Card image cap

The Growing Storm: The Ethics of Representing Clients In Matters Impacting Climate Change

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 77 minutes
Recorded Date: February 28, 2022
Click here to share this program
Download PDF
Closed Caption


Poll questions are to be ignored - they are intended for the attendees that were present during the live presentation.

        • Climate Change Overview
        • Core Duties & Rules Potentially Implicated
                - Rule 1.1 - Competence
                - Rule 1.2 - Scope of Representation
                - Rule 1.3 - Diligence
                - Rule 1.4 - Communications
                - Rule 1.6 - Confidentiality of Information
                - Rule 1.16 - Decling or Terminating Representation
                - Rule 2.1 - Advisor
                - Rule 3.1 - Meritorious Claims & Contentions
                - Rule 3.3 - Candor toward the Tribunal        
                - Rule 4.1 - Truthfulness in Statemens to Others
                - Others Potentially Implicated Rules
        • Possible Risks & Consequences
        • Conclusion

Runtime: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Recorded: February 28, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)


Join us for this exciting and interactive discussion, featuring Shawn M. Harpen, Attorney, Corporate Governance, Legal Ethics & Sustainability and Victor B. Flatt, Dwight Olds Chair and Professor of Law & Co-director Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center, University of Houston Law Center, and Margaret E. Peloso, Partner, Environment & Natural Resources, Vincent & Elkins. These experts will educate attendees about the current legal landscape, including practice areas most commonly impacted by climate change. With that table set, they will help attendees navigate their ethical responsibilities, including those relating to: Model Rule 1.1 (Competence); Model Rule 1.6 (Confidentiality) and the interplay between the permissive exceptions to that Model Rule and Model Rules 1.13 (Organization as Client), 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal), and Model Rule 4.1 (Truthfulness in Statements to Others); as well as Model Rule 1.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation).

This program was recorded on February 28th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
Card image cap


Card image cap

Margaret E. Peloso

Partner, Environmental & Natural Resources
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Margaret’s practice focuses on climate change risk management and environmental litigation. She advises energy companies, financial institutions and funds on climate risk analysis and disclosure. The other significant component of Margaret’s practice focuses on translational science. She advises clients on a broad range of litigation and regulatory matters in which there are significant scientific or technical issues that require the use of outside experts. She also has extensive experience representing clients in the notice and comment process on a broad array of federal environmental regulations.

Margaret also serves as V&E’s Lead Sustainability Partner. In this role, she engages with clients on sustainability expectations and evaluates the firm’s current impact and how to better support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality through engagement with all V&E staff.

Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins, Margaret completed her Ph.D. in environment at Duke University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on legal and policy issues associated with sea-level rise adaptation. Margaret has written extensively on climate change, environmental law and environmental shareholder activism, including a published book titled Adapting to Rising Sea Levels: Legal Challenges and Opportunities.

Card image cap

Victor B. Flatt

Dwight Olds Chair in Law
The University of Houston Law Center

Professor Victor B. Flatt returned to the University of Houston in 2017 as the Dwight Olds Professor of Law and is the Faculty Co-Director of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center. He also holds an appointment as a Distinguished Scholar of Carbon Markets at the University of Houston’s Gutierrez Energy Management Institute. He was previously the inaugural O’Quinn Chair in Environmental Law at UHLC from 2002-2009.

Professor Flatt is a recognized expert on environmental law, climate law, and energy law, and the intersection of these areas. Since 2019, he has created and taught the first law school courses in the country concerning how law relates to sustainability planning and ESG policies in corporations, offering the courses at UHLC, Vermont Law School, and University of Utah Law School.

