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Legal Practice and Ethics MLL235

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Legal Practice and Ethics MLL235

Special instructions for candidates:

  • The total word limit for your exam response is 2,000 words. This includes all components of your response, including headings, references etc. A 10% leeway above 2,000 words is not Markers are instructed to disregard

Mr Marshall Mann is a criminal defence lawyer currently working on a trial where his client, Mr Robert O’Connor, is charged with murder. They are a few days out from trial and having a conference in Mr Mann’s offices to prepare Mr O’Connor for what to expect in terms of prosecution evidence, procedure, and how the barrister who has been briefed for the case, Ms Elinore Prince SC, will present their case. During the conference Mr Mann had to take a call from his fiancée Detective Abigail Chaffee. He stepped out of his office to take the call and after he stepped back in, he overheard Mr O’Connor on his phone saying to an unknown party “the lawyer doesn’t know that I killed that guy, and they’ve got a solid plan to refute all the circumstantial evidence. Legal Practice and Ethics MLL235

So, after you take care of Bobby D the cops won’t have enough to tie me to the crime and we are in the clear.” Mr O’Connor turned around as he finished that phone call and noticed Mr Mann, then said “I’m not sure what you think you heard their counsellor, but just remember ‘snitches get stitches bitches’.” Mr Mann has come to you concerned about his ethical duties and his safety.

Question 2

Ms Mary Shepard is in the middle of a matter that has proceeded to trial relating to a multimillion-dollar contract dispute. At the end of the third day of trial, expert witness Dr Shelly Finkel was still on the stand under cross examination relating to circumstances beyond anyone’s control that forced the opposing party to be unable to complete the contract. That evening Ms Shepherd was unwinding playing Call of Duty on her PlayStation (under her handle ‘Commander Shepard’). She found herself regularly in the same team as someone who used the tag ‘Dr Frankenstein’.

Through the course of the evening they get chatting while playing, and Dr Frankenstein mentions that she is currently giving evidence in court. Ms Shepard notes that she is a lawyer, and she and Dr Frankenstein chat about what Dr Frankenstein should expect under cross-examination. Ms Shepard also made some quite disparaging remarks about opposing counsel in her current case, Mr Stan McQueen. At one point she described Mr McQueen as “a short, bald, weasel faced toad prone to leaving switch blades in people’s jackets.” Upon hearing that description the person playing under the handle of Dr Frankenstein, realises that Ms Shepard is referring to the lawyer that has retained her as an expert witness, and identifies herself as Dr Shelly Finkel. Ms Shepard told her that they couldn’t be talking and promptly disconnected from the game. She has come to you concerned about her ethical obligations in the situation. APA FORMAT

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