Drexel University - Comprehensive, integrated academics enhanced by co-operative education, technology, and research opportunities. | Drexel University
Drexel University
Search events. View events.

All Categories

Click for help in using calendar displays. Print the contents of the current screen.
Display Format: 
Event Details
Notify me if this event changes.Add this event to my personal calendar.
Go Back
Trial by Combat: A Conversation on the Professional, Ethical, and Moral Obligations of Lawyers
Start Date: 4/7/2021Start Time: 6:30 PM
End Date: 4/7/2021End Time: 8:00 PM

Event Description

Individuals who enter the legal profession must respect and comply with important obligations. The responsibilities of lawyers include formal ethical obligations not to bring or defend frivolous proceedings, not to abuse legal and judicial processes, not to lie to third parties in the course of representing clients, and not to engage in other misconduct, including conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. In the course of representing clients, lawyers also are required to exercise independent professional judgment and give candid advice, even if that advice might not be what the client wants to hear. Beyond the formal rules of legal ethics, lawyers play important roles in promoting respect for democracy and rule of law values. On a day-to-day basis, lawyers also are called upon to make a variety of moral judgments in different settings.

The importance of these obligations has come into particularly sharp focus over the past several years, with concerns repeatedly emerging that both government lawyers within the previous administration and private lawyers acting on behalf of the former president may have engaged in conduct running afoul of these obligations. What roles should disciplinary authorities, courts, bar associations, and other institutions play to promote and enforce these norms and standards of conduct? What should law schools and universities do to cultivate respect for these principles and values? This panel will explore these questions with specific attention to the alleged misconduct of Rudolph W. Giuliani (LL.D. ’09 (Hon.), Drexel University)—whose widespread pursuit of baseless claims of voter fraud, in an effort to subvert the results of the 2020 election, have prompted the filing of formal disciplinary complaints calling on authorities to immediately suspend Mr. Giuliani’s license to practice law pending a full investigation of his alleged misconduct. The discussion will contextualize this examination of the formal ethical rules by using Mr. Giuliani’s actions as a case study to explore the place of moral decision-making more broadly in legal practice.



  • Christine H. Chung is a member of the Steering Committee of Lawyers Defending Democracy. She has formerly been a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, a senior trial lawyer at the International Criminal Court, and a partner at the law firms of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Selendy & Gay, both in New York. She also has taught at Fordham University School of Law and Yale Law School.
  • Clare Keefe Coleman is an experienced writing teacher, editor and writer. Before joining the Kline School of Law faculty, she practiced with Conrad O’Brien Gellman & Rohn, P.C. and Drinker Biddle & Reath, where she specialized in commercial litigation. Her professional experience includes magazine editing and teaching fiction writing. She has won writing awards from the Writing Aloud/InterAct Theatre Company and the Philadelphia City Paper. Professor Coleman received her J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law and an M.A. in creative writing from Temple University.
  • Anil Kalhan is a Professor of Law at the Drexel University Kline School of Law and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Since 2019, he has been a member of the New York City Bar Association's Task Force on the Rule of Law, and from 2015 to 2018, he chaired its International Human Rights Committee. He also currently serves as a member of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors. Professor Kalhan holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.P.P.M. from the Yale School of Management, and an A.B. from Brown University.


  • Drexel Kline’s Student Bar Association
  • American Constitution Society
  • Private Practice Law Society


For any questions regarding this event please contact Noelia Wiegand at nmw88@drexel.edu.

  • Graduate Students

  • Display Month:

    Advanced Search (New Search)
    Date Range:
    Time Range:

    Special Features: 

    Select item(s) to Search

    Select item(s) to Search
    Select item(s) to Search
    Select item(s) to Search