Even Lawyers (and Lawyer-to-be) Need a Lawyer
An eminent authority on attorney grievance complaints, bar admission character and fitness matters, and the panoply of disputes between lawyers, their firms, and their clients, David’s credentials include a three-year term as chair of the New York City Bar Association’s prestigious Professional Responsibility Committee. He has also served on the state level, with the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC).
These committees are at the vanguard of the legal ethics field, studying and recommending changes to rules and procedures that directly affect the practice of law. David’s own practice reflects this experience. He represents lawyers and firms wherever the Rules of Professional Conduct come into play – from partnership disputes to privilege and confidentiality issues – from conflicts of interest to bar admission problems. He defends clients facing attorney grievance complaints, disqualification motions and other court matters. David is quick to make the distinction between ethics and morality. He understands that one’s morals are not always an accurate guide to what the ethics rules proscribe.
To help lawyers grasp this distinction, David advises both outside and inside counsel – including Fortune 500 companies – on issues of ethical risk management. At his lectures and seminars, he teaches how to avoid disciplinary complaints and malpractice charges – to make sure engagement letters, conflict waivers, and other basic procedures are scrupulously executed in a way that reduces exposure. Prevention, to David, is always preferable to litigation. David’s approach to legal ethics – a field known for its rigidity, is to keep an open mind.He prefers to think through his client’s entire situation, looking for other – possibly better – options than what is immediately evident. For his clients – those lawyers and firms that may have strayed from the rules, thereby putting their careers and businesses at risk – David’s thorough and carefully considered approach provides the guidance that puts those clients on the right track.
In New York, the Appellate Division Committees on Character and Fitness in each Judicial Department review applicants’ past conduct to evaluate their “character and fitness to practice law.”
David has been trusted by hundreds of successful New York bar admission applicants to help navigate their most sensitive character and fitness concerns. When a bar admission candidate's career and professional standing is on the line, David serves as an experienced lawyer recognized in the field of legal ethics and works to assist in navigating the entire character and fitness process aggressively advocating on his client's behalf.
It’s one thing to say you’re a “good person”, but another to prove it. David works to help his clients demonstrate that they have requisite character and fitness to practice law.
While prior results cannot guarantee a future outcome, the following are examples of the types of obstacles that my clients have overcome to be successfully admitted to practice law in New York:
Commentary on national ethics matters
David has been quoted in the pages of the New York Law Journal (read a recent article), Corporate Counsel Magazine, National Law Journal, New York State Bar Association Journal, ABA/BNA Lawyer’s Manual on Professional Conduct Bloomberg BNA, Law360 and Law.com. David serves as a spokesperson providing the press with interviews and quotes on a wide range of general legal ethics matters. Given the sensitivity of the practice area, David cannot always speak with journalists about every specific topic in the news. However, David is known for his willingness to collaborate with reporters under a tight deadline that want a fresh practical perspective for their readers.
As a nationally recognized legal ethics speaker, David has been called upon to participate in programs across the country that address complex legal ethics and compliance issues. These ethics programs include events sponsored by: Practicing Law Institute, American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers’ Association, Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Fortune 500 companies and various national law firms. David has also been honored to serve as an adjunct law professor teaching legal ethics and professional responsibility at Cardozo Law School.
Selected Past Program Topics
Technology and Risk Management for Law Firms Legal Ethics for Litigators Risk Management: What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know Litigation Financing Ethical Pitfalls for Young Lawyers Legal Ethics for Law Firm Administrators Legal Ethics and Pro Bono Representations Litigation Conduct Issues Associated With “Overly” Zealous Advocacy Process and Procedure: Implementing New Law Firm Initiatives The Ethics of International Practice Ethical Considerations in the Use of Social Media
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating for High Ethical Standards and Professional Ability
Issued by Martindale-Hubbell®
Per Martindale-Hubbell® website: Peer Review Ratings™ recognize lawyers for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Individuals seeking legal counsel, as well as attorneys looking to refer a colleague, use these ratings to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer. An elite group of approximately 10 percent of all attorneys holds an AV Preeminent Rating, a designation trusted worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.
Super Lawyers Magazine, New York Metro Edition
Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award
Issued by Legal Aid SocietyIssued by Legal Aid SocietyHonored for legal writing and appellate oral argument on behalf of the Children's Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society