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CLE Hours
(Self-Study Only)

3 CLE Hours
1 Ethics Hour
and 1 Professionalism


It's Time to Take Our Medicine

Recorded February 15, 2007

Do we in the legal profession have the capability of reforming ourselves, or will we leave that task to outside forces largely hostile to lawyers? Not long ago, the practice of medicine underwent a dramatic change in a short period of time. What is our profession’s prognosis? Will we take our medicine now or risk serious surgery later?

Surveys of public opinion warn that the legal profession is facing a crisis caused, at least in part, by concern about the integrity of lawyers. Public loss of confidence in the reliability and affordability of lawyers, combined with other developments which threaten the livelihood of lawyers, are being ignored or treated ineffectively. Join the distinguished panel in an interactive discussion of our professional problems and what we can do to shape our own destiny.

W. Seaborn Jones is a former President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), an organization comprised of all the nation’s state and larger metropolitan bar associations. In that organization, he and other bar presidents, judges and significant legal “others” developed the Professional Reform Initiative (PRI), a program aimed at identifying and responding to public criticisms of the legal profession in a constructive way. He is a former President of the Atlanta Bar Association and a partner in the Atlanta firm of Owen, Gleaton, Egan, Jones & Sweeney, LLP.

A. James Elliott
For more than twenty years, Jim Elliott was a partner at the Atlanta firm of Alston & Bird where he chaired the Real Estate Department and specialized in commercial real estate with an emphasis on foreign investment in U.S. real estate. He is a former President of the State Bar of Georgia. Jim is now Associate Dean and Professor at Emory University Law School where he teaches Legal Profession, Real Estate Finance and Banking.

Honorable Philip F. Etheridge
During his lengthy and distinguished career on the bench, Judge Etheridge served as the President of the Georgia Council of Superior Court Judges and is the only judge to have served as Chief Judge of both the Fulton State and Superior Courts. Always a strong advocate of alternative dispute resolution, Judge Etheridge, now a Senior Judge, devotes much of his time to various forms of ADR. He is the recipient of the highest awards for judicial excellence the Atlanta Bar (Logan E. Beckly Award) and the State Bar of Georgia (Thomas O. Marshall Professionalism Award) bestow.

Sally Evans Lockwood
Sally Lockwood is Director of the Office of Bar Admissions of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Ms. Lockwood and her staff also assist the Board of Bar Examiners and the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants. Before assuming her present position, Ms. Lockwood served as Director of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism for a number of years. Through her excellent and innovative work in that position, Ms. Lockwood inspired and assisted in the creation of similar commissions in several other states. She developed or assisted in the development of a number of programs to enhance professionalism among Georgia lawyers to include the new statewide Mentoring Program and the Law School Orientations on Professionalism, which now serves as a model for similar programs at forty law schools.

Introduction of Panel and Program Overview
W. Seaborn Jones
Survey Results
How ominous are the public survey results? How well does the public understand us? What are the complaints?
Questions and Discussion
Warning Signs
A review of efforts to increase public respect for lawyers and indications that they are not working.  Encroach ment (finding ways to get legal work done without so much reliance on lawyers) and other attempted intrusions upon the practice and governance of lawyers. Is the legal profession, as presently organized, capable of effective response?
Questions and Discussion
Is a perfect storm building? Scott M. Hobby, with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP in Atlanta, joins the panel to describe the outsourcing of legal work to India and other  countries. The program concludes with a discussion of solutions and how each lawyer can assist.
Questions and Discussion