News and information useful to Cleveland State College of Law students, faculty and staff.

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct Issues New Advisory Opinions

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recently issued four advisory opinions addressing various topics related to the application of ethics rules.

Advisory Opinion 2022-08 addressed the question of whether a judge may attend a training course regarding speed detection devices that is offered by a state law enforcement agency and open exclusively to judicial officers, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement. The Board found that, even though the training course was open to Judges, they should not attend to avoid creating the appearance of bias toward law enforcement.

Advisory Opinion 2022-09 addressed the question of whether it is proper for a full-time or part-time magistrate to serve on, or run for election to, a local, city, or state school board, a board of county commissioners or a city council. The Board decided that it is not proper because a magistrate’s holding of a public office may increase the risk that a reasonable person may question the judge’s independence, integrity or impartiality when performing thor judicial duties. 

Advisory Opinion 2022-10 addressed the question of whether it is proper for a magistrate to serve as a trustee of a nonprofit condominium association in which the magistrate resides and owns a condominium. The Board concluded that it is proper for a magistrate to serve as a trustee of a nonprofit condominium association in which he lives, resides and owns a condominium. However, the magistrate is prohibited from abusing the prestige of an officer when interacting with unit owners or third parties in their capacity as a trustee.

Advisory Opinion 2022-11 addressed multiple questions regarding lawyers sharing office space, nonlawyer staff and dividing fees. The court concluded that lawyer may divide fees, and share both an office space and nonlawyer staff, so long as the lawyers maintain client confidentiality pursuant to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Note that these non binding advisory opinions are issued by the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct and the advice contained in these opinions do not reflect on the opinion of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

ABA Passes Revisions to Accreditation Standards

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates in February passed  proposed revisions to the ABA law school accreditation standards The amendments were to Standards 205, 303, 507 and 508 of the 2021-2022 Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.  The highlights of the amendments include: a requirement that law schools provide bias training and substantial opportunities for students to develop a professional identity.

Effective Lawyering Requires Emotional Intelligence and Active Listening

As part of our series of blogs on lawyering and professionalism, we’re highlighting a recent law journal article from the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. Client-Centered Communication: How Effective Lawyering Requires Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, and Client Choice (link via Westlaw, 22 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 199) by Heather Heavin and Michaela Keet provides a deep dive into the topic with many great references.

Active listening is a skill applicable across many professions. Check out this article and video on active listening from Mind Tools for extra practice and future reference.

The Art of Practicing Law: Talking to Clients, Colleagues and Others

The Art of Practicing Law: Talking to Clients, Colleagues and Others is another great book in our collection that addresses improving your lawyering and professionalism skills.

This book illustrates its point through short essays (70 in total). Many areas of civil and criminal law—cases both large and small—are covered, along with topics like music, art, architecture, and ethics.

Client interactions and situations are also covered, including handling the challenging ones.

The overall theme of the book can be summed up as “we advance the rule of law even in the routine practice of our profession.”


Suggested by Career Services: Designing Your Life

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is geared toward building a happier life. The authors walk readers through the process of building a satisfying, meaningful life by approaching the challenge the way a designer would: experimentation, wayfinding, prototyping, and constant iteration. Burnett and Evans stress that the only failure is settling for unhappiness.