Member Groups

The Public Servant
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

April 2015, vol. 16, no. 2

2015 Ethics Extravaganza—Another well-received CLE production

On March 6, 2015, the ISBA’s Committee on Government Lawyers presented the 2015 Ethics Extravaganza live from the 29th floor of the Hilton Hotel in Springfield. The Committee prepared the course materials and content,1 recognizing that the ethical issues confronting the government lawyer can differ from those faced by a lawyer in private practice. The Ethics Extravaganza is not just any ordinary CLE presentation, nor is it a karamu or fiesta. The Ethics Extravaganza, moderated this year by Committee member Barbara Goeben, provided an interactive experience focusing on ethical issues encountered by the governmental lawyer. In keeping with the age old maxim of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” the Kate Kelly Players once again presented caricatures of nightmare-inducing ethical dilemmas faced by government lawyers. The light-hearted scenarios addressed serious subjects facing the government lawyer including conflicts of interest, substance abuse, a client’s diminished capacity, responsibility for non-attorney staff actions, and attorney-client privilege.

This year, the Kate Kelly Players once again starred Kate Kelly, with special guest co-star Lynn Patton. Rounding out the troupe were Mike Jadron, Kevin Lovellette, and Emily Vivian, each of whom provided crucial supporting roles to the stars. Using the five scenarios as a backdrop, James Grogan, Deputy Administrator and Chief Counsel of the Illinois Attorney Registration Commission, guided the attendees through lively discussions identifying the multiple ethical dilemmas, predicaments, and illegal activities illustrated by the scenarios. The scenarios provided the framework for Mr. Grogan to discuss the relevant Rules of Professional Conduct, highlight case law, and provide anecdotal real life illustrations. The collegial setting of government attorneys inspired dynamic discussions and ample opportunities to question the panel. In addition, the participants attending the entire program were rewarded with cookies, brownies, and 4 hours of Professional Responsibility MCLE credit. ■

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1. The Committee used two scenarios with the permission of the American Bar Association’s Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division.