Current Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel & Those Who Advise Them: Litigation Perspectives

Originally held on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Program Co-Chairs:

Catherine M. Foti
Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC

John B. Harris
Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz

  • This ethics program is designed especially for in-house counsel and outside counsel advising their in-house clients. Using a stimulating series of hypotheticals based on real-life experience, a panel of experts will review a variety of important professional responsibility issues that affect corporate counsel on a daily basis.

    Program Fee:
    $69 for Members | $169 for Nonmembers
    Members who are Recent Law Graduates, Newly Admitted Lawyers (admitted for the first time in any state or country 2018-2020), In-House/Corporate Counsel, Judges, or attorneys that practice within the Government, Academic or Not-for-Profit sectors attend this program for free.

  • Adrienne K. Eason-Wheatley
    Managing Counsel, The Bank of New York Mellon

    Alexandra Harwin
    Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

  • 4:00 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.
    Introduction & Overview of Hypothetical

    4:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    o Ethics of Negotiating Dispute Settlements
    o Hard Bargaining vs. Extortion: where is the line?
    o Recent case law involving accused lawyers

    4:30 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.
    o Settlement agreement: What does the board and the auditors need to know about the matter?
    o Document destruction in the settlement context
    o Use of Non-Disclosure Agreements, including in sexual harassment cases
    o Duty of General Counsel to investigate settling claims

    4:50 p.m. – 5:05 p.m.
    o Attorney-client privilege in the in-house context
    o How do courts view communications that involve both business and legal advice?
    o Privilege in connection with compliance investigations

    5:05 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.
    o Is surreptitious taping by a lawyer ethical?
    o Interstate taping issues
    o What limits exist on an employer’s right to access documents contained on an employee’s company-issued personal device?

    5:25 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.
    o Considerations in retaining outside counsel to assist in an investigation
    o When can/should a lawyer interview an employee without recommending counsel for the employee?
    o How should a lawyer respond when an employee asks whether they need counsel?
    o What can/should a company do when an employee refuses to cooperate?
    o Consequences to the employee of lying in an internal inquiry

    5:40 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.
    o What happens when the company refuses to take steps the lawyer believes necessary?
    o Can a lawyer seeking ethics or legal advice about their obligations disclose confidential company information to his or her own counsel?
    o Under what circumstances can an in-house lawyer disclose confidential information to defend herself against charges of wrongdoing?
    o Can the lawyer “go public” with confidential information that she believes is of critical importance to the public?
    o Can an in-house lawyer rely on confidential information to state a claim for wrongful discharge?

    5:50 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Question / Answer Session

  • CLE Credit
    New York:
    2.0 Ethics
    New Jersey:
    2.4 Professional Responsibility
    2.0 Professional Responsibility
    2.0 Professional Responsibility
    Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

    Please Note: Newly admitted NY attorneys cannot fulfill ethics or skills credits through our on-demand programs under OCA rules. For more information on this, please see

  • Sponsoring Association Committees:
    In-House Counsel, Jack Lerner & Michael Patrick Hogan, Co-Chairs
    Professional Ethics, Tyler Maulsby, Chair
    Professional Responsibility, Wallace L. Larson, Chair

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Angie Avila, Manager, Membership Outreach and Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 |