#MeToo and the Legal Profession

On Nov. 13th, 2018, the Burns Center hosted a half-day conference on #MeToo and the Legal Profession, hearing from those across the legal profession on this timely topic.


Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Film Screening and Discussion

In conjunction with the Heyman Center for Corporate Law and Governance, the Center hosted a screening and discussion of the documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail on Oct. 24th, 2018.


Anthony Graves, “Infinite Hope” Book Talk

On April 25, 2018, the Center co-hosted a book talk with Anthony Graves about his recently published book, “Infinite Hope.” In 2010, Graves was exonerated after spending 18 years in prison in Texas, including 12 on death row, for a murder he did not commit. Ultimately, the prosecutor in Graves’ case was disbarred for withholding evidence and using false testimony to convict Graves. Professor Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, led a conversation with Graves, which was then followed by an opportunity for audience questions, a book signing, and a reception. The Burns Center co-hosted this event with the The Innocence Project and Cardozo’s Center for Rights and Justice.


Sex, Money and Driving: Dementia, Bioethics and the Law

On Monday, April 16, 2018, the Burns Center hosted a symposium that explored the bioethical and legal ethical issues that arise for professionals working with individuals with dementia who engage in behavior potentially detrimental to the health and security of themselves and others. The symposium focused on the period before dementia's final stages and addressed the challenges that professionals face when seeking to respect autonomy and self-expression while attending to the safety and well-being of people with dementia. In particular, the symposium focused on decisions concerning finances, driving, and sex. This program was geared towards legal professionals, but was also intended to be useful for medical and mental health professionals interested in engaging in an interdisciplinary conversation with lawyers.

This event was the annual Gloria and Stanley Plesent Lecture and was co-sponsored by the Burns Center, the Einstein Cardozo Master of Science in Bioethics Program, the Gertrud Mainzer Program in Family Law, Policy, and Bioethics and the Cardozo Bet Tzedek Legal Services Clinic.

Keynote remarks were given by Dr. Tia Powell, Director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Dr. Jessica Zwerling, Associate Director for the Center for the Aging Brain, Director of the Memory Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center and Project Director for the Hudson Valley Region Center of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease; and Sarah Lock, Senior Vice President for Policy in AARP's Policy, Research and International Affairs (PRI), Executive Director of the Global Council on Brain Health). Following the keynotes, Cardozo Professor Rebekah Diller moderated a panel discussion between the keynote speakers and additional panelists focusing on counseling patients and their families in the areas of sex, money and driving. Additional panelists joining the event for this portion included Andrea Sullivan of the Montefiore-Burke Driving Evaluation Program; Jean Callahan, Attorney-in-Charge of the Brooklyn Neighborhood Office of The Legal Aid Society; and Professor Alexander Boni-Saenz from Chicago-Kent School of Law.

RSVP for this event was here.

Ethics and Lawyering in the Age of Trump Speaker Series with Walter Shaub

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law hosted Walter M. Shaub, Jr., the former Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE). Mr. Shaub previously was a supervisory attorney and Deputy General Counsel of OGE. Prior to joining OGE in 2006, he served as a staff attorney at several federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Shaub now serves as Senior Director for Ethics at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C, a nonpartisan organization that is home to the nation’s premier election law experts and is dedicated to protecting the fundamental right of all Americans to participate in the political process. You can watch his remarks here.


Ethics and Lawyering in the Age of Trump Speaker Series with Richard Painter

On Monday, February 19, 2018, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law hosted an address by Professor Richard Painter from the University of Minnesota Law School as part of the Burns Center's ongoing speaker series, Ethics and Government Lawyering in the Age of Trump. Painter was the chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush and is vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which recently filed suit against President Trump for violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Ethics and Lawyering in the Age of Trump Speaker Series with Bradley Wendel

On Monday, November 13, 2017, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law hosted Bradley Wendel, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, where he teaches professional responsibility, torts, and products liability. Prof. Wendel reviewed the application of the rules of professional conduct, based on the American Bar Association model rules, and adopted by various United States jurisdictions, to lawyers serving in the Trump administration. He also surveyed the application of specific rules such as those, requiring competency, the exercise of independent professional judgment, and confidentiality, to various possible scenarios facing lawyers in the current administration.

Jesse Eisinger, The Chickenshit Club

On Thursday November 2, 2017, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law hosted Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and Senior Reporter and Editor at ProPublica, to speak about his new book, The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives, published by Simon & Schuster in July 2017.  The book asks why no bankers were put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008 and why CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity.  The talk, moderated by Burns Center Co-Director Jessica Roth, was followed by a Q&A and a book signing with Eisinger.

