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Lawyers' Anti-Money Laundering Obligations: Have We Reached the Perfect Storm?

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 94 minutes
Recorded Date: June 28, 2018
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  • Lawyers' ethical and other obligations to engage in anti-money laundering behavior, including the nature and scope of desired client due diligence
  • Evaluating internal systems and improve gatekeeper behavior in their law firms
  • Identifying applicable national and international regulations and guidelines relating to anti-money laundering initiatives
Runtime: 1 hour and 34 minutes
Recorded: June 28, 2018


Scrutiny on money laundering is on the rise. The Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers and even Robert Mueller's investigation have drawn closer attention to the legal profession's role in facilitating—innocently or otherwise—money laundering schemes. Congress and international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force have increased pressure on the profession to act.

This panel will highlight current developments, including legislation pending before Congress, and international anti-money laundering initiatives that may offer guidance for the U.S. legal profession to further limit the risks to lawyers when clients seek to use their services for illicit and illegal purposes.

Panelists will discuss how Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.2 (Scope of Representation), 1.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation); and Rule 8.4 (Misconduct) are implicated with regard to lawyers' anti-money laundering practices, and whether the Model Rules of Professional Conduct offer a place to provide enhanced guidance to lawyers about these obligations.

This program was June 28th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Deborah Armour

Chief Legal Officer
Law Society of British Columbia

Deb Armour, QC has the overall responsibility for professional conduct, investigations, discipline, custodianships and unauthorized practice of law. She is on the National Discipline Standards Standing Committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and is an active member of the Discipline Administrators’ Steering Committee. Prior to joining the Law Society in 2010, Deb held executive-level legal, compliance and regulatory positions with various organizations. She practiced commercial litigation prior to commencing her in-house legal career. Deb teaches ethics at UBC Law School. She has been a frequent speaker and panelist over the years before a variety of audiences including Continuing Legal Education of BC, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, the Inns of Court Program and law firms.

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Ellyn S. Rosen

Deputy Director ABA Center for Professional Responsibility
American Bar Association

Ellyn S. Rosen is the Regulation and Global Initiatives Counsel of the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility. She advises the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation (previously Professional Discipline), whose mission is to assist the judiciary and the bar in the development, coordination, and strengthening of professional regulation throughout the United States, including the assessment of the ramifications of global legal regulatory and practice developments.

Ms. Rosen was Counsel to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 (2009-2013), which reviewed and recommended changes to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in response to the challenges that globalization and advances in technology present to clients, lawyers, law firms, and the public. She advises the ABA Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services, which monitors the free trade agreement negotiations affecting legal services and provides input to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. She liaises with the Conference of Chief Justices, National Organization of Bar Counsel, National Council of Lawyer Disciplinary Boards, and the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. She speaks frequently at international, state and local bar programs regarding ethics, the regulation of the legal profession, and professionalism.

Prior to joining the Center in 1996, Ms. Rosen was a senior litigation counsel with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. She serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, is the Chair of the International Bar Association BIC Regulation Committee, and was a member of the International Bar Association Professional Ethics Committee (2009-2010). She co-chaired the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Professional Responsibility Committee (1997-1999), and served as an investigator and interviewer for the Illinois Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Evaluations (2000-2013). The Alliance evaluates and rates candidates seeking judgeships in Illinois via appointment or election.

Ms. Rosen is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 1989, Ms. Rosen received her J.D. with honors from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Kevin L. Shepherd

Chair, ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession
Venable LLP

Kevin Shepherd is a partner and co-chair in the firms real estate practice group. He is also chair of Venable's finance committee, which committee oversees the firm's financial operations, policies, and procedures. He represents large national and multinational institutions in complex real estate transactions, ranging from the development of electric generation power plant facilities to world-class resort complexes to the world headquarters of a multinational biotechnology and life science firm

Mr. Shepherd is a past chair of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. He is president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. Mr. Shepherd formerly served on the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession and the ABA Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight. He is a former editor-in-chief of Probate & Property, the bi-monthly magazine of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.

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Paula J. Frederick

General Counsel & Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility
State Bar of Georgia

Paula J. Frederick is general counsel for the state bar of Georgia and chair for the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Ms. Frederick heads a 10-lawyer office responsible for interpreting the ethics rules for lawyers, prosecuting lawyer discipline cases and providing legal advice to the officers and directors of the bar. She is the author of a bimonthly column for the Georgia Bar Journal and frequently speaks on issues of lawyer ethics and professionalism.

Prior to her work at the State Bar of Georgia, she spent six years as a lawyer with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, handling civil legal matters. Ms. Frederick is a past president of the Atlanta Bar Association and Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys. She is a past chair of both the ABA Diversity Center and the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline. She currently serves as a Georgia State delegate in the House of Delegates.

Ms. Frederick earned her B.A. in political science from Duke University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. 

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