February 17, 2011
Professor Paul Paton, director of McGeorge's Ethics Across the Professions Initiative, has been selected as reporter to the American Bar Association's Ethics 20/20 Commission. His appointment was announced during the ABA Midyear Meeting on February 11, 12 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Ethics 20/20 Commission was appointed by then-President Carolyn Lamm in August 2009 to "perform a thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice." The commission, which will propose major policy recommendations that could affect lawyers and clients well into the future, has received national and international recognition for its work. Its co-chair, Jamie Gorelick, was a member of the 9/11 Commission. Co-chair Michael Traynor is president emeritus and chair of the Council of the American Law Institute.
Paton has designated responsibility for the commission's working groups on Alternative Business Structures and Entity Regulation, but will also be directly involved in other areas, including choice of law in cross-border practice, and the implications of working with new technologies. Working with subcommittee chairs, commission counsel and the chief reporter, he will assist in further developing policy proposals, research materials and background papers, as well as synthesizing submissions from commission hearings. The commission is charged with making comprehensive recommendations in time for final deliberation by the House of Delegates at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting.
Paton is recognized internationally for his expertise on lawyer regulation, ethics for corporate counsel, and multidisciplinary practice issues. His article, "Cooperation, Co-Option or Coercion? The FATF Lawyer Guidance and Regulation of the Legal Profession," which focused the impact of international anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist financing agreements on lawyer regulation, was selected for presentation at the 2010 American Association of Law Schools Annual Conference and was published in the 2010 Journal of the Professional Lawyer. In addition to his activities in the United States, Paton is serving a second term as chair of the Canadian Bar Association's National Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee.