Gowen Group partner Chris Gowen won the 2013 Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment Award from American University. An adjunct professor for the University’s Washington College of Law for the past few years, Chris was recognized for his accomplishment at the school-wide Faculty Recognition Dinner on April 21, 2013. He teaches legal ethics and law practice management at the law school.
While most people associate lawyers with being inside courtrooms, there are many ways for lawyers to advocate for people outside of the traditional legal setting. The Gowen Group assisted a group of concerned citizens from Brentwood, MD to look into possible ethical improprieties among the members of the Town Council. Gowen Group Partner, Chris Gowen, himself a resident of Brentwood, recently submitted a memorandum on behalf of the concerned citizens to the Maryland State Ethics Commission, with positive results.
A recent article from a local Maryland newspaper, The Gazette, highlighted a lawsuit brought by The Gowen Group against the Town of Brentwood, Maryland and a former Brentwood councilwoman. The lawsuit was brought by citizens of the town who noticed that elected officials awarded $27,000 through a grant from Prince George’s County to a former council member, a clear violation of the town’s charter and ethics rules.
A common metaphor used in describing judges is that they are like umpires: they need to be impartial, are required to apply a body of rules to a situation, and they make decisions that are typically not of a black and white nature and will probably end up upsetting one of the two parties. Gowen Group partners Bill Phelan and Peter Silva can appreciate this metaphor more than most attorneys considering their litigation experience and the fact that they enjoy the unique opportunity of working together on the baseball diamond as umpires.