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PREP Students Provide Ethics Training and Foster Relationships with the Bankruptcy Bar Association

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Joseph Matthews (3L), Coach Andrew Riccio, Benjamin Keime (2L) & Abirami Ananthasingam (3L)

Left to right: Judge Laurel Isicoff, Candice Manyak, Sara Solano, Mike Kranzler, Judge Robert A. Mark, Judge A. Jay Cristol Full Image

Students from Miami Law’s Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program (PREP) reinforced PREP’s long-standing relationship with South Florida’s Bankruptcy Bar Association (BBA) this year by presenting two legal ethics CLE’s and participating in the preparation of a hypothetical for the BBA annual retreat.

“Our work with PREP has given us the unique opportunity to foster relationships with members of the BBA,” PREP student Candice Manyak explained. Manyak has also interned with Miami Law’s Bankruptcy Clinic, as well as with Judge Mark and plans to practice bankruptcy law. Manyak also collaborated with the BBA’s President- Elect, Scott Brown, and some of the organization’s other members, to co-author the ethics portion of the hypothetical that was presented at the CLE training at the BBA’s 30th annual weekend retreat in Key Largo. Manyak describes her participation in PREP with the BBA as, “a truly rewarding experience.”

Manyak also joined 2L interns Brittany Brooks, Mike Kranzler and Sara Solano to present a CLE ethics training for the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County. The PREP students were joined on the panel by Jan L. Jacobowitz, Director of Miami Law’s PREP program, as well as Judges A. Jay Cristol, Robert A. Mark and Laurel M. Isicoff of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, who engaged the attendees in lively discussion that centered on recent trends and potential issues in the bankruptcy practice.

The hour-long presentation, focusing on various issues including judicial recusal and fee sharing, sparked conversation among the present judges and practitioners regarding increasingly common practices, such as appearance counsel and potential attorney-client privilege issues arising between parent and subsidiary companies.

“Having the opportunity to hear about practical applications of these ethical guidelines in the courtroom really sheds light as to how to keep them in mind in regular practice,” Solano said. “There is so much you don’t think about outside of the classroom context.”

Brooks, Kranzler and Solano also assisted PREP fellow Adam Fischer to present a CLE presentation to the BBA in Ft. Lauderdale. Joined by the Honorable Raymond B. Ray and the Honorable John K. Olson of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, the presentation focused upon issues of professional civility, judicial recusal and frivolous lawsuits.

Kranzler, who interned for Judge Ray this past summer, integrated issues he saw arise in Judge Ray’s courtroom into the recent Miami-Dade presentation to illustrate how real-life situations can give rise to hypotheticals worth learning from. “It was really interesting to see judges and practicing attorneys debate about something that actually happened while I was in chambers,” he said.

The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program, a 2012 recipient of the American Bar Association's Smythe E. Gambrell Award, was established in 1996 as an in-house program within the Center for Ethics and Public Service at Miami Law. PREP's programming originated as an outgrowth of a collaborative effort with the nonprofit legal community to provide training on ethics issues arising in the context of serving the underprivileged. Today, PREP has expanded to present ethics training to lawyers working throughout the legal profession in venues ranging from small gatherings at nonprofit offices to large bar association meetings and national webinars.

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