July 2012 Vol. 9, No. 2 Daniel E. Eaton, Editor-in-Chief

IN MEMORIAM:  Robert S. Gerber, 1962-2012

The San Diego County Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee dedicates this issue of Ethics Quarterly to the memory of Committee member/advisor and former Committee Chair Bob Gerber who passed away at the age of 49 on May 12, 2012.  Bob joined the Legal Ethics Committee in 2000 and served as Committee Chair from 2002 to 2003.  Bob was a partner in the Del Mar office of Sheppard Mullin and spent his entire career at that distinguished law firm.

Bob Gerber was passionate about the importance of educating members of the Bar about the ethical practice of law.  He participated in developing and presenting numerous seminars on the subject both through his work on the Committee and beyond.  More important, Bob’s law practice reflected what he preached.  The example that Bob set as an ethical practitioner lives on, and yet those of us fortunate enough to have worked with him will miss him.


This edition of Ethics Quarterly covers cases from March 16, 2012 through June 15, 2012.  Committee members Dan Eaton, Bryn Kirvin and Luis Ventura prepared this edition.  Kirvin served as the Coordinating Contributor.  Eaton prepared the Commentary, “Patenting Ethics: Four Lessons in the Rules of Ethics from Patent Decisions.”

Ethics Quarterly is prepared by the SDCBA's Legal Ethics Committee, and is distributed by email exclusively to SDCBA members. You may also review the current issue of the publication online at www.sdcba.org/legalethics.  If you no longer wish to receive Ethics Quarterly via email, please visit your individualized MySDCBA page on the SDCBA website, and change your preference in the section titled "My e-Communications Preferences."  You may also email bar@sdcba.org to opt out of receiving Ethics Quarterly.

As a reminder, the San Diego County Bar Association maintains a hotline staffed by members of the Legal Ethics Committee offering general guidance on legal ethics questions.  The hotline may be reached at 619-321-4145.

Comments about Ethics Quarterly should be directed to the Chair of the Legal Ethics Committee, Jack Leer at leer@scmv.com.

For a printable version of Ethics Quarterly in its entirety, click here.

Important Update:

No case abstracted in the previous edition of Ethics Quarterly has been accepted for review or otherwise rendered uncitable.

Disclaimer: Counsel should read the full text of the cases discussed before relying on the necessarily limited discussion of them here. Counsel also should be mindful that some of the Court of Appeal cases addressed may be subject to depublication or review by the California Supreme Court. All cases should therefore be checked to confirm they are citable.