Who says ethics aren’t rock-n-roll? Certainly not the crowd that showed up to Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield yesterday morning for Ethics Rock Extreme, a continuing legal education seminar that took attendees on a musical tour through ethics rulings that every lawyer should know.
The program featured ethics expert Jack Marshall and musician Mike Messer in an interactive talk that posed scenarios for discussion punctuated by classic rock song parodies written especially for lawyers.
“I’m sure you’re an ethical person, but this stuff is hard,” Marshall said at the top of the program. “It’s tripped up lawyers from Abraham Lincoln to Clarence Darrow all the way down the line…the more we think about it, the better off we are.”
Marshall presented a number of multiple choice scenarios to the crowd, having them hold up numbers to vote on how they would handle a given situation, and then discussing each one and relating them to ethics rulings.
Song parodies included “50 Ways to Grieve a Lawyer” (based on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”) and “Nowhere in the Rules” (originally known as Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.) At the end of the program, the whole room joined in for a sing-along “The Ethics Man,” to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”
Marshall is the president and founder of ProEthics Ltd. Over the past 23 years, he has developed more than 225 programs for a bar associations, law firms, non-profits, government and more all over the world. He writes about ethics issues at www.ethicsalarms.com.
Ethics Rock Extreme will be coming back to the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education later this year. Stay tuned to njicle.com more details.
To see more photos and even a video from Wednesday's program, visit our Instagram and Facebook accounts.