MVV335K Ethical Issues in U.S. Law Practice

Faculty of Law
Autumn 2022
Extent and Intensity
0/1/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught in person.
Prof. Joseph Francis Vosicky (seminar tutor), prof. JUDr. Ing. Michal Radvan, Ph.D. (deputy)
Guaranteed by
prof. JUDr. Ing. Michal Radvan, Ph.D.
Faculty of Law
Contact Person: Mgr. Věra Redrupová, B.A.
Supplier department: Faculty of Law
Timetable of Seminar Groups
MVV335K/01: Mon 28. 11. 14:00–15:40 041, 16:00–17:40 041, Tue 29. 11. 8:00–9:40 041, Wed 30. 11. 14:00–15:40 041, 16:00–17:40 041, Thu 1. 12. 16:00–17:40 041, J. Vosicky
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 29/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 87 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This comprehensive course of 6 classes discusses professional responsibility in the common law system. Students will demonstrate understanding of ethical issues through practical case studies.
  • Class #1: Overview - Common Law Tradition - "Stare Decisis"

  • Legal Authority: Constitution, Statutes, Case Law Adversary System of Dispute Resolution
  • * Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817(1938)
  • Structure of American Courts (Federal+ State; Civil v. Criminal)
  • Jurisdiction in Federal Court
  • Division of Courts; Arbitration; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Restorative Justice
  • Judge' s Role in American Courts
  • How Lawyers Become Judges
  • Class #2: Litigation Process - Uniform Commercial Code

  • Notice Pleading (Federal) v. Fact Pleading (Illinois)
  • Insurance Coverage Issues - Rolling Stones Concert
  • Drafting a Complaint: (Hovorka v. Rodrigue z ) UCC 810 ILCS 5/4 - 406(f)
  • *Falk v. Northern Trust Co., 327 Ill.App.3d 101 (1st Dist., 2001) - Good Faith in Banking
  • *Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) Federal Court Pleading Requirements Defending a Complaint (Gordon v. Worley) UCC 810 ILCS 5/2-327(1)(a)
  • *Monier v. Chamberlain, 35 Ill.2d 351 (1966) - Role of Discovery by Attorneys
  • * "A Paragon of Arbitration Justice"
  • Class #3: Attorney - Client Relationship

  • Clients Never Tell All the Facts, but a Selective Version
  • Keeping Confidences , Maintaining Contact, Safeguarding Funds
  • Billing Clients, Fee Disputes; In Re Pyzik - resolved in Bankruptcy
  • Court Characterization of Facts: Is it Divorce or Probate Case
  • When a Big Law Firm Sends You a Case, Beware:
  • *Westbank v. Maurer , 276 Ill.App.3d, 553 (2d Dist. 1995) - Attorney misconduct results in Mortgage Rescision;
  • *"Top 10 Ethics Traps (and How to Avoid Them)"
  • Class #4: The Practice of Law in U.S.: Big Firm v. Small Firm & Solo Practice

  • Technological Competency - Zoom Court Hearings
  • *"Slip Sliding Away" - Fox, Legal Tender, pp.3-30; The Business of the Law Business
  • Billable Hours, Profitability + Impact on Clients in resolving case
  • Conflicts oflnterest (Withdraw or Alert Client in Writing)
  • Morning Meetings + Mining the Gold
  • "If You Think There Is a Problem, There Probably Is"
  • Liability of Law Firm for Its Lawyers - Duty to Report Unethical Lawyers
  • *"Achieving Digital Mastery"
  • Class #5: International Law Practice (Inheritance/Probate Court)
  • Admission as Foreign Lawyer in Czech Republic
  • Preparation of Bi-Lingual Power of Attorney - Recovery of Bank
  • Access Admission of Czech Will in Chicago - Estate of Vladimir Lutovsky
  • Collaboration with Local Counsel
  • Consideration of Respective Tax Laws - Recovery of Restituted Prague Villa
  • Problem when Foreign National Dies in Chicago Without a Will
  • Access to Assets; Direction for Burial or Cremation
  • Class #6: Lawyer's Role in Legal Community & Collaborative Case Study

  • "It's a Matter of Style" - Importance of Reputation
  • Lawyers Shouldn't Make Themselves the Issue
  • Consider the Big Picture, Don't Sweat the Little Stuff
  • Mrs. Sala' s Rule; "You Can' t Be Hanged for What You Don't Say"
  • Chicago Bar Association - Constitutional Law Committee - Rewrites Judicial Article
  • Candidate for Illinois Legislature; Fulbright Scholarship Opportunities
  • Review of Professional Responsibility Issues
  • * In re Himmel, 125 Ill 2d 531 (1988)
  • Prepare a Memorandum analyzing an ethical problem.
  • See Teacher's Information for full details.
Teaching methods
lectures and discussion
Assessment methods
a paper
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught only once.
Teacher's information
ADDENDUM: "52 Common Ethical Problems and How to Avoid Them" - Foonberg

PREPARATION FOR CLASS: To get the most benefit from this course, please read cases and articles "*" cited prior to class and be ready to discuss.

Suggested Reading:

Foonberg, How to Start & Build a Law Practice, (5th Edition) American Bar Association, 2004

Fox, Legal Tender, (A Lawyer ' s Guide to Handling Professional Dilemmas), American Bar Association, 1995

Morgan, Rotunda & Dzienkowski , Professional Responsibility, Problems and Materials, (13th Edition) Foundation Press

" A Paragon of Arbitration Justice," DCBA Brief (The Journal of the DuPage County Bar Association), Vol. 33, p.12, September, 2020

"Top 10 Ethics Traps (And How to Avoid Them)" American Bar Association Journal, Vol. 93, p 30, November 2017

"Achieving Digital Mastery" Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 109, p.22, September 2021

Rules of Professional Ethics and Rules of Competition for Advocates of the Czech Republic, Section 17 of Act No. 85/1996 Coll. as amended through Act No. 258/2017 Coll.

SYLLABUS ADDENDUM - See the complete document in the Study Materials

The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2021, Spring 2024.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2022, recent)
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