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Don’t Back Down: Ethical Strategies for Dealing with Bullying and Bias in Litigation

  • Accountant
  • CMA
  • CPA (US)
  • CVA

Published: April, 2022

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  • Course Description
  • Course Qualification
  • Presenter
  • FAQ

Course Description


  • Why do we care?
    5 mins
  • What do we mean by bullying?
    10 mins
  • Expectations of lawyer integrity - Why bullying violates the rules
    20 mins
  • Case study: Bullying by thwarting descovery
    34 mins
  • Case study: Bullying in settlement negotiations
    43 mins

Course Description

Many attorneys operate under the misconception that their ethical duties require overly aggressive and zealous advocacy and that winning at all costs is the way to go.

However, that is not correct. Attorneys who bully, break ethical rules and misuse their positions often excuse their bad behavior by referencing a “duty” to zealously advocate on behalf of their clients. These unprofessional adversaries misunderstand the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the obligations that they impose on attorneys. In fact, Rambo-style conduct and scorched earth tactics often violate ethical rules and court protocols. Behaving badly exposes them to sanctions.

In addition, studies have found that bullying is often linked to bias against people who are different than the aggressor or perceived to be less powerful Incidents of bullying directed at women, non-binary persons, members of religious and racial minorities, or differently-abled people is a problem in the legal profession, especially in litigation.

To deter bad behavior, protect ourselves and our clients, and encourage practice with civility, we must use the tools available to us under the ABA Model Rules, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and state counterparts to call unprofessional adversaries to task by reporting unethical acts, and in some cases, asking for sanctions.

This CPE webinar will cover several ethical issues arising out of aggressive litigation practices and present an array of tools to use when dealing with opposing counsel who engages in those practices.

Learning Objectives

  • To discuss how to identify bullying and bias when directed as us or our clients in the practice of law. 
  • To analyze how to address procedural issues with opposing counsel and establish effective protocols for resolving pre-trial disputes.
  • To inspect how to prepare for, conduct, and defend various aspects of litigation such as discovery, oral arguments, hearings, trials, and settlement conferences in ways that are respectful and civil towards others. 
  • To discuss how to identify and use applicable court, judicial, and bar association rules and recommendations to deal with adversaries who do not behave respectfully or demonstrate bullying and bias towards you and your clients. 
  • To analyze how to make a record and enlist the court to assist you in condemning bullying and bias through carefully crafted communications with abusive adversaries and citation to their disciplinary and sanctions history.

Recommended For

  • This Online CPE webinar is recommended for CPA, CMA, CFF, CVA, CBA/MCBA, MAFF CEOs, Accountants, CFOs, Business Owners, Business Managers, and Other individuals who want to understand ethical strategies for dealing with bullying and bias in litigation.

Who Should Attend?

  • Bookkeepers & Accountants & Tax Preparers
  • Business Owner
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • CFO/Controller
  • CPA (Industry)
  • CPA - Mid Size Firm
  • CPA - Small Firm
  • Senior Accountant
  • Young CPA

Course Qualification

Webinar Qualifies For

  • 1 General Credit of Ethics (Regulatory) for Accountant/Bookkeeper/Tax Professionals
  • 1 CPE Credit of Professional Ethics for Certified Management Accountants (CMA)
  • 1 CPE Credit of Ethics (Regulatory) for Certified Public Accountants (CPA-US)
  • 1 CPE Credit of Ethics for Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • 1 CPE Credit of Ethics for Certified Business Appraiser/Master Certified Business Appraiser (CBA/MCBA)

Additional details

  • Course Level :
  • Credits :
  • Instructional Method :
    QAS Self Study
  • Pre-requisites :
  • Advance Preparation :


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About Presenter

Francine Griesing

Founder, Griesing Law, LLC

Francine Friedman Griesing is the founder of Griesing Law, LLC, is a full-service women-owned and operated law firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with satellite offices in Arizona, New, Jersey, New York, and Ohio. She is a strategic advisor to executives and general counsel at the country’s largest institutions with 40 years of experience representing clients in business transactions, commercial litigation, employment matters, and alternate dispute resolution. She serves as an arbitrator and mediator, primarily in employment and business disputes and has extensive experience conducting proceedings remotely.

Fran is a highly sought speaker and writer and has received recognition for her accomplishments as both an attorney and an entrepreneur. She was recognized by Francine Griesing was chosen by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a Lifetime Achiever for the Law (2018) and Diversity and Inclusion (2019). Fran was also shortlisted as Diversity & Inclusion Lawyer of the Year (2020) and the Firm was shortlisted as Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity & Inclusion by Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards North America (2020-2021). The Philadelphia Business Journal also recognized Fran as one of the region’s Most Admired CEOs for her protecting her team and managing the Firm during the pandemic. In addition, the Firm received the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s H. Robert Fiebach Award (2021), which recognizes Pennsylvania law firms that have implemented initiatives to help women attorneys advance their careers. Furthermore, the Firm was awarded by in-house counsel as the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms’ Law Firm MVP (2013) and as SmartCEO’s Philadelphia Law Firm of the Year (2014).

Fran is an honors graduate of Binghamton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is admitted to practice in Arizona, New York and Pennsylvania.

About Company

Griesing Law, LLC

Griesing Law is the preeminent team of diverse lawyers committed to personal attention with proven results. We aggressively advocate complex matters with integrity, purpose, and efficiency. Together, we care about our people, our clients and our communities.

Griesing Law, LLC is a full-service women-owned and operated law firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with satellite offices in Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. We are proudly certified as a woman-owned business by WBENC, enabling us to tackle opportunities specifically intended to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

In January 2010, during one of the roughest economic downturns across all sectors, we launched our firm with only a handful of clients out of an 800 square foot sublet space. Today, our original three-person team has grown into a team of 18, including 10 lawyers. We have grown from our initial client base to handling 1k+ matters for 500+ clients, including Fortune 500 companies, small and privately held businesses, nonprofits, government entities and individuals. Our clients come from a broad array of industries, including academia, arts and entertainment, chemical, communications, financial services, foodservice, government, hospitality, insurance, e-commerce, manufacturing, non-profits, pharmaceuticals, professional services, real estate, retail and technology. Our team is licensed to practice law in Arizona, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Our lawyers are AV rated and have experience working in house, serving in government and as senior lawyers at top Am Law 100 firms. We are highly sought speakers and respected authorities in our areas of expertise, frequently acknowledged by our peers and clients for top-notch service and results. Our team has received many accolades for professional achievement and civic leadership including: Best Lawyers, Chambers & Partners, Super Lawyers, Client Choice, Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business, Philadelphia Inquirer’s Influencers of Law Lifetime Achievement Award, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Best of the Bar, American Bar Association’s Excellence in Legal Writing Award, The Legal Intelligencer’s Lawyers on the Fast Track and many others. Our firm was also selected by in-house counsel as the 2013 Law Firm MVP by the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, by SmartCEO as the 2014 Philadelphia Law Firm of the Year and by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the 2017 Soaring 76 for being one of the fastest growing companies in the Greater Philadelphia area.


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Ratings and Review


10 Ratings



Very Good









Stephen Kirkland, CPA/CFF, CPA (US)

Apr 25th, 2022

This program is designed for attorneys but could be helpful to anyone who is involved in litigation as an expert witness.

Don’t Back Down: Ethical Strategies for Dealing with Bullying and Bias in Litigation


1 Credit

Subject Area

Ethics (Regulatory)