2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
The Achieving Excellence program is designed to encourage effective practices in the five core competencies of Inn management: Administration, Communications, Programs, Mentoring, and Outreach Activities, awarded for Inn years July 1, through June 30. Possible awards range from Bronze, Silver, Gold to Platinum, and the Kennedy Inn has received the highest award, the Platinum Awards in all years that the awards were offered.
2015: First Place, Outstanding Program
First Place: Race Matters - Should Justice Be Colorblind
Outstanding Program - Sherlock Holmes and the Threat to the Rule of Law
2014: First Place, Third Place, Outstanding Programs
First Place: Somewhere Behind the Rainbow: Civility and Ethics in the Wicked Land of LAWZ (P12768)
Featuring altered songs from the musical "Wicked," this program highlighted issues regarding civility and ethics and the connection between the two. A young associate starts work in a civil litigation firm and is confronted with civility and ethical dilemmas. With a little courage, some heart, and a brain, the young attorney makes her decisions and has a fairy tale ending.
Third Place: Legal High Anxiety: Snitches, Snoops, and Snafus in the Digital Age (P12617)
This program discussed the challenges posed to the legal profession by the digital age through a scripted scenario in two acts. The first act asked the questions: What is the proper balance between national security intelligence-gathering and the privacy rights of American citizens? What is the role of the legal profession in finding and maintaining that balance? How intrusive into matters of personal privacy should the government be in its efforts to protect citizens from terrorist attacks? The second act addressed how technology has changed the way attorneys communicate with their clients and with one another and if changes in technology have been beneficial to the attorney-client relationship.
- Ain't Misbehavin': Reining in the Rogue Client (P12533)
- Can Lawyers Be Good Persons? P12644)
- With All Due Respect (P12699)
2013: Third Place
Third Place: Who Makes the Call? (P12272)
2012: Outstanding Program
Money and Share: Music, Comedy and Champerty
This program spoofed Sonny and Cher with musical entertainment, but went to the heart of ethical issues involved in civil litigation in the plaintiff practive relative to third party funding of contingency fees, partnerships with third party companies, with the defense practice of ethical billing and with settlement issues and conflicts that arise.
2011: Outstanding Programs
- To Thine Own Self Be True…The Dynamics of Loyalty
- Seasons of Law: Living An Ethical Life In An Irrational World
- Our Firm
- Clamming Up is Hard to Do: The Consequences of Breaking Consequences
- Tradition! How Bias Based on Appearance Impacts the Legal Profession
- Blame Management
2010: Third Place, Outstanding Programs
Third Place: Whose Case is This Anyway?
This program spoofed the Tiger Woods scandal and raised issues concerning tension between attorneys and clients and the allocation of authority between attorneys and clients in conducting a legal case. The characters in the program faced ethical quandaries including whether or not to accept a reasonable settlement offer when the client wants to go to trial, how to deal with questions about the client's honesty, and the obligations of junior attorneys and their supervising attorneys when attorneys disagree on the handling of an ethical issue.
Outstanding Programs: Death of Privacy – Confidentiality Confronts the Internet and Tell-All TV
This program opened with a review of a situation in which a lawyer was content to work in a zealous and professional manner, but who realized that such tact might not keep her competitive. The presentation dealt with the world of television personalities, the World Wide Web, Facebook and Twitter. The audience was encouraged to discuss ethical dilemmas created by current ethical rules that may not take changes in technology into consideration.
RU12? The Alarming Spread of Incivility in Modern Society
This program invited Inn members to imagine incivility as a contagious virus spreading from person to person. It examined how the virus could spread by attraction, reward, modeling and learning and considered what could be done to stop the virus of incivility from infecting the entire world. After a brief introduction by a judge, the pupillage team presented a two-act play, and a discussion followed each act.
The Ethics of Accuracy, Honestly
This program was crafted to engage the audience in a spirited discussion on the honesty and accuracy of lawyers, the pressures to win it all and make money, and the impact on litigation of access to information through electronic research tools and media
It’s 2008: Do U Know Where UR Associates R? - Civility, Liability and Privacy Implications of e-Communications
This program is an ambitious effort to explore the civility, liability and privacy problems that flow from the growing issue of e-communications. The issues posed here are by their very nature challenging to a wide variety of attorneys and judges, as practitioners schooled in the “traditional” forms of practice are joined by a younger generation of lawyers that cut its teeth on today’s new technologies.
2008: Third Place
LOST: What Motivates Us to Lose Our Way? With Greater Understanding and Empathy, Can Our Profession Offer Better Support to Keep Us on the Proper Path?
Based on the ABC television series "Lost", this program began with a group of judges and lawyers boarding a plane to attend a legal conference in Hawaii. The plane crashes on an uncharted island, and as the judges and lawyers construct a society on the island, they are forced to evaluate their prior behavior back on the mainland. This program, divided into three acts, explored whether the concept of civility and provided important information to judges and lawyers by highlighting services that are already available to assist professionals in need.
