Michael McGinniss Presents Mart Vogel Lecture on Professionalism and Ethics
UND School of Law Professor Michael S. McGinniss presented the 2011 Mart Vogel Lecture on Professionalism & Legal Ethics titled Virtue Ethics, Earnestness & the Deciding Lawyer: Human Flourishing in a Legal Community . The lecture was presented on Friday, June 17, 2011 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Symphony Hall of the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo, North Dakota. The lecture was free for attorneys and qualifies for 3.0 ethics credits in North Dakota.
His lecture explored philosophical concepts of “virtue ethics” (derived from Aristotle) and “earnestness” (from Kierkegaard), in application to the life and actions of a lawyer deciding what to do when faced with ethically and morally challenging circumstances in the practice of law. He also proposed implications these concepts have for the lives and actions of others in legal community with the deciding lawyer. Professor McGinniss then led breakout discussions among the attendees, using hypothetical decision-making situations, to consider how lawyers’ decisions informed by these concepts may promote human flourishing in a legal community. He concluded the presentation with updates on issues being considered by the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission and on matters relating to professional conduct regulation in North Dakota.
Michael McGinniss teaches courses on Professional Responsibility, Evidence, and Conflict of Laws. He received his legal education at the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, where he graduated third in his class and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. At William & Mary, Professor McGinniss was a member of the Board of Editors of the William & Mary Law Review and a Graduate Research Fellow. Upon graduation from law school, he served as the law clerk for Honorable Randy J. Holland of the Supreme Court of Delaware. He then was associated for four years with the Delaware law firm Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, where his practice focused on intellectual property litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. In 1998, the Supreme Court of Delaware appointed Professor McGinniss to its Office of Disciplinary Counsel (“ODC”), entrusting him with the evaluation, investigation, and prosecution of lawyer disciplinary matters before the Court and its Board on Professional Responsibility. In 2006, Professor McGinniss joined the adjunct faculty of the Widener University of School of Law, where he taught Professional Responsibility and upper-level Legal Methods courses. His legal scholarship to date has focused on the regulation of multijurisdictional practice and the unauthorized practice of law. He is a member of the bars of Delaware, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, and the United States Supreme Court.
The Mart Vogel Lecture on Professionalism and Ethics was established with a gift from the Vogel Family to the University of North Dakota Foundation in honor of Mart Vogel.