Legal Ethics, the Pursuit of Justice and the Practice of Law: Lessons from Death Row
Steve Kaplan and Damon Thibodeaux present a riveting and provocative account of an innocent person sentenced to death. Steve uses Damon's case as a template to show the common ethical elements that are part of most wrongful convictions and what often influences the police and prosecutors.
The lessons learned and the questions raised by Damon's case will be discussed by those in attendance. The roundtable discussions will be facilitated by the Talon Performance Group. The questions include:
1. What do we expect of prosecutors, of defense counsel and the judiciary?
2. What are the applicable ethical rules, how would adherence to these rules likely have prevented Damon's wrongful conviction and how did those rules subsequently contribute to his exoneration?
3. How can we as lawyers better appreciate the power that is ours as member of the legal profession?
4. How can we join with others in the profession to provide hope for the innocent and contribute to a justice system that protects the innocent?
5. What enables a group of lawyers to function as a highly effective team? In Damon's case, such a high functioning team saved his life.
6. What does it mean to be called to the practice of law?
7. What is success and how is it measured in the life of a lawyer?
Through exploration of Damon Thibodeaux's horrifying story laced with violations of professional ethics and duties, lawyers will see beyond the routine of their everyday practice and how a narrowly focused practice can be to their disadvantage. In fact, a deeper understanding of our ethical obligations and participation in pro-bono work enables lawyers to practice law more effectively and work with a greater sense of personal satisfaction. The fact is that law firms that invest in pro-bono work may be more profitable overall, with more espirit de corps and less attrition.
Proceeds from this CLE program to support Damon Thibodeaux.
Talon Performance Group: Jodi Standke, Dennis Coyne, Susanne Egli
Talon Business Center (View)
5891 Cedar Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN 55416
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