Ethics & Integrity in Law & Business: Avoiding "Club Fed"

by Michael C. Ross

Mike Ross is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia and University of California schools of law.  He is former Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Safeway, Inc., and a former corporate partner at Latham & Watkins.   He has an associate relationship with Altman Weil. 

First edition, 2011, LexisNexis, 191 pages,  $79.00 plus shipping & handling.

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An excerpt from the preface:

“There are often warning signs or red flags that can alert junior professionals that something unethical or illegal may be afoot.  This book will help junior lawyers to recognize these warnings and be prepared to react thoughtfully.

A premise of the book is that issue-spotting is not enough.  Neither is a remote conclusion about what is ethical or seems to be required by the relevant rules of professional conduct.  The challenge is to consider thoroughly the consequences of alternative courses of actions, including doing or saying nothing.

The law firm practice is full of pressures both from within the law firm and from the firm’s clients.  The pressures to ‘go along’ or ‘just do it’ are very strong and have led junior (and not so junior) professionals to ‘go off the reservation’ and engage in unethical or illegal conduct when, in retrospect, they admit they knew better.

It is very difficult for junior lawyers to confront more senior lawyers or clients directly on ethical grounds.  The prospect of doing so and the potential adverse consequences deter many junior professionals from doing or saying anything about ethics issues they confront.

One of the most important features of this book is the exploration of the practical steps that may be taken and practical arguments that may be made to persuade more senior lawyers or clients to avoid unethical conduct.  The goal is to provide junior lawyers with tools to analyze issues thoroughly and use their lawyering skills to encourage ethical conduct.”

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Personal Ethical Situations
  • Pre-Employment and General Employment
  • Law Firm Situations
  • Statements to Others
  • Introduction to Conflicts of Interest
  • Law Firm and Lawyer Conflicts of Interest
  • Who Is the Client?
  • Codes of Business Conduct
  • Compliance with Laws
  • Stakeholder Interests
  • Obligations to Counsel
  • Duties to Tribunals and Others
  • Ethics and Integrity in Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Analytic Framework and Ethics Landscape


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