Gillian Hadfield, Rules for a Flat World

On Monday October 30, 2017, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law hosted a Symposium on Gillian Hadfield’s provocative new book, Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy, published by Oxford University Press in 2016. Participants included the book’s author, Professor Hadfield of University of Southern California Law School; Cassandra Burke Robertson of Case Western Reserve University Law School; James Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation; Andrew Perlman, Dean of Suffolk University Law School; and Burns Center Co-Director Anthony Sebok. The participants examined the book's diagnosis and Hadfield's recommendations.

Ethics and Lawyering in the Age of Trump Speaker Series "Independence of the Department of Justice"

On Monday, October 16, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of law kicked off it's speaker series with Michael Bosworth, former Deputy Counsel to President Obama. Bosworth spoke about the independence of the Department of Justice, drawing upon his experience with the Department and the White House.

Roundtable on Mandatory Disclosure in Litigation Finance

On Tuesday, October 10, 2017, the University of California Hastings College of the Law and the Jacob Burns Center convened a group of judges, lawyers and academics in San Francisco to discuss mandatory disclosure of third party funding in litigation and arbitration. The goal of this meeting was to generate an exchange of ideas among individuals who already have spent considerable time thinking about civil litigation and dispute resolution, the rules that structure these activities, and third party funding.  Associate Dean Morris Ratner of Hastings and Professor Anthony Sebok of Cardozo moderated the discussion.

Measures For Justice with Amy Bach

On April 25, 2017, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law hosted Amy Bach, author of Ordinary Injustice and President and Executive Director of Measures for Justice, to present a preview of her groundbreaking project to bring greater transparency and accountability to the United States’ criminal justice system.  Working with a team of researchers and data analysts, Bach has created a tool for evaluating how the system is working at the county level in each state, measured against three goals: public safety, fairness, and efficiency. Bach was joined in her presentation by Christian Gossett, the elected District Attorney of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, who was an early proponent of using data to evaluate prosecutors’ work and has been integrally involved in the Measures for Justice project.

Protecting Fair Trials in High-Profile Criminal Cases

On March 2, 2017, the Jacob Burns Center at Cardozo Law School and the ABA Criminal Justice Section hosted an extraordinary panel to discuss how best to protect fair trials in high profile criminal cases.  The event celebrated the publication of the ABA’s newest standards on fair trial and free press issues, which Professor Jessica Roth played a key role in drafting.  Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, United States District Judge Valerie Caproni, legendary criminal defense attorney Ted Wells, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, and Erica Orden of the Wall Street Journal, were among the participants who engaged in a wide-ranging discussion using a hypothetical fact pattern as a launching point.

Rethinking Re-Entry: Confronting Perpetual Punishment

On April 11, 2016, the Jacob Burns Center along with the Criminal Defense Clinic, the Civil Rights Clinic, and the Public Service Scholars Program at Cardozo School of Law held a day-long conference that examined the immediate and long-term challenges confronting people released from prison and the legal and social barriers that impede successful reintegration. Panelists and speakers framed the problem, focused on current initiatives and efforts to abolish or reduce systemic barriers to successful reintegration, and celebrated the counter-narratives of people who have sustained and persevered in spite of the difficulties they faced.

New Models for Prosecutorial Accountability

On April 21, 2016, the Jacob Burns Center together with the Innocence Project, the Center for Rights and Justice at Cardozo, and the Cardozo Law Review at Cardozo School of Law hosted a one-day program focused on prosecutorial accountability for misconduct. The conference explained what is being done on this problem, emphasizing positive developments in certain parts of the country and how these developments might be exported into other jurisdictions. The conference assembled participants with diverse experiences, including bar counsel, judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and academics. The Cardozo Law Review published in its online component several essays written in conjunction with the program, including essays by United States District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C. and Dallas, TX District Attorney Susan Hawk.

Criminal Justice Ethics “Schmooze”

On June 9 to 10, 2016, the Jacob Burns Center at Cardozo School of Law hosted the Third Annual Criminal Justice Ethics Schmooze – a gathering of 25 criminal justice ethics scholars from around the country to discuss their current scholarship.

International Legal Conference VII – The Ethics and Regulation of Lawyers Worldwide: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

From July 14 to 16, 2016, the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics co-sponsored a biyearly International Legal Ethics Conference at Fordham University School of Law. The event attracted approximately 400 legal ethics scholars and practitioners from 60 countries to exchange knowledge and experience and to learn from each other. The Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law remains an active participant in this international venue for the expansion and strengthening of the community of lawyers and scholars dedicated to the legal profession and legal ethics.