JOSEPH G. MILLER AND WILLIAM C. BECKER
CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
JOSEPH G. MILLER AND WILLIAM C. BECKER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
The Miller Becker Center for Professional Responsibility (MBC) is a nationally recognized academic center dedicated to enhancing public trust and confidence in the legal profession and the judicial system.
DINSTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES
Why Did the Lawyer Cross the Road? The ABA’s Proposal to Overhaul Model Rule 5.5 and Permit Cross-Border Practice
In-person | 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Friday, November 3, 2023
Brennan Courtroom, Room 180
The University of Akron School of Law
Speaker: Paula Frederick, Chair of the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility and General Counsel for the State Bar of Georgia. Bio
The ABA is proposing a change to Rule 5.5 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (governing unauthorized practice of law and multijurisdictional practice) that would allow any lawyer admitted in any United States jurisdiction to practice law and represent willing clients without regard to the geographic location of the lawyer or the client. Advocates say the rule change would better reflect the way lawyers practice in the 21st century, remove barriers to client choice, and reduce the access to justice gap. Opponents are concerned about how lawyers working across borders would be regulated.
Credit has been requested through the Supreme Court of Ohio, Commission on CLE, for 1.0 hour.
Director of The Miller Becker Center receives the OSBA Eugene R. Weir Award for Professionalism
Jack Sahl receives the Eugene Weir award. Pictured with Justice Michael P. Donnelly of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Jack Sahl pictured with Robin Weaver, president of the Ohio State Bar Association (2018).
Jack P. Sahl, recipient of the 2019 Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism. Each year, the Weir Award recognizes lawyers for his or her commitment and work to professional responsibility in the legal field.
Sahl is a Professor of Law and Director of the Joseph G. Miller Center for Professional Responsibility at UA. In addition, he is a national and international speaker and consultant on professional responsibility.
Recipients for this award are chosen based on:
- Contributions made in the professional responsibility field
- The recipients nominations by Ethics Committee members
Sahl’s research is focused in the areas of professional ethics, legal malpractice, lawyer discipline, judicial ethics and administration, cinema and the legal profession, and sports and entertainment law. More recently, Professor Sahl newly published a chapter, “What Every Entertainment Lawyer Needs to Know – How to Avoid Being the Target of a Legal Malpractice Claim or Disciplinary Action,” in the Practising Law Institute book, Counseling Clients In The Entertainment Industry 2019.
March 31, 2023
Professor Michael Cassidy, Professor and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School, discussed Using Rule 5.1 to Combat Prosecutorial Misconduct. Professor Cassidy will explained if Bar Disciplinary authorities were more aggressive in using Rule 5.1 to attack institutional rather than individual failures, it would provide incentive for prosecutor's offices across the country to publish internal guidelines and train line prosecutors on how to comply with them.
November 4, 2022
Professor Benjamin Cooper, Senior Associate Dean, Professor of Law, and Frank Montague, Jr. Professor of Legal Studies and Professionalism at University of Mississippi School of Law, discussed the regulatory innovations in the delivery of legal services that are taking place in several jurisdictions across the country. Professor Cooper discuseds the two major types of reform that are occurring: (1) permitting non-lawyers to deliver legal services on a limited basis and (2) relaxing Rule 5.4 which prohibits non-lawyer ownership of law firms, outside investment in law firms, non-lawyer management of law firms, and sharing fees with non-lawyers.
April 20, 2022
Professor Margaret Tarkington of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law presented the Distinguished Lecture in Professional Responsibility titled, The 2020 Election & Constitutional Government: Examining the Rights & Responsibilities of Lawyers. The event attracted over 110 attendees to the law school and will be available online.
Oct. 25, 2019
The day-long Annual Miller Becker Center (MBC) Seminar took place in Columbus at the Ohio State Bar headquarters. A speakers’ dinner on Oct. 24 preceded the event. The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct and the Ohio State Bar Association co-sponsored the Seminar.
The focus of last week’s program primarily concerned the impact of social media and technology on lawyer behavior and the use of both to investigate lawyer and judicial misconduct. The conference speakers included experts from Ohio and elsewhere and attracted approximately 150-plus lawyers and judges.
Feb. 5, 2019
"Representing Medical Malpractice Claimants- Some Common Ethics Issues" Speaker: Attorney Antonios P. Tsarouhas. Presented by The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility and The Career Services Office
Nov. 14, 2018
"Common Ethics Considerations in Large Firm Litigation Practice" Speaker: Attorney Pete Cahoon. Presented by The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility and The Career Services Office
Lawyers and the Globalization of Legal Services Series
International Developments, Internationals Networks, and their Impact on U.S. Legal Ethics
Laurel S. Terry, Professor of Law and H. Laddie Montague Jr. Chair in Law at Penn State, was the speaker at the inaugural lecture of the “Lawyers and the Globalization of Legal Services” Series in April. See Laurel S. Terry's biography.