2007: Third Place, Outstanding Program
Winning the Battle but Losing the War
The program opened with the pupilage team leader reading an excerpt from an article in the California Bar Journal titled “A New Approach To Civility.” The team leader also discussed the use of scorched earth tactics, the lack of professionalism, and unethical conduct in the practice of law. Finally, the team leader introduced the concepts of “Restoration Justice” and “Collaborative Dispute Resolution.” After the introduction, the pupilage team presented a two act play that told the story of Vito. Vito was an aggressive lawyer who was taught by Gandhi and his own court cases that winning at all costs wasn’t the right way.
Blowout: At the Intersection of Profit and Ethics, What Happens When the Client Calls
The focus of this program was the attorney-client relationship, when it is established and who is the client. The three-act play used a fictitious large corporation, “Perk Pharmaceuticals,” which was about to market a new drug to examine potential conflicts of interest in attorney and client relationships. The program also explored what an attorney should do when tempted to violate ethical rules. A discussion period followed each of the acts of the play.
2006: Third Place, Outstanding Programs
To Rap or Not to Rap, That is the Confunction: Ethical Obligations When Street Talk Enters the Courtroom
This program explored the attorney-client relationship within the context of a language and cultural barrier arising from the number of recognized languages and cultures in the United States. The program highlighted the issues by exploring the lengths to which an attorney can go to change clients when the clients choose to express themselves in a manner other than standard spoken English. The program began with a rap song using the tune of "Pretty Woman" and used a character who spoke in street talk throughout the program. The character gave the audience the frustrating experience of not being able to understand the client, and paved the way for a debate over what ethical obligations would arise if the character were truly a client.
Clawing Your Way to Victory: The Tension Between Our Adversarial System and the Search for Truth
The focus of this program was the tension between the rules and tools of the legal system and the search for truth. The program examined the ethical propriety of a lawyer's use of tactics such as the efforts to exploit religious convictions or use celebrities friendships that may influence a jury; addressed the ethical obligations of a junior associate who observed misconduct by a senior partner; and reviewed the obligation a lawyer had when a client apparently perpetrated a fraud. The program's skits highlighted these issues by using song parodies and posing pointed questions at the end of each skit.
A Space Out Odyssey – Legal Ethics v. Pharmaceutical and Technological Advances
Set primarily in the year 2046, this program raised legal and ethical questions about the use of pharmaceutical drugs by counsel, their clients, and the judge. It also explored the possible use of mind-reading technology by attorneys, the judiciary and the general public. The program was divided into three acts, and each act includes included humorous skits, songs, displays and a moderator who kept the audience involved by engaging them in a discussion and by posing questions directly to them.
2005: Outstanding Programs
You Are What You Speak: Whether to Promote or Pillory Political Correctness in Legal Discourse
This program explored whether "political correctness" in speech and action should be a component of civility and professionalism in the practice of law, or whether it unreasonably stifles fair debate. The program also examined how attorneys and judges should respond to incidents of political incorrectness that arise in court, and what responsibility lawyers and law firms have in dealing with politically incorrect actions of clients.
Sympathy for the Adjuster: When Non-Lawyers Call the Shots
This program was designed to highlight the ethical and legal dilemmas faced by insurance company defense counsels. In an increasing number of cases, the attorney's exercise of independent professional judgment has been replaced with complex software programs that dictate to the adjuster how much a case is worth. Often the adjuster, rather than the attorney, decided what discovery would be undertaken and what the trial strategy would be. This trend raised the question of whether policyholders are at a disadvantage because their attorney has divided responsibility and reduced control over the outcome of the case.
Frivolous Lawsuits: Cutting Edge or Over the Edge?
The purpose of the program was to raise ethical and legal issues related to the filing and appeal of frivolous lawsuits, and the use of questionable experts to support those lawsuits. Combining the use of a pre-recorded segment and a live program script, the program addressed such issues as the legal and ethical standards for frivolous lawsuits, what constitutes a frivolous appeal, and whether attorneys should be sanctioned and reported for frivolous cases, defenses, and appeals?
2004: First Place, Outstanding Program
Queer Eye for the Guilty Guy: From Witness Geek to Witness Chic-The Fine Art of Witness Preparation
In a take-off of the popular television program, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," this program used a play to raise ethical and legal issues related to witness preparation. The scenes and discussion periods focused on how far an attorney can go in witness preparation and raised questions about "pocketbook justice"--whether using trial consultants provides an unfair advantage to those with money to hire them. Other issues raised included: the legal and ethical considerations involved in "coaching" a witnesses' testimony; whether such preparation constitutes "tampering"; and members' experiences as to whether using trial consultants is effective. The skits used humor and songs to highlight issues and keep members interested. Audience discussion was encouraged by questions from the moderator.
