Practice. I was proud of it, although have to wait for the next edition or pocket all Louisiana lawyers andjudges have the
my own contribution to it was virtually part (remember those?) or newsletter; opportunity to become knowledgeable
nil, and I bragged about it to my Bar updates are inserted into the e-book right about our ethical niles. Such knowledge
colleagues in other states. A handsomely after the event (e.g., a new case or Rule can help us contend with everyday ethi­
published paperback, itcosta little money change) occurs. Rubbing sand in the face cal issues and (hopefully) keep us out of
to produce and a little money to purchase. of non-techies like me, the professor adds: trouble.
It was well-received and (J think) fairly "This page is wiki editable - click here Lest you think all this is dry as dust
frequently consulted. Time passed. In to edit this page." - and, let's be honest, some of it is ­
2004, Prof. Ciolino wrote, and the LSBA Given the length and complexity of Prof. Ciolino slyly spices up the text from
published, an updated edition, and yet the Rules, not to mention the fact that (as time to time. Concerning the language in
another in 2007. This is the beaten and we know) they are vigorously enforced, Rule I .15(a) providing that a lawyer's
battered version of the book that I have on it goes without saying that we all need to trust account must be maintained "in a
my credenza -so beaten up, in fact, that know them -or at least have them nearby bank or similar institution," the professor
it is encircled by two rubber bands. so we can navigate our way through comments: "This requirement assures that
A las, those editions are gone with the troubled ethical waters, which seem to lawyers do not attempt to set up trust ac­
wind. Why? Because the latest version, rise up just about every day. Just click counts using shoe boxes at their office."
I commend the aforementioned opening that body of any wrongdoing.
essay on the history of our Rules. Among So fire up the computer, click your E. Phelps Gay has
practicedlawfor 30years
other tidbits, Prof. Ciolino notes that the mouse and take a look at this book. Or,
at theftI'm ofChris/ovich
first Louisiana lawyer-ethics code, pro­ if you're a miserable ink-stained wretch
& Kearney, LLP. He
mulgated in 1899, was not based on the like me, unconcerned about the wholesale also is affiliated with the
Alabama code (which most states were destruction of trees, print the whole thing mediation firm of ADR
adopting) but instead on a 17th century out, hold it in your hands, spill a little inc. fIe obtained his

oath for Swiss lawyers.He then regales us coffee on it, underline, check, and circle undergraduate degree
fromPrincetonUniversity
with the earliest reported case of lawyer whatever you want, and live blissfully
in 1975 and his JD
discipline in Louisiana.It involved Pierre in the past. Because the next stop, I'm
degreefi'om Tulane Law
Dormenon, who in 1810 was disbarred afraid, is Kindle. School in 1979. He is a member of the Louisiana
after being found "wearing a scarf ... and State (/979) and Texas (/993) Bar Associations.
march[ing] at the head of the brigands" He served president of the Louisiana State
FOOTNOTE as

Bar A.5sociation during the 2000-2001 term.


during a 1793 slave revolt in Santo Do­
I. To mention two: The Louisiana Attorney (Ste. 2300, 601 Poydras St" New Orleans, LA
mingo.Two years later,justice prevailed.
Disciplinary Board Web site at wwwladb.org; 70130)
Monsieur Dormenon was readmitted to
and the Louisiana State Bar Association's Elhics
the Bar after being elected to the Louisiana Advisory Service Web site at \VlVW Isba. org or call
House of Representatives and cleared by (504)566-1600.

There is always great satisfaction in being able to help

someone who would not otherwise be able to afford legal

services. A surprising benefit to taking pro bono cases has

been to help build my private practice as I have developed


a network of referrals through both my pro bono

clients and other attorneys I have met in the


process of handling the cases.

- Paul "Woody" Scott


Jeri FiI'nn & Associate.1
and Volunteer with Baton Rouge Bar Associatioll Pro BOlio Pmjec/
'