Miami Law Students Hold Ethics Training for the Bankruptcy Bar Association


Miami Law students from the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program presented a CLE training for the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Miami-Dade County. Student Fellows Irma Khoja, Matipa Nyamangwanda, and Bianca Zuluaga, as well as Program Director Jan Jacobowitz, Judge Laurel Myerson-Isicoff and Judge Robert Mark of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida participated in the panel.

Approximately forty members of the Bankruptcy Bar Association (BBA) attended the training at the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. Topics included cutting-edge dilemmas such as the ethical issues involved in website advertising, solicitation of clients in chatrooms, and investigating of creditors on Facebook. Issues regarding competency, bankruptcy petition preparers, and appropriate action when a lawyer believes his or her client has perpetrated a fraudulent transfer were also covered. Eric Sliver, the BBA Brown Bag Lunch coordinator, thanked PREP and noted that, the "attendees found the presentation and content to be current, engaging, and helpful."

Zuluaga reflected, "It was a unique experience, due to the judges' participation in the presentation. Throughout the discussion, we received comments from both the attorneys and the judges. It was interesting to hear the different ethical concerns addressed by both sides."

Khoja expressed that, "The experience was very rewarding. I did not have the opportunity to take a bankruptcy course during law school, but this training allowed me to get exposed to bankruptcy jargon, while also giving me a chance to consider the ethical issues bankruptcy attorneys face. I gained real-world insight from the judges and the attorneys through our lively discussions."

Nyamangwanda added, "It was wonderful presenting at the Bankruptcy Bar Association again. The turnout was great and the audience remained engaged throughout the training. Having the judges on the panel is always a pleasure because they provide the perspective from the bench."

The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program was established in 1996 as in-house program within the Center for Ethics and Public Service at the University of Miami School of Law. The program has dedicated countless student hours to public service and has educated thousands of members of the Florida Bench and Bar. As the students teach, they learn and quite often make a difference, prompting organizations to pause and reconsider their approaches to some of the toughest ethical dilemmas.