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Workplace Abuse and Bullying: Understanding the Impact on Lawyer Well-Being and the Ethical Practice of Law

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: August 16, 2021
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  • Stress-Related Health Harm
  • Flawed Employer Response
  • Best Practices
  • Conclusion
Runtime: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Recorded: August 16, 2021

Difficulty: Experienced Attorneys (Non-Transitional)


Workplace abuse and bullying in the legal profession are widespread and dangerous to the ethical practice of law, lawyer well-being, and economic performance. The nation's two leading experts, Gary Namie, a social psychologist and co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, and David Yamada, Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School, will discuss with Dr. Robin Wolpert, Sapientia Law Group, the following topics: who is targeted for abuse, the traumas and harm experienced by targets, the impact of abuse on colleagues and bystanders, and why legal institutions fail to recognize, prevent, or correct abusive conduct even in the face of high organizational costs.

This ethics and well-being seminar will inform and empower you to recognize what is happening, protect yourself and others, and build resilience. The panel will conclude by examining the nature and scope of the obligations under Model Rule 8.4 and how to be an agent rather than observer in working to promote well-being in the legal profession.

This program was recorded on August 16th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Gary Namie, PhD

Director, Co-Founder
Workplace Bullying Institute

Dr. Gary Namie is a social psychologist with a long record of teaching graduate and undergraduate university courses in management and psychology — at Scripps College, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Southern California, University of San Francisco and others. He won national and campus teaching awards. He was also corporate manager for two regional hospital systems as director of internal training and consulting services. He began consulting to organizations as The Work Doctor? in 1985.

Remarkably, as a college student, Gary worked 36 months at Washington Steel Corp. in his hometown. Life at the mill (unrealistically all male back then) taught him more about group dynamics, good management principles, positive bonding among workers, and benefits of unions than all of his graduate school education.

In 1997, in response to Ruth’s bullying experience (and his own vicarious one), the couple imported Workplace Bullying to the U.S. from England. Using his research background, he wrote, and WBI commissioned, Zogby analytics to conduct the frequently cited scientific national prevalence surveys. In addition, several WBI-site-based studies have been conducted. The media regard Gary, after 1,200 interviews, as the go-to expert. He leads advocates to enact the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in US states. Gary is considered the originator of the workplace bullying consulting field. He serves as expert witness in bullying-related legal cases for counsel for plaintiffs and the defense.

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David C. Yamada

Professor of Law & Director of the New Workplace Institute
Suffolk University Law School

David C. Yamada is a Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

Professor Yamada is an internationally recognized authority on the legal, public policy, and organizational implications of workplace bullying. He wrote the first comprehensive analysis of workplace bullying and American employment law (Georgetown Law Journal, 2000), and his model anti-bullying legislation (named the “Healthy Workplace Bill”) has become the template for law reform efforts in this realm. He has been interviewed on employment law and policy issues by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, National Public Radio, and MSNBC, among others. His Minding the Workplace blog is a popular source of commentary about dignity at work.

Professor Yamada’s educational background includes a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from Valparaiso University.

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Robin M. Wolpert

Sapientia Law Group

Robin Wolpert is an accomplished business litigator, criminal defense attorney, and appellate practitioner. With her unique blend of government, in-house, and private sector experience, Robin develops creative problem-solving strategies and, where necessary, manages litigation seamlessly from trial through appeal.

Robin handles a diverse mix of criminal and civil lawsuits and appeals, focusing on constitutional law, defamation, business fraud and misappropriation, money laundering, Title IX, data privacy and cybersecurity, and business compliance. She represents clients in litigation involving private parties or the government, including cases with parallel criminal and civil proceedings, civil and criminal appeals, and investigations.

Robin has extensive experience in compliance with federal and international anti-bribery and anticorruption standards—including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act, and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws. In addition, she spent much of her career advising and litigating on behalf of state and local government as a prosecutor and outside counsel.

Always passionate about public service, Robin oversees Minnesota’s attorney disciplinary system as Chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.

Robin is Past President of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She is a former college professor, teaching law and judicial politics at the University of South Carolina and Georgetown University

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