Justice for Just Us; Its Only Fair
This program highlighted how litigants might perceive biases within the judiciary and bar when judges and lawyers are affiliated with religious ideas or certain organizations. The growing trend of legal blogs provided the opportunity of weaving in a discussion of the appropriateness of whether the courts should use information found on legal blogs in resolving legal disputes. The program was divided into three acts, and each act had two scenes. A lively audience discussion followed each act.
2003: Second Place, Outstanding Programs
Listen (Doo Wah Doo), Do You Want to Know A Secret?
This program was designed to highlight ethical and legal dilemmas encountered in representing a minor in a controversial civil action, using the decision in Newdow v. U.S. Congress as a backdrop. The discussion following the skits sparked a lively debate on issues ranging from problems representing clients in unpopular causes to how a judge should deal with anonymous threats.
Don't Mess With My Bill
This program is a two-part skit which presents questions of law, ethics and personal morals arising from attorneys billing for their services. Part One highlighted the dilemma of an associate caught between a firm's demand for billable hours and the need for honesty in billing a client. Part Two presented parallel criminal matters in which one party has plentiful funds while the other party is indigent.
Martha's World (Where Corporate Opportunities Meet a Lawyer's Professional Responsibilities): It’s a Good Thing or Is It?
This program took the format of a role-playing demonstration and discussion which followed and focused on tensions which exist between a corporate counsel's responsibilities to a corporate client and pressure from corporate officers who seek personal legal advice. Additional pressure from SEC practice requirements and tension between outside director interests and legal obligations to safeguard interests of the corporation were also addressed.
2002: First Place
Honey, We Shrunk the Judge: The Diminishing Role of the Judiciary
This program utilized a skit to draw attention to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) phenomenon as part of a bigger, more powerful debate about the potentially diminishing role of the judiciary. Using song and spoof, the members presented a doomsday scenario where judges relinquished most of their powers to administrators, government officials such as district attorneys and the litigants themselves. The skit and discussions held afterwards forced the audience to examine the very foundation of our system of “justice”.
2001: Third Place
Quick Thinking – 5 Seconds For Your First and Final Answer
This award-winning program, entitled “Quick Thinking – 5 Seconds For Your Final Answer”, demonstrated the effect of quickly made ethical and evidentiary decisions. The program used two skits to establish the facts. At key points, a moderator posed questions for participants to answer within a five-second time limit, which, at every turn, affected how they might proceed. Following each skit, the issues, conflicts and results were discussed.
2000: Third Place
When Hatred Isn’t Kosher: Is Speaking Your Mind Going Too Far?
The Kennedy Inn's award-winning program was entitled "When Hatred Isn’t Kosher: Is Speaking Your Mind Going Too Far?" This program was designed to stimulate discussion on the points of interface between the First Amendment and the ‘good moral character’ requirement for bar membership and moral turpitude grounds for disbarment. The first skit took a closer look at the rules for admission into the bar, while the second skit examined the actions of controversial people after they have become attorneys.
1999: Fourth Place
It’s All in the Game— Tuning In the Legal Ethics Channel
This program utilized game show formats to present legal and ethical situations in a manner that would seize the audience’s attention and generate spirited discussion. It used “The Dating Game” to identify issues surrounding the courtship and retention of attorneys by perspective clients, “The Newlywed Game” to highlight the conundrums associated with attorney/client relationships, and “Family Legal Feud” to focus on the games played in settlement conferences and those played by counsel during trial.
1998: Ninth Place
The program featured six short skits on the practical and ethical problems that arise at the end of various legal relationships. Topics included the end of attorney-client relations, the end of adversarial relationships between attorneys at the close of a case, the end of a multi-plaintiff case through settlement and the end of attorney-judge relations at the close of a trial.
1997: Seventh Place
Juvenile Thoughts on Crimes, Competency, Conflicts and Compensation
This program addressed the controversial issues of defending or prosecuting a juvenile. The presentation addressed matters such as the charging of ten year old children with crimes of murder and difficulties of representing children in domestic relations cases. The presentation consisted of three acts which identified several problems within a particular area of juvenile law. Act I explored the problems associated with the prosecution of children in the juvenile justice system. Act II explored some of the possible problems associated with civil suits for personal injury on behalf of juveniles. Act III illustrated a dispute between the mother and the father of a child in a domestic relations setting.
1996: Second Place
Do You See What I See?— Fallacies of Eyewitness Testimony
This program demonstrated how to conduct direct and cross-examination of a eyewitness and how to conduct cross-examination of an expert on eyewitness testimony. Several demonstrations called for Inn members to become eyewitnesses themselves. Inn members acted as eyewitnesses to an arrest of a suspected car thief and, immediately after the event, were given questionnaires asking them to give a complete narrative description of what they had just seen and to answer a few short questions. Inn members also performed very simple magic tricks to emphasize the fact that eyewitnesses see, but do not observe. Several points relevant to eyewitness testimony were captured on videotape to help illustrate how the mind edits what we visually observe.