His research focuses on environmental legislation and enforcement, with particular expertise in the Clean Air Act, NEPA, and Climate. He is co-author of a popular environmental law casebook, and has authored more than 50 law review articles, which have appeared in journals such as the Notre Dame Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, The Ohio State Law Journal, Washington Law Review, Houston Law Review and the Carolina Law Review. Seven of his articles have been recognized as finalists or winner of the best environmental law review article of the year, and one was recognized by Vanderbilt University Law School and the Environmental Law Institute as one of the three best environmental articles of 2010, leading to a seminar and panel on the article in a Congressional staff briefing.

Professor Flatt’s teaching career began at the University of Washington’s Evins School of Public Affairs, and he has previously taught at Georgia State University College of Law, and most recently at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was the inaugural Taft Distinguished Professor in Environmental Law and the Director of the Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3). He has been a Visiting Law Professor at the University of Georgia Law School, the University of Washington Law School, and Seattle University School of Law. He has been honored as a Distinguished Environmental Scholar in Residence at Vermont Law School, Pace Law School (Elisabeth Haub Distinguished Scholar), and Widener University Delaware Law School.

Professor Flatt has served on the AALS committees on Natural Resources and Environmental Law, and was chair of the AALS Teaching Methods Section. He has served on many other board and committees in his career including the national board of Lambda Legal, and the Law School Admission Council’s Gay and Lesbian Interests section. He is currently a member of the ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Law Congressional Liaison Committee, and a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.

Professor Flatt received his B.A. in Chemistry and Math from Vanderbilt University where he was a Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholar, and his J.D. from Northwestern University, where he was a John Henry Wigmore Scholar. After graduating from Northwestern, Professor Flatt clerked for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Card image cap

Shawn M. Harpen

Attorney and Member
ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation

Shawn Harpen has led teams in legal, business, professional, and non-profit organizations for the last 25 years. She most recently served as Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and General Counsel of Patr?n Spirits International AG and The Patr?n Spirits Company. Before joining Patr?n, she was a partner at the international law firms of Jones Day and, prior to that, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where her practice focused on complex commercial and shareholder litigation, as well as corporate governance.

Shawn is a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professional Regulation and has served as a past Chair of both the State Bar of Nevada’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct. She also is a member of the Local Rules Advisory Committee of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

She serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and is a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Prior to joining the legal profession, Shawn was a communications professional, serving as Manager of Dana Communication Services at Dana Corporation. She also has served as a writer/producer, and as an executive director of a non-profit organization.

Shawn is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and several United States District Courts. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications, with a focus on broadcasting, from The University of Toledo College of Arts and Sciences, where she graduated summa cum laude, and a Juris Doctor from The University of Toledo College of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. In addition, she has a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard Kennedy School, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Policy and International Development from Harvard University Extension School, where she presently is a master’s degree candidate in sustainability.

Card image cap

Similar Courses

Card image cap
60 minutes
A Cultural Competency Primer for the Young Lawyer
Get a brief overview of what cultural competency is, what implicit bias is, how it impacts the legal profession, and tips that you can begin implementing immediately to start working towards becoming culturally competent.

American Bar Association


Add to Cart
Card image cap
92 minutes
A Trauma-Informed, Anti-Racist Approach to Legal Advocacy
This seminar will provide an introduction to concepts relating to trauma and race, leading up to a four-part model that guides legal advocates to tangibly engage in a trauma-informed, anti-racist approach to legal advocacy.

American Bar Association


Add to Cart
Card image cap
58 minutes
ABC Panel: Ethical Pitfalls in Technology, Fee Applications and Practicing in Court
This panel of ABC-certified judges will discuss the applicable rules of professional conduct and other authority implicated in electronic filing, the use of email, “phishing” scams and hacking, and technology issues raised by today’s pandemic practice.

American Bankruptcy Institute


Add to Cart
Card image cap
60 minutes
Alternative Energy & Renewables
This session’s panelists, all of whom have experience in the renewable energy and power sectors, will discuss valuation and other relevant issues in the context of expanding alternative and renewable energy sources, and the pressures this expansion will have on the merchant power sector.

American Bankruptcy Institute


Add to Cart
Previous Next