Sunday, 5 October 2008

Lawyers' Ethics and Landmark

Imagine the following scenario. A law firm in a major city undertakes much work in media and intellectual property areas. Clients might be seeking to protect copyrights or attack them. The crucial point is that no other lawyers in the firm should be committed to organizations whose positions might make maintaining that independence difficult.

Suppose then some lawyers in the firm are acolytes of Landmark and might have even persuaded the law firm to subsidize their Landmark courses under the guise of continuing professional development.

Now imagine a client comes to the firm who is being threatened with a lawsuit by Landmark. Landmark is not a client of the firm. What then is the position of the firm with respect to taking on the client?

If the lawyers have disclosed their interests, the firm could say 'we can't accept this client.' But, as is likely, the (Landmark) lawyers haven't made any disclosures, then would the firm be in breach of conflicts' rules.

I suspect it could be since those lawyers would find themselves in a situation where to give the client zealous advocacy could be compromised by their adherence to the defendant organization.

Professional service firms--law, accounting, consulting--should audit their members' allegiances to external organization to prevent such conflicts coming down the pipeline. Or they could face potential malpractice lawsuits. At least, there are challenging ethical issues abounding.

9 comments:

GuruTruth said...

Some related information about lawyers related to Landmark Education and its history, at this post - Werner Erhard and his attorneys.

-- GuruTruth

Michael said...

I need you to tell me a way to contact you. To me happend the same as you, with beeing dumped over for this organization

Anonymous said...

Michael--sorry I have not been here for a bit. Please contact me at dglondon at live.co.uk. Happy to talk to you about this. Skeptik

Skeptik said...

Michael

Please contact me on dglondon(at)live.co.uk

Anonymous said...

One of the most disgusting things I seen is the guys scrubbing the bathroom floors for free. Cant they hire a janitor.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone support the Landmark Forum, lawyer or non-lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Well what do you think, I mean come on. They are happy all the time, it's really unnatural.

Anonymous said...

Landmark education is a cult. Their induction begins on a Friday. The leader starts by throwing out everyone who doesnt agree with him. Then he starts beating people up. By the second night there is a rape victim or a molestation victim who stands up in front of 100 strangers and says she has never talked about this before. The leader should take her aside and urge her to get some counseling, but instead he, with no license or formal training tells her to make up with the perpetrator, and accept the blame for what happened. With all the dissent out of the room, no one stands up for her, and she does not stand up for herself. What they dont tell you is these leaders used to be hairdressers or failed ballet dancers who have been abused by Landmark themselves and now they are doing it to others.

Skeptik said...

Unfortunately, the remarks about the techniques of the Landmark Forum leader are only too poignantly true. I wonder how many injured souls emerge from that weekend.