On Friday, Nov. 9, Bruce Green, Oppenheim Professor of Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law at Fordham Law School, spoke at Akron Law as a part of the Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility’s annual Distinguished Lecturer Series. The lecture was free and open to the public, and one hour of free CLE credit was offered.
Professor Green spoke to a crowd of approximately 50 attendees on the topic "Lawyers' Professional Independence: Overrated or Undervalued?" The U.S. legal profession often speaks of lawyers’ “professional independence,” but it uses the term in different ways depending on the context. Sometimes “professional independence” refers to the freedom of the organized bar, in collaboration with state judiciaries, to make rules for lawyers without interference by government agencies or other state actors. Sometimes the term refers to individual lawyers’ independence – whether from third parties who threaten to interfere with lawyers’ loyalty to their clients or from clients who demand too much loyalty. Professor Green will explore whether the bar overemphasizes these aspects of “professional independence” while overlooking and undervaluing another, namely, lawyers’ independence from judges and courts.
“Professor Bruce Green is an internationally renowned scholar and leader in the professional responsibility field,” says Professor Jack Sahl, Faculty Director of the Miller-Becker Center. “Bruce’s many accomplishments underscore his tireless commitment to improving the delivery of legal services and increasing access to justice. What is not readily apparent from his many accomplishments is Bruce’s extraordinary support for others whether as a mentor to a junior colleague or just letting you know he’s thinking of you at an important moment. He is truly a lawyer statesman who will inspire others during his visit.”
Professor Green began his term as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section during the ABA’s 2010 Annual Meeting. Professor Green is among the country’s foremost scholars of legal ethics, and his work establishing and directing the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics has made Fordham Law a leader in promoting the integration of ethics perspectives in legal practice, legal institutions, and the development of the law. His extensive scholarship has been published in the nation’s leading law journals, and his service to the profession extends to leadership roles with the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, and New York County Lawyers Association.
The Miller-Becker Center Distinguished Lecturer Series brings prominent academic experts in the field of ethics and professional responsibility to Akron Law each year to discuss current topics in the field. The series is offered with support from the Joseph G. and Sally A. Miller Family Foundation.