PREP Students Present Ethics CLE to Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami

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Jan L. Jacobowitz, Danielle T. Gauer, Brian A. Vaca, Sarah J. Bujold, Charles B. Sachs

Every year Miami Law’s Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program (PREP) expands its reach and visits new venues. This past year, PREP was invited to speak at the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami (EPC). Exploring ethics in the context of trust and estate law was a novel area of study for PREP.

After tremendous positive feedback from the Fall presentation, PREP was invited to return in the spring to present a CLE ethics presentation titled, “The Evolving Duties of Competence & Communication: Social Media & Technology’s Impact on the Practice of Law” at an extended workshop and dinner hosted by the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami. The workshop took place at the Hyatt Regency Miami. The Council offered the training to its members; those in attendance included attorneys, accountants, and financial planners.

Led by Director Jan L. Jacobowitz, PREP students Sarah J. Bujold, Danielle T. Gauer, and Brian A. Vaca discussed ethical dilemmas that estate attorneys may encounter in practice, especially when technology and social media are involved. Hypothetical fact scenarios were presented, and the attorneys engaged in a dynamic discussion about the preservation of social media evidence, new developments in attorney advertising rules, and standards for electronic information security.

 “Many attorneys shared anecdotes about the use of social media or technology in their daily practice,” said Bujold. “It was great to have an engaged group.”

"I truly found presenting at this CLE to be a great learning experience,” said Gauer. “I was able to learn about a new area of law which l found to be really interesting. This is one of the benefits of PREP, getting the opportunity to be exposed to an array of practice areas."

PREP develops customized CLE ethics trainings, providing an opportunity for students to explore diverse areas of the law and interact with attorneys practicing in those areas regarding the ethical challenges that confront today’s legal profession. The program combines the attributes of an ethics institute and an ethics clinic, and has dedicated hundreds of student hours to public service and has educated thousand s of members of the Bench & Bar.

In 2012, PREP was recognized by the ABA with its E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award--the leading national award recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers and judges. In addition to presenting ethics trainings, throughout the semester PREP students publish blog posts regarding the nation’s newest ethics opinions and cases. The blog, Legal Ethics in Motion, can be found here.