May 11, 2006
Vol. 25 No. 16

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    White House counsel Painter to speak today

    By Rob McManamy
    News Office

    Richard Painter

    This spring, as compelling questions of ethics and corruption continue to swirl in and out of courtrooms from Houston and San Diego to Chicago and Washington, D.C., the Law School welcomes Associate White House Counsel Richard Painter, a renowned expert in professional responsibility.

    Painter will present the 2006 Maurice and Muriel Fulton Lecture in Legal History at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 11, in the Weymouth Kirkland Courtroom at the Law School. A reception will follow Painter’s talk, which is titled “Ethics and Corruption in Business and Government: Interdependence and Adverse Consequences.”

    Now a Special Assistant to the President, Painter serves as the White House’s chief ethics counsel. Last November, in fact, he taught the much-publicized ethics “refresher” courses that President Bush required all White House employees to take after leaks of classified information had led to revelations about a domestic government wire-tapping program.

    Teaching is second nature to Painter, who took leave last year from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he had been a member of the faculty since 1996. Just prior to joining the White House, he also was chairman of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Professional Responsibility. Painter’s written works include the 2001 legal ethics casebook, Professional and Personal Responsibilities of the Lawyer, which he co-authored with U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Noonan Jr.

    A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Painter worked in private practice for six years after graduating law school. In the fall of 1993, he began teaching at the University of Oregon School of Law. Since then, he has continued to focus on corporate governance and market regulation law.

    In the wake of Enron’s historic corporate collapse, Painter provided invited testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, on the role of attorneys in corporate governance. Behind the scenes, he also helped Congress draft a key provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, requiring the Securities & Exchange Commission to issue rules of professional responsibility for securities lawyers. Those new rules were largely based on earlier proposals that Painter had made in several law review articles.

    No stranger to Hyde Park, Painter has frequently visited the Law School and written for the Law Review. In 2001, he participated in a University symposium on the history of legal ethics, and presented a paper on the work and temperament of the legendary U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. A year later, Painter returned to take part in the conference titled, “Rethinking the Economic Structure of Corporate Law.”

    For more information on Painter’s lecture, contact Marsha Nagorsky at m-ferzige@uchicago.edu. Those who need special assistance may contact Lucienne Goodman, Director of Events and Conferences for the Law School, at (773) 702-0877.