What is Getting Lawyers into Trouble?: Trends in Disciplinary and Malpractice Actions

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 64 minutes
Recorded Date: August 15, 2019
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  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Client Conduct
  • Technological Competence
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: August 15, 2019


What are the current and future trends regarding issues that are likely to get a lawyer disciplined, disbarred, or sued for malpractice? What are strategies for avoiding such outcomes? Join our distinguished panel of bar regulators and legal insurance providers for this important program.

This program was recorded on August 15th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Alexander Berg

Senior Claims Counsel
ALAS, Inc.

Alexander Berg is the Senior Claims Counsel at ALAS, Inc.

Richard Dogulass

Novack and Macey, LLP

Richard G. Douglass is a partner at Novack and Macey LLP where he represents individuals and businesses of all sizes in complex commercial litigation disputes related to finance, insurance, real estate and professional liability. Rich is also co-chair of the firm’s Legal Malpractice Defense group, successfully representing attorneys and law firms against breach of fiduciary duty and other claims. Throughout his career, Rich has earned high praise for his legal ability and professionalism.

Rich has earned praise from his colleagues, co-counsel and, notably, his adversaries. In fact, one former opposing counsel had this to say: “[During our case] Mr. Douglass performed at a high-level and garnered my respect as a fellow lawyer. Mr. Douglass is the type of lawyer you enjoy litigating against because he always comes prepared and ready to fight for his clients but does so while being professional.”

Rich’s work has garnered public recognition as well. He has been ranked AV? Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings Service. He has been named as an Illinois Super Lawyer every year since 2015 by Super Lawyers magazine. This accolade is reserved for no more than 5% of all attorneys in Illinois. And, he was selected as one of the “40 under Forty” most talented young attorneys in Illinois in 2013 by the Chicago Law Bulletin.

Rich grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, went to college at the University of Pittsburgh, and obtained his law degree from the University of Georgia, in Athens. Before joining Novack and Macey, Rich was at Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, PA, in Athens and worked in their litigation and commercial transactions departments.

Wendy Muchman

Harry B. Reese Teaching Professor of Practice
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Wendy J. Muchman joined the law school faculty in 2014 as a Lecturer. She was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Legal Ethics at Northwestern from 2000 to 2014 and has taught Legal Ethics courses at other Chicago law schools. Professor Muchman currently is the Chief of Litigation and Professional Education at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. She investigates and prosecutes lawyer disciplinary cases, including In re Rinella, 175 Ill.2d 504, 677 N.E.2d 909 (1997). Her job responsibilities also include supervision and training of all litigation attorneys and staff at the ARDC. She regularly lectures and presents workshops regarding professional responsibility and disciplinary law to various bar association groups, law firms, judges and law schools.

Professor Muchman serves as a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for the regional and national trial advocacy, deposition and National Organization of Bar Counsel programs. She serves as an assistant team leader for the NITA Trial Advocacy Midwest Regional Program. In 2013, she was selected to participate as a fellow in the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professional Responsibilty. In 2012, she was elected member-at-large to the Council of the American Bar Association Government and Public Lawyers Division where she stills serves. Between 2009 and 2011, she served as the Vice-Chair, then Chair, of the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility. Prior to 1989 when she started her employment at the Commission, Professor Muchman litigated in the state and federal courts. Areas of practice included insurance litigation, civil rights, age discrimination and aviation defense work. Professor Muchman received her JD from DePaul University College of Law and her BA from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.

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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