Lincoln on Professionalism
Abraham Lincoln once said, “As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man [person]. There will still be business enough.”
Lincoln on Professionalism was created by the Atlanta Bar Association in partnership with the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism in Georgia in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The CLE program presents the writings of Abraham Lincoln to create an engaging documentary-style program on professionalism. The exemplary qualities of legal and personal professionalism Lincoln demonstrated day in and day out in his law practice come to life in the slides, readings and contemporary commentary that comprise the program.
The “documentary” contains 10 vignettes and is coupled with a panel discussion produced by Periaktos Productions. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for attendees to explore the model of professionalism offered by Abraham Lincoln’s life and practice and discuss how it provides guidance for contemporary legal practice. The discussion focuses on the issues presented as they might relate to the Preamble and any other relevant portions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The program is timed below in minutes from the beginning of the movie.
BRIAN T. GUTHRIE, ESQ. is Of Counsel with Mattioni, LTD in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With nearly forty years experience at the Pennsylvania bar, Mr. Guthrie’s practice includes assisting lawyers and law firms achieve success in a setting mindful of the tradition of the law as a learned profession. He believes lawyers can attain professional fulfillment by synthesizing several dimensions in which they work every day.
“Competence” and “integrity” are easily mouthed as platitudes, but a refined understanding of what they are and how they are achieved makes for a law practice that is personally satisfying. It also provides a competitive advantage when vying for a limited number of clients with what often seems to be a limitless supply of lawyers. He believes that the skill development that comes with a true understanding of what it is that lawyers actually do, together with a firm grasp of the relevant ethical considerations is not only personally rewarding, but also makes good business sense.
Mr. Guthrie has worked in numerous areas of the law and achieved the coveted highest peer rating awarded by a major law publisher. His professional experiences include partnership in a major law firm, acting as senior in-house counsel to a Fortune 500 Company, representing a major city and working in a small law firm. His litigation experience includes representation in both state and federal courts throughout the United States and includes jury trials, arbitrations and appellate matters.
He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the First and Third Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Tennessee. Mr. Guthrie has also represented clients in state courts in Illinois, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota and Tennessee. Mr. Guthrie holds a B.B.A. from Temple University and a J.D. from the James Beasley School of Law - also at Temple University in Philadelphia. Mr. Guthrie is listed in Philadelphia’s Top Lawyers: The Definitive Guide to Legal Representation in Philadelphia.
JOHN M. STUART was the Minnesota State Public Defender from 1990 to 2014, supervising a state public defense system in which 700 lawyers and support staff represent 175,000 clients a year. Prior to that he was a trial court public defender for 12 years. Stuart has served as Co-Chair of the American Council of Chief Defenders and taught at the National Defender Leadership Institute. In Minnesota, he has worked on numerous statewide task forces dealing with racial fairness, drug and sex offender sentencing, child welfare and juvenile justice. He holds a B. A. from Haverford College (Haverford, PA) and a J.D from the State University of New York Law School at Buffalo, where he was a volunteer law clerk for the Attica Brothers Legal Defense. Stuart retired in 2014 and is still active in the justice system, continuing to work on creating more drug courts and treatment programs for nonviolent offenders as an alternative to jail time.
BARRY R. VICKREY served as Dean of the University of South Dakota School of Law (Vermillion, SD) from 1993 to 2011 and then served as a full-time professor until his retirement in 2016. He taught legal ethics throughout his career in legal education.
Prior to his tenure at USD, he was on the faculty of the University of North Dakota School of Law for eleven years, including five years as Associate Dean. He was on the staff of the American Bar Association for five years, serving as assistant to the president elect president and as Director of the Division of Professional Education.
Between college and law school, he was a staff aide on the Policy Planning Staff of the Governor of Tennessee. Barry lived in Tennessee for most of his early life and is admitted to the practice of law in Tennessee and South Dakota.
He holds a B.A. in history and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His wife, Mary Green Vickrey, is a singer-songwriter and music educator who holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt and an M.A. from USD. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.