Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) Panel Discussion Moderated by Attorney David P. Atkins

David Atkins moderated a panel discussion at the mid-year meeting of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) on February 2, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

APRL is comprised of more than 450 lawyers, law professors and judges with an interest in lawyers’ professional responsibility, legal ethics, legal malpractice, law firm risk management and the evolving law of lawyering. Many of its members focus their practices on the representation of fellow lawyers in professional liability and disciplinary matters. APRL was formed as a nonprofit organization in 1990.

Its twice a year meetings are held in conjunction with the meetings of the American Bar Association.

The title of the February 2 program was “#Shame.” The panel’s speakers, including University of San Francisco law professor Lara Bazelon, explored the use of “shaming sanctions” in addressing lawyer misconduct.  The panel speakers described the impetus for, and efficacy of, this new "shaming sanction" approach in the disposition of disciplinary (grievance) complaints against of lawyers. They also addressed whether "shame" is a deterrent or a punishment -- or both?  Whether the perpetual publication of disciplinary history unfairly "brand" a rehabilitated lawyer for the remainder of his career?  And whether technology is changing the dissemination of  disciplinary records of professionals in a way that serves the goals of the professional licensing disciplinary system?


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