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Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics

Scott Cummings, Professor, UCLA School of LawMarch 16, 2015, 12 p.m.
Ottinger Hall, Room 201; Reception immediately following in the Tudor Room

Professor Scott L. Cummings, UCLA School of Law

“Lawyers and Social Movements."


What role should lawyers play in social movements? Since Brown v. Board of Education, the answer has been that lawyers should stand behind movements but never take the lead. This lecture reconsiders the historical debate over lawyers' social change role to deepen understanding of why social movements have achieved such a prominent place in contemporary legal theory. Doing so reveals the rise of movements as a false promise of progressive social reform that confirms conventional notions of professionalism as it marginalizes the meaningful contributions of lawyers to movement success.


The Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics was established by the family, friends and colleagues of the late Philip B. Blank, Associate Dean for External Affairs and Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law. In honor of Dean Blank's commitment to legal ethics, the Blank Lecture has presented distinguished members of the legal community recognized for their leadership in the area of attorney ethics and practice.

Dean Blank was a member of the Law School's faculty from 1979 until his death in 1989. He taught courses in Professional Responsibility, Wills, Estate Planning and Legal Methods. He is remembered as an outstanding teacher of the law and a caring mentor to his students. A model citizen of Westchester County, Dean Blank served as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Mount Pleasant and held leadership positions in the Westchester County and White Plains Bar Associations.


December 3, 2013
Deborah L. Rhode
Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, Director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship
"Crisis in the Profession"


March 18, 2013
Renée Knake
Associate Professor, Michigan State University College of Law; Co-director of the Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession
"Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services"


November 10, 2011
Justice Elizabeth Lacy
Senior Justice on the Virginia Supreme Court
"20/20 Vision for 2020 Ethics."

October 13, 2010
Stephen J. Friedman, seventh president of Pace University, served for three years as dean of Pace University School of Law, and president of Pace University Board of Trustees.
"The Ethical Imperatives for Lawyers."
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November 11, 2009
Robert H. Mundheim, Esq.
Of Counsel to Shearman & Sterling, LLP, in New York City, and former Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law  School 
"Enduring Ethics, Changing Ethics Rules: Is there a Contradiction?"



January 27, 2009
Alvin J. Bronstein, Esq.
Pace Law School Practitioner-in-Residence
"Ethical Obligations When the Client is a Worthy Cause."



March 4, 2008
Steven C. Krane, Esq.
Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP
"Taking the Red Pill: A Search for the Intersection Between Ethics and Morality"



March 5, 2007
Jonathan G. Blattmachr
Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
"Suicide of the Guardians: The Executive Branch, Tax Regulations, and the Attorney-Client Relationship"



February 28, 2006
Louis A. Craco
Chairman, New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law
"Carpe Diem: An Opportunity to Reclaim Lawyers' Independence"



September 21, 2004
Robert J. Grey Jr.
American Bar Association President
"Legal Ethics in the 21st Century"



November 12, 2003
James B. Comey
United States Attorney, Southern District of New York
"Fighting Terrorism and Protecting Civil Liberties"



January 22, 2003
Stanley L. Cohen, '83
Attorney of Law
"Deconstructing Ethical Considerations 2-26, 2-27, 2-28, and 2-29: A textual and historical analysis"



October 11, 2001
Professor William H. Simon
Saunders Professor of Law, Stanford University
Visiting Professor, Columbia University
"The Role of the Public Official's Lawyer: A Case Study from the Clinton Era"


October 11, 2000
Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
"Private Lives and Professional Responsibilities? The Relationship of Personal Morality to Lawyering and Professional Ethics"



November 9, 1999
The Honorable Roger J. Miner
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
"Professional Responsibility in Appellate Practice: A View from the Bench"



April 16, 1998
Ronald K. Noble
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Former Under Secretary for Enforcement, U.S. Department of the Treasury
"Investigating Leaks: A Necessary Undertaking for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr"



April 3, 1997
Bill Wagner, Esq.
Past President, Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Senior Partner, Wagner, Vaughan & McLaughlin, P.A.
"Legal Ethics in a Confrontational Society"



March 28, 1996
Monroe H. Freedman
Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics, Hofstra University School of Law
"Ethical Obligations of Prosecutors in Death Penalty Cases"


April 27, 1995
Linda Fairstein, Esq.
Chief, Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, New York County District Attorney's Office
"Sex Crimes and the Media"


April 5, 1994
The Honorable E. Leo Milonas
Chief Administrative Judge, State of New York
"Matrimonial Lawyers and Ethical Problems"


Nov. 19, 1992
The Honorable Robert Johnson
Bronx County District Attorney



April 8, 1992
Stephen Gillers
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
"The Owl and the Fox: The Transformation of Legal Work in a Commodity Culture"



May 3, 1990
The Honorable Guy J. Mangano
Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 2d Dept.



Louis Gerstman, Esq.
Chief Law Clerk, Appellate Division, 2d Dept.




Gary L. Casella, Esq.
Chief Counsel, Grievance Committee, Ninth Judicial District




Jerome Karp, Esq.
Attorney to attorneys in disciplinary hearings