Stephen Gillers, Emily Kempin Professor of Law, has been selected to serve on the American Bar Association's Commission (ABA) on Ethics 20/20, which will review legal ethics rules and regulations across the country in the context of a global legal services marketplace. ABA President Carolyn Lamm announced the formation of the commission at the conclusion of the ABA's annual meeting in Chicago on August 4.

"This is an intellectually daunting assignment, but one I eagerly anticipate," Gillers said. "The commission must not only attempt to predict how the global growth of trade in legal services and technological innovation will affect the work of lawyers and the needs of clients and society in the decades ahead, but also how the American legal profession's core values can be preserved even as the bar, the courts, and legislatures adapt to the changes."

According to Lamm, the commission will be guided by three principles: protect the public, preserve core professional values, and maintain a strong, independent, and self-regulated profession. "Technological advances and globalization have changed our profession in ways not yet reflected in our ethics codes and regulatory structure," Lamm said at the ABA meeting. "Technologies such as e-mail, the Internet and smart phones are transforming the way we practice law and our relationships with clients, just as they have compressed our world and expanded international business opportunities for our clients.”

Commission members were chosen from across the legal profession. They include lawyers from small and large law firms, judges, in-house counsel, former government lawyers, and law school professors. Jamie S. Gorelick, former deputy attorney general of the United States, and Michael Traynor, former president of the American Law Institute, serve as the commission's co-chairs.

The commission will supplement the work of existing committees on client protection, ethics and professional responsibility, professional discipline, and professionalism.

Posted on August 4, 2009