Instant Insights / NYSBA Annual Meeting

More than 4,000 lawyers are attending the New York State Bar Association’s annual meeting this week in Manhattan.


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A professional discipline discussion at the New York State Bar Association annual meeting. From left are Joel Cohen, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; Michael Ross, Law Offices of Michael S. Ross; Judge Brian Cogan, Eastern District of New York; Kevin Doyle, Grievance Committee; and Rebecca Roiphe, New York Law School. Photo: Russ DeSantis Photography and Video LLC

A federal judge and a panel of top ethics experts on Tuesday dove into a sensitive area in the law: dishonest clients and when attorneys are obliged to correct them or investigate the possibility that they’re being misled.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, while acknowledging that the issue was merely hypothetical during his time in the private sector, said he’s often confronted with cases where a lawyer doesn’t appear to have dug deep enough into his client’s version of the facts, especially in civil lawsuits. Cogan, sitting in the Eastern District of New York, said lawyers should be wary if their client starts asking “hypotheticals” about what evidence would support their case.

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Jack Newsham

Jack Newsham writes about the New York legal community and the business of law, including law firm finance and management and the battle for talent. Email him at [email protected] and find him on Twitter @thenewsham.

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