Since the 2016 election, “globalization” has become a more politicized term than it was previously and a term that elicits strong reactions. The lecture addressed the impact of globalization on the legal profession, legal ethics, and lawyer regulation. It explains why international developments are relevant to lawyers, clients, and the public throughout the United States and why it is worth learning acronyms such as ABS, FATF, GATS, and PMBR. Terry's lecture highlighted the importance of international networks, including networks of law firms, in-house counsel, government lawyers, legal ethics practitioners, legal ethics academics, and regulators.
Akron Legal News: Akron Law sponsors globalization of the legal industry lecture
Alumnus in the spotlight
PETER T. CAHOON
Partner at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC
I am a litigation attorney with a focus on domestic relations (family law), criminal defense, and government investigations of companies and individuals. I also represent licensed professionals such as attorneys, physicians, pharmacists and nurses in disciplinary investigations and proceedings.
Over the past 42 years, I have tried numerous cases to judges, juries and hearing panels throughout northeast Ohio. I am past President of the Akron Bar Association, and have chaired the Certified Grievance Committee, the Criminal Law Committee and the Family Law Section of the Akron Bar Association. In addition, I am a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. I have been an adjunct instructor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Akron School of Law for more than twenty years.
Because each area in which I practice involves a likelihood of a contested trial or hearing, there is often a high level of conflict and risk for my clients. I help my clients manage the uncertainties of litigation and keep them informed of possible outcomes. I want my clients to feel in control and a part of the process in which they are involved.
The University of Akron School of Law was instrumental in preparing me for my career in handling professional responsibility matters. The late Dean Samad was my professional responsibility professor. Following law school, I also had the privilege of working on many matters with the late William Becker. He was an outstanding lawyer, and an even better person. I learned an awful lot from both Dean Samad and Professor Becker.
I am grateful for the opportunity the University of Akron School of Law gave me to have a great education and to make lifelong friends.
Heather Zirke (bio) is the Interim Director of the Miller Becker Center for Professional Responsibility. She is also the Principal of the Zirke Law Firm concentrating in legal ethics, lawyer grievances and disciplinary defense. Prior to entering private practice, Heather spent 16 years as General Counsel and Bar Counsel for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association where she investigated and prosecuted lawyer misconduct, allegations of the unauthorized practice of law and bar admissions matters. She has appeared before the Board of Professional Conduct, Board on Character and Fitness, the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, the Eighth District Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio. She is a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Proactive Management Based Regulation Committee and previously served on the Court’s Task Force on the Disciplinary System. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Akron School of Law and frequent speaker on matters of professional responsibility.
MBC Faculty Fellows
Martin H. Belsky is the Emeritus Dean of the Law School. He has organized and participated in various ethics conferences. Professor Belsky also served as the chief prosecutor in Philadelphia and Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. He currently serves on the board of the Akron Bar Association. See his bio.
Richard Lavoie is a Dean's Club Professor of Law at The University of Akron Law School. His interests include tax ethics and statutory interpretation. See his bio.
Jack Sahl is an Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Miller Becker Center for Professional Responsibility. He serves on the Ohio State Bar Association Professionalism Committee and as Chair of the Publications Board for the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. In 2019, he received the Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism, the highest ethics recognition the Ohio State Bar Association awards.See his bio.
MBC Advisory Board
William C. Becker
Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Nationwide Insurance Co.
Joseph N. Gross
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Kenneth M. Kaufman
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Jeannette L. Knudsen
The J.M. Smucker Company
Janet Green Marbley
Client’s Security Fund
Lucian T. Pera
Adams and Reese LLP
Harry D. Cornett
Tucker Ellis LLP
Peter A. Joy
Washington University – St. Louis School of Law
Tracy L. Kepler
ABA Center for Professional Responsibility
The Honorable Sara Lioi
United States District Court – Northern District of Ohio
Prof. James Moliterno
Washington and Lee University School of Law
Brian F. Toohey
Former Jones Day Principal Loss Prevention Partner
MBC Student Fellows
2018-19 Student Fellows
- Hilary DeSaussure
- Kevin Burns
The student fellows assist in the planning and implementation of Miller Becker Center programming. They also act as a liaison for the center with University personnel, law students, media and the bar.