GLF Attorney Vincent DePalo Delivers Legal Ethics Lecture at Northeastern University


On August 5, 2016, attorney Vincent DePalo presented a guest lecture at Northeastern University's Doctor of Law and Policy program. His topic covered the convergence of morals, ethics, and the law. The class opened with a discussion of political philosophy that focused on Kant's moral theory, which posited that the rightness or wrongness of a person's conduct depends on his actions, rather than the consequences that follow. As the dialogue transitioned from the philosophical to the concrete, Mr. DePalo discussed the attorney's duty to zealously advocate for his client. The students were particularly interested in the concept that an attorney may bring a claim forward that contradicts existing law. Then Mr. DePalo explained that such advocacy is ethical when the objective is to overturn the law in favor of his client. The students were enthusiastic about this topic because many of their theses focus on how some regulations hinder various industries in America and around the world.

Mr. DePalo also lectured on the different roles of the defense attorney, the plaintiff's attorney, and the judge in civil litigation. Each plays a vital, but competing, part in the justice system. Mr. DePalo explained that justice and fairness intersect or diverge in the courtroom. He provided an abstract example: while a jury's verdict may exonerate a company for an alleged harm to a community or compensate a victim for the death of a loved one, these outcomes do not always coincide with the traditional conceptions of morals and ethics. A verdict may be just, but it may not be fair.

Governo Law Firm recognizes and appreciates Mr. DePalo's contribution to education and justice and his support of the Firm's Pro Bono initiatives.