Ethics & Professional Responsibility
During the course of practicing law, attorneys will inevitably be faced with defending a claim related to their professional representation or other conduct. These ethics-related claims can take many forms such as a motion for sanctions, a disqualification motion, a professional negligence claim, a breach of contract claim, a disparaging online review or a report to a disciplinary board.
Many of these situations can be avoided through proactive ethics and professional responsibility practices. We provide advice and formal opinions to law firms of all sizes on the application of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, including conflict of interest issues, contacts with unrepresented parties, disclosure obligations to the court and others, and the ethics rules that apply when lawyers change firms. We also have significant experience defending cases alleging professional negligence and related ethics violations. We understand the financial and reputational risks that accompany such claims, so our team makes it a priority to handle defense strategy with discretion and care.
Member Hope A. Comisky has extensive experience advising lawyers and law firms on all aspects of ethics and professional responsibility. Hope previously served as General Counsel for a 450+ attorney firm for over a decade, where she chaired the Professional Responsibility Committee. Hope is also a frequent speaker and writer on various professional responsibility matters and provides training to fellow attorneys on an array of compliance, professional responsibility, and risk management issues.
Managing Member Francine Friedman Griesing represents lawyers and law firms in professional responsibility, ethical compliance, risk management and malpractice avoidance. She previously oversaw these matters as former Litigation Chair of the City of Philadelphia Law Department and as Professional Responsibility Partner at a large law firm. Fran has been recognized for her speaking and writing on ethics issues, particularly as they relate to bullying and bias in the legal profession. Her online programs on these topics have received over 15k views, with attendees consistently ranking her as one of the top presenters on professionalism issues.
Member Pamela M. Harper advises institutional clients on corporate compliance and risk management issues, including training in-house legal teams on diversity and inclusion, corporate culture and elimination of bias. Pam oversees sensitive investigations and advises on best practices for ethical compliance. She is also a highly sought speaker and writer on groundbreaking issues and lessons learned from high profile scandals.
- Defeated a motion to disqualify counsel based on an alleged prior representation of the opposing party.
- Defeated a motion for sanctions relating to the provisions of a settlement agreement allegedly offering a fact witness payment for testimony.
- Pursued a motion for leave to withdraw when a client failed to communicate with counsel despite numerous requests.
- Defended multiple lawyers and law firms in legal malpractice actions.
- Defended lawyers and law firms against discrimination, whistleblowing and retaliation claims.
- Advised law firm partners on ethical obligations associated with leaving partnerships, conflicts in joining new firms and transferring client files.
- Advised individual lawyers on ethical issues of creating new firm and managing firm practices.
- Conducted nationwide training on professional responsibility, ethical compliance and malpractice avoidance.
- Published extensive articles in local and national publications on professional responsibility, ethical compliance and malpractice avoidance.
- Conducted customized ethical compliance training for corporate legal departments.
- Designed and delivered specialized training on the interplay between professionalism and elimination of bias in the profession.
- Provided expert opinions and served as expert witness in professional responsibility matters.
- Served as neutral arbitrators and mediators in disputes between firms and former partners and between firms and former clients.