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David Aaron Lewis
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David Aaron Lewis

also known as David Lewis, David A. Lewis

Practice areas:

Ethics & Professional Responsibility

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About Me

When a lawyer needs a lawyer, David is the one to call. In most matters of legal ethics and professional responsibility, David provides attorneys — and their firms —practical advice on issues of disciplinary exposure, financial risk, and conflicts of interest.


 


An eminent authority on disciplinary complaints, malpractice suits, and the panoply of disputes between lawyers, their firms, and their clients, David’s credentials include a three-year term as chair of the New York City Bar Association’s prestigious Professional Responsibility Committee. He has also served on the state level, with the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC). These committees are at the vanguard of the legal ethics field, studying and recommending changes to rules and procedures that directly affect the practice of law.


 


David’s own practice reflects this experience. He represents lawyers and firms wherever the Rules of Professional Conduct come into play — from partnership disputes to privilege and confidentiality issues, from fee disagreements to bar admission problems — and he often defends clients in disciplinary hearings, withdrawal procedures, disqualification motions, and other court matters. David also serves as General Counsel to the firm.


 


David is quick to make the distinction between ethics and morality. He understands that one’s morals are not always an accurate guide to what the ethics rules proscribe.


 


To help lawyers grasp this distinction, David advises both outside and inside counsel — including Fortune 500 companies — on issues of ethical risk management. At his lectures and seminars, he teaches how to avoid disciplinary complaints and malpractice charges — to make sure engagement letters, conflict waivers, and other basic procedures are scrupulously executed in a way that reduces exposure. Prevention, to David, is always preferable to litigation.


 


David’s approach to legal ethics —a field known for its rigidity, is to keep an open mind. He prefers to think through his client’s entire situation, looking for other — possibly better — options than what is immediately evident.


 


For his clients —those lawyers and firms that may have strayed from the rules, thereby putting their careers and businesses at risk —David’s thorough and carefully considered approach provides the guidance that puts those clients on the right track.

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 2002

  1. Ethics & Professional Responsibility: 100%

Attorney Endorsements

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Contact Info

Spar Bernstein Lewis LLP

225 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY, 10007

Resume

License

StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
NYCurrently registered 200203/13/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers

Awards

Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Rising StarSuperLawyers2014
Rising StarSuperLawyers2013
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2010
Pro Bono Publico AwardLegal Aid Society2007
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2007

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
Managing Partner and a General CounselSpar Bernstein Lewis LLP2015 - Present
General CounselSpar & Bernstein, PC2013 - 2015
Adjunct ProfessorBenjamin N. Cardozo School Of Law2011 - 2011

Associations

Association NamePosition NameDuration
New York State Bar Association, Task Force on Nonlawyer OwnershipVice-Chair2012 - 2014
New York City Bar Association, Professional Responsibility CommitteeChair2011 - 2014
New York State Bar Association, Special Committee on ImmigrationMember2011 - Present
New York State Bar Association, COSAC (Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct)Member2011 - Present
Association of Professional Responsibility LawyersMember2010 - Present
New York County Lawyers' Association, Board of Advisors for the Ethics InstituteFounding Member2010 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
New York City Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
New York State Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
New York City Bar Association, Professional and Judicial Ethics CommitteeMember2008 - 2011

Publications

Publication NameTitleDate
ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct, Bloomberg BNA (co-author)A 'Safe Harbor' for Future Conflicts Waivers2013
Practising Law Institute’s All-Star BriefingInadvertent Electronic Disclosure Q & A2009
New York State Bar Association JournalIn With the Rules, Out With the Code2009
National Law JournalExtended leave can be aspect of accommodation2005

Education

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Georgetown University Law CenterLawJD - Juris Doctor2001
Colgate UniversityPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1998

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division First Department Committee on Character & Fitness Bar Admission OrientationCivility and Professionalism2013
New York State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law SectionEthics and Technology for IP Lawyers2013
New York State Bar Association Bridging the GapEthical Pitfalls for Young Lawyers2013
New York State Bar Association - Global Law WeekThe Ethics of International Practice2013
New York City Bar AssociationChallenges in Courtroom Interpretation: Effectively and Ethically Securing Language Access for Your Client2013
Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference'Excessive Zeal': Risk Management Lessons on How Too Much Devotion to Client Causes Can Lead to Sanctions or Discipline2013
General Counsel RoundtableLitigation Financing — Understanding the Industry and Potential Risks for Law Firms2013
New York State Bar Association, House of DelegatesReport of Task Force on Nonlawyer Ownership2012
New York Intellectual Property Law Association CLE ProgramEthical Considerations in the Use of Social Media2012
New York City Bar Internet & Consumer Law seriesEthics in the Electronic Age: Be Careful When Using That Smart Phone, Blackberry, Tablet, Blog, Social Network . . .2012
American Bar Association, International Law SectionThe Ethics of International Legal Practice2012
New York County Lawyers' AssociationEthical Issues in Immigration Practice2011
Appellate Division Supreme Court of the State of New York Second Judicial Department, Brooklyn, New YorkEthics in the Digital Age2011
Practising Law InstituteStaying Out of Trouble2010
New York State Judicial InstituteLegal Ethics Program2010
New York City Administrative Judicial InstituteWhat Administrative Law Judges Need to Know About the New Rules of Professional Conduct2010
6th Annual Law Firm Chief Information & Technology Officers ForumSocial Networking: Keeping It Secure2010
Women on the Move 2009: In the Driver’s SeatLeaders: In the Driver’s Seat2009
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New YorkMeet the New York Rules of Professional Conduct for Law Clerks2009
Practising Law Institute: Information Technology Law Institute 2009Ethical Issues and Web 2.02009
Practising Law InstituteNew Ethical Rules for In-House Counsel Effective April 1st: What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know2009
New York State Unified Court System Pro Bono Week EventLegal Ethics for Pro Bono Lawyers2009
New York City Bar AssociationEthics of Labor and Employment Law2009
Brooklyn Bar Association“Legal Ethics Presentation for Members of the New York State Legislature2009
Association of Legal Administrators, Chapter MeetingLegal Ethics for Law Firm Administrators2009
American Bar Association International Section MeetingEthical and Legal Considerations in Dealing with Compliance, Document Management and eDiscovery in the Global Financial Crisis2009