In-House Pro Bono: Ethics
Published as on-line exclusive content for ACC Docket, Elizabeth Bluestein of Public Counsel Law Center and Michael Sposato of Caterpillar Inc.** co-authored an article that addresses some ethical and practical issues impacting in-house pro bono. Their article, “The Ethics of Pro Bono,” was authored as a companion to a program CPBO hosted at the 2013 ACC Annual Meeting, titled “The Ethics of Pro Bono Practice by In-House Counsel.”
In the article, Bluestein and Sposato address a number of important issues surrounding in-house pro bono including competence, scope of representation, multijurisdictional practice rules, and employer policies. While ethical rules vary by jurisdiction, a few instructions apply to in-house pro bono efforts everywhere:
Navigating ethical considerations may seem daunting but for the detail-oriented lawyer the task is manageable. It is important for in-house counsel to consult the local ethical rules, and for legal departments and ACC chapters to put in place an appropriate review process. However, a calm and commonsense approach to the engagement, the substantive work and matter administration will permit in-house counsel to address the details required of ensuring ethical representation.
** denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge®