Carole J. Buckner, Attorney at Law
Carole is an AV Peer Review Rated sole practitioner admitted to the California State Bar in 1984. She holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley (1980) and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco (1984).
She is available for consulting and legal advice in the field of legal ethics and issues involving professional responsibility, and the law of lawyering. Carole’s background combines real world law practice experience with an in-depth knowledge of ethics. From her experience as a partner in private law firms (Berger, Kahn et al., and Pettis, Tester, et al.), Carole appreciates how ethics issues arise in a private practice. With her background as a litigator handling business, real estate, and employment matters from the inception of her practice with Rutan & Tucker, Carole takes a practical, realistic approach to common ethics dilemmas arising in connection with litigation. Her experience working as in-house counsel at Amplicon, Inc. and California First National Bank Corp., a publicly traded company, provides her with insight into commonsense approaches to ethics issues faced by corporate counsel. As a former federal prosecutor, she is also intimately familiar with ethical issues encountered in the criminal arena.
Carole has extensive experience with ethics on the state and local levels. On the state level, Carole has been a member of the California State Bar’s Committee on Professionalism and Conduct since 2005. She served as COPRAC chair in 2009-2010, and currently is the Special Advisor to the Committee. COPRAC authors State Bar ethics opinions, and ethics alerts and provides continuing legal education to the members of the bar.
Carole has also spoken and written extensively on a wide variety of ethics related topics. Through COPRAC, the OCBA, PLI, and other organizations, Carole has spoken at the State Bar’s Annual Ethics Symposiums, State Bar Annual Meetings, OCBA programs, and in other venues, on a wide variety of ethics related topics, including attorneys’ fees, client trust accounting, conflicts of interest, confidentiality issues, screening, judicial recusal, lawyer advertising, collaborative law, prosecutorial misconduct, ethical issues arising from lawyer impairment, and many others. Carole has also participated as a panelist on the annual update on ethics-related cases. Also on behalf of COPRAC, Carole has closely monitored the work of the Commission on the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which is re-writing California’s Rules of Professional Conduct, and has written articles and spoken regarding the Commission’s proposals.
Carole has taught the core professional responsibility at Western State University College of Law since 2003. The course covers the broad scope of legal ethics issues, including the duty of confidentiality, attorney client privilege, conflicts of interest, advertising regulation, legal fees and client trust accounting, legal malpractice, discipline, judicial ethics, and other important ethics issues. She has also taught a class at Western called Legal Ethics and Business Representation, which addresses ethical issues for corporate and transactional lawyers, including conflicts of interest and confidentiality, the lawyer as director, ethical issues in corporate internal investigations, related party transactions and the corporate opportunity doctrine, lawyers taking equity interests, and other important issues. Currently, Carole is the Dean of Abraham Lincoln University, School of Law in Los Angeles, California, where she has taught Contemporary Ethical Issues, covering judicial ethics, prosecutorial misconduct, client trust accounting, conflicts of interest and screening, and other issues.
On the local level, Carole is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, and is past chair of the OCBA’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee. She has served as a contributing editor of the Ethically Speaking column in the OC Lawyer Magazine for over five years, and has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics, including attorneys’ fees, judicial recusal, the attorney client privilege, sex with clients, temporary or contract lawyering, screening, the self-defense privilege, impaired lawyers, and other ethics related topics.
Carole is also a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL), and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee (PREC).