S Course Finder • Penn Law
Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation


Prof Resp: Traversing Ethical Minefield (Comisky,H)
Fall 2019   LAW 960-001  

« Back to Search Results

Meeting Times/Location
W 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Tanenbaum Hall 112

Hope Comisky

Lecturer in Law

Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Drafting Legal Documents
Expository Writing

20% Participation,
60% Exam,
20% Paper

Short Answer,
In Class,

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement


Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, contact Felicia Lin, the Dean of Students. Upon receipt of her authorization, I will email instructions to you for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.



Professional responsibility issues are part of the fabric of the practice of law. For example, you receive a key document inadvertently produced by your opponent in a case. What do you do? Or, a conflict is created when your best corporate client asks you to negotiate a very significant deal with a company you are suing on behalf of another client. Can you go forward with the transaction? Each issue must be addressed by first examining the particular facts and circumstances. Then, the professional responsibility concerns must be identified. The applicable rules must be read, as well as ethics opinions, case law and commentary, to best answer the ethical dilemma. This course focuses on the facts and circumstances by utilizing a variety of hypothetical fact patterns to address particular professional responsibility issues in both litigation and transactional practices. Given the small class format, students will work in teams to answer the questions posed by the hypothetical problems. As the answers may vary from state-to-state, students will be encouraged to apply the rules of the jurisdiction in which they plan to practice, in addition to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, to their analyses. Class participation is essential to properly explore these issues. We will be using the fourth edition of Martyn and Fox, “Traversing the Ethical Minefield – Problems, Law and Professional Responsibility” and its accompanying supplement, Martyn, Fox and Wendel, “The Law Governing Lawyers, National Rules, Standards, Statutes, and State Lawyer Codes.” Students will be graded based on an open book examination (60% of grade), an ethics opinion (20% of grade) and class participation (20% of grade). This seminar satisfies the Law School's professional responsibility requirement.

Course Concentrations

Professional Responsibility and Ethics Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.


"The Law Governing Lawyers, National Rules, Standards, Statutes, and State Lawyer Codes" by Martyn, Fox and Wendel
Edition: 2018-2019
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer
ISBN: 9781543809442

"Traversing the Ethical Minefield - Problems, Law and Professional Responsibility" by Martyn and Fox
Edition: Fourth
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer
ISBN: 9781454874867