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Ethics and Aggressive Lawyering

Ethics Credits
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In this CLE program, a panel of experts including a professional responsibility practitioner and experienced commercial litigator, a former First Deputy Disciplinary Committee and Professional Responsibility attorney and the Deputy Chief of the Attorney Grievance Committee will discuss the limits of aggressive lawyering and how attorneys can avoid crossing the ethical line when representing their clients.

Lecturer Bios

Richard M. Maltz, Esq.

Richard M. Maltz is counsel to our Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Group and he has more than 23 years of experience in the professional responsibility field. He represents lawyers in disciplinary matters and lawyers and law firms in partnership disputes. He also handles litigation involving professional responsibility issues, fee disputes, law firm disputes, disqualification, sanctions, and problems in the admission process for law graduates. He was recently recognized by Best Lawyers in America as one of the top attorneys in his field.

Mr. Maltz served two years as First Deputy Chief Counsel (1998-2000) and nine years as Deputy Chief Counsel (1989-1998) for the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. Prior to joining the Committee, Mr. Maltz handled both criminal and civil litigation. Currently, Mr. Maltz is a member of the New York State Bar Committee on Professional Discipline and the New York City Bar Professional Responsibility Committee. He was creator and Chair of the New York State Trial Lawyer’s Ethics Committee. Mr. Maltz is a former Chair of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the New York City Bar (2002-2005) and former Chair and then Co-Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Westchester County Bar Association. He served as a member of the New York County Lawyers’ Ethics Institute and was appointed to the New York State Bar Advertising Task Force. He was also former Chair of the Briarcliff Manor Ethics Board, as well as a former Referee for the Judicial Conduct Commission. Mr. Maltz has been certified to teach an ethics CLE course by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board and he lectures often on disciplinary and ethical issues for New York State, City, and County Bar associations and for private law firms. He has taught professional responsibility at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and has published articles in the New York Law Journal, New York State Bar Journal, and Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. He has also acted as an ethics expert.

John B. Harris, Esq.

John B. Harris is a partner in the Litigation Group with more than 25 years of experience representing clients in high stakes civil matters and white collar criminal cases. He is a recognized leader in the professional responsibility and white collar defense bars. In his legal ethics and professional responsibility practice, Mr. Harris defends law firms, lawyers, and other professionals against claims of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. He frequently represents law firms in disputes with current and former partners. A central part of Mr. Harris’ practice is the representation of individuals and entities who are the subjects of either criminal or regulatory investigations. He has represented public figures, corporate executives and securities industry professionals against allegations involving collateralized debt obligation and mortgage fraud; anti-money laundering investigations; insider trading; securities and accounting fraud; and mutual fund pricing violations. In addition, he has advised clients on research analyst independence issues, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, and "spy shop" matters. Mr. Harris understands that his clients are best served when charges are not filed by prosecutors and regulators, and he has had substantial success for his clients in accomplishing this result. Mr. Harris was the Chair of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and is a former member of the New York City Bar’s Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics, Committee on Professional Discipline, Judiciary Committee, and Task Force on Multi-Disciplinary Practice. He has served as a delegate to the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates and currently serves as a member of the State Bar Professional Discipline Committee. He acts as a mediator for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, and has served as an expert witness. Mr. Harris is also a member of the American Bar Association; is a past Chair of the New York Regional Board and a member of the National Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League; is vice-chair of the New York University Law Alumni Association; and is a board member of Summer Search, New York. He has been recognized in Super Lawyers magazine as a New York-area Super Lawyer for eight consecutive years. Mr. Harris has litigated matters in New York State and federal courts (Southern and Eastern Districts), and appeared in numerous SEC, FINRA and Departmental Disciplinary Committee proceedings. Before joining Frankfurt Kurnit, he was a partner at Stillman & Friedman, P.C. and Ballard Spahr LLP. Previously, Mr. Harris was a reporter for The Hartford Courant. Mr. Harris is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut.

Vitaly Lipkansky, Esq.

Prior to joining the Disciplinary Committee as a Staff Attorney, Mr. Lipkansky was an Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, where, inter alia, he was in the Economic Crimes Bureau engaging in the prosecution (from arrest through trial) of felony “white collar” criminal offenses, including insurance fraud, embezzlement, and the distribution of counterfeit goods. He was also in the Narcotics Trials Bureau, where he prosecuted felony narcotics offenses, from basic “buy-and-bust” operations to transportation of narcotics through the two international airports in Queens. Mr. Lipkansky joined the Attorney Grievance Committee (AGC) in 1999 as a Senior Attorney. As a Deputy Chief Attorney at the AGC, Mr. Lipkansky supervises the work of Staff Attorneys and the AGC’s Investigative Accountant. Mr. Lipkansky also investigates and prosecutes a wide variety of ethics complaints against attorneys. He has investigated and prosecuted many attorney ethics matters involving attorney misconduct, such as conversion of escrow funds, neglect of client matters, criminal convictions, and fraud of various types. Among other matters, Mr. Lipkansky handled the suspension from practice and ultimate disbarment of Marc Dreier, who operated a fraudulent investment scheme through which he stole hundreds of millions dollars from unsuspecting investors. Mr. Lipkansky has lectured at CLE events on issues of ethics and professionalism for the New York County Lawyers Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Institute, the Practising Law Institute, the Assigned Counsel Plan, the Westchester County Bar Association, and the Committee on Character and Fitness. Mr. Lipkansky has testified in both state and federal criminal matters, both at the Grand Jury and trial level, as to the proper use of attorney escrow accounts. Mr. Lipkansky graduated cum laude from New York Law School in 1996.

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