Attorney Misconduct: Causes, Consequences, and How to Avoid It

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Litigation can be stressful and difficult at the best of times.  That stress and difficulty can and has led to unethical or unprofessional conduct that must be addressed by courts as well as ethics bodies.  This program will explore litigation misconduct and how judges and other attorneys might respond to that misconduct.

Educational Objectives:
• Appreciate what constitutes attorney misconduct
• Understand cause of attorney misconduct
• Recognize remedies for attorney misconduct available to judges and other attorneys

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
This program will benefit any attorney who has been faced with attorney misconduct as well as any party – individual or organization – who is the victim of that misconduct as well as any judges or professional ethics panel members who address complaints of misconduct.

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Ronald J. Hedges (moderator), Ronald J. Hedges LLC

Mr. Ronald J. Hedges served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey from 1986 to 2007.  He is the chair of the Advisory Board of Digital Discovery & e-Evidence, a Bloomberg BNA publication.  Mr. Hedges has authored numerous articles on electronic information.  Among other things he is a co-author of both editions of the Federal Judicial Center publication, Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges and is a senior editor of the editions of The Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation: Resources for the Judiciary.  Mr. Hedges taught eDiscovery at Georgetown University Law Center, Seton Hall School of Law, and Rutgers School of Law-Newark.  He has served as a special master, mediator, and arbitrator.


Hon. Craig B. Shaffer, United States Magistrate Judge, District of Colorado

Hon. Craig B. Shaffer has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado since January 2001.  Magistrate Judge Shaffer graduated from the College of William and Mary and earned a juris doctor cum laude from Tulane University’s School of Law.  He has served as a Navy judge advocate, a senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, and in private practice as a partner in two different Denver law firms.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Sedona Conference and has been a contributor to the University of Denver’s Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.  Judge Shaffer is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars addressing electronic discovery, including presentations organized by the Sedona Conference, Colorado’s Faculty of Federal Advocates, the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Bloomberg BNA, the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property Institute, and Georgetown University Law Center’s Advanced E-Discovery Institute.


Hon. David Waxse, United States District Court for the District of Kansas

Hon. Judge Waxse is a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.  Prior to his appointment as a Magistrate Judge in 1999, he was a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon. From 1992-1999, Judge Waxse was a member, and one time chair, of the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the state judicial discipline organization. He was also a member of the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee and the Mediation Panel for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. In addition, he served on the Kansas Justice Commission, established by the Kansas Supreme Court to implement the Citizens' Justice Initiative review of the state justice system. Judge Waxse is a Past-President of the Kansas Bar Association and, as a KBA delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, was a member of the Board of Governors of the KBA for twelve years. He also has served on the Professionalism Committee of the ABA and on the board of editors of the Professional Lawyer, an ABA publication. He is past chair of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges of the ABA and a member of the Ethics Committee of the Judicial Division of the ABA. He is a member of the Earl E. O’Connor Inn of Court and was President of the Inn in 2003-2004. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Johnson County Bar Association, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the Wyandotte County Bar Association, and the Federal Magistrate Judge’s Association. He is also a fellow of the Kansas Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation.


Hon. Gisela Cardonne Ely, Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida

The Hon. Gisela Cardonne Ely was appointed to Circuit Court in 1988, to County Court in 1982 and 1986; and presides in the Civil, General Jurisdiction Division since 1993 in the 11th Circuit, the fourth largest State Court in the United States.  She previously served in the Criminal and Juvenile Divisions.  Her legal practice included trial and appellate trial practice in civil and municipal law.  The Hon. Gisela Cardonne Ely was Chair, Florida Conference of Circuit Judges from 1997-1998; active with the Conference, Education and Civil Sections; a member of the American Law Institute; taught at the Conference and Florida Advance College of Judicial Studies; and an adjunct at Litigation Skills, Florida International Law School.  She is a Board member of Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Cuban American Bar Association.


Professor Melissa Hart, Professor of Law, Director of the Byron R. White Center, University of Colorado Law School

Professor Melissa Hart devotes her teaching and scholarship to employment discrimination, civil procedure and constitutional law.  She has been teaching at the University of Colorado Law School since 2000 and has been the Director of the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law in 2010.  A 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School, Professor Hart clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court.  Professor Hart practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.  Professor Hart runs the Colorado Law School chapter of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a national program that sends law school students into high schools to teach constitutional law. She remains active in the legal community, serving on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, the Colorado Supreme Court's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and Board of Continuing Judicial and Legal Education. She has authored several amicus briefs in employment discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and in other matters before several courts of appeals. Professor Hart is the 2012 president of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Civil Rights, and was the president of the section on Employment Discrimination in 2008. She is on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Labor Law Group.