Legal Ethics Forum's excellent list of the Top Ten Legal Ethics Stories of 2012 starts with a story involving a Michigan case. Here are the headline topics; SBM Blog covered each during the course of the year, sometimes with multiple posts:
- The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) expanded its application of constitutional standards in the context of critical pre-trial processes in criminal matters, such as plea bargaining and discovery. [The Michigan case is Lafler v. Cooper.]
- The ABA’s 20/20 Commission proposed several amendments to the Model Rules and related policies in August, and the House of Delegates approved all of them.
- The outside ownership of law firms took a big step forward in the UK but stalled in the USA.
- Politics continued to swirl on the issue of recusal by SCOTUS justices.
- Our legal education system saw even more turmoil this year as it adjusts to the new normal.
- Ethics issues kept arising in the criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman.
- In about 300 jurisdictions, debt collectors used the local District Attorney’s stationary to send out legal warnings and demand payments.
- There was continued fall-out from the implosion of the Dewey law firm.
- Prosecutorial misconduct was in the headlines.
- Congress cited the Attorney General, Eric Holder, for contempt after the assertion of privilege as to documents related to the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” operation.
In 2013, you might want to keep an eye out for developments arising from #9. John Steele's whole post is typically succinct but well-endowed with useful links.