Mary Mancusi wins 2022 Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition | News | The Law School


Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Ethics, Compliance & Inclusion has announced that rising third-year student Marilyn “Mary” Mancusi is the winner of the 2022 Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition.

Mancusi’s paper, “Attorneys, E-Discovery, and the Case for 37(g),” addresses the concern that federal courts do not have a reliable and uniform system that allows them to impose sanctions on attorneys who violate e-discovery obligations.

Addressing the fact that much more evidence and information is now found through various electronic forms, and that attorneys play such a major role in the discovery process, Mancusi’s paper proposes a new rule be added to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule defines a uniform, reliable system for federal courts to impose sanctions on attorneys who participate in e-discovery misconduct. 

Her paper also discusses the rise of e-discovery as digital technology became more prevalent, the ethical and common-law expectations that attorneys currently have in e-discovery, and the ways that federal courts have previously sanctioned attorneys for their role in e-discovery abuse.

Professor Veronica Root Martinez, director of the Law School’s Program on Ethics, Compliance & Inclusion, said, “Mary’s submission stood out for its timely topic, analytical rigor, and reasoned proposal. I am so happy we were able to honor her for her exceptional work.”

Mancusi is a member of the Notre Dame Law Review and will be the managing print editor this fall. She is a member of the Christian Legal Society, where she served as the organization’s president last year. She is also active in the Student Bar Association and is the SBA’s incoming vice president. During the past academic year, she was a research assistant for Professor Lloyd Mayer and a teaching assistant for Professor Samuel Bray’s Civil Procedure class. After graduation, she will clerk for Judge John Kness of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Mancusi is the recipient of the Peter A.R. Lardy Scholarship Award for the 2022-23 academic year.

The Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition is an annual contest, first started in 1997, that looks for the best papers on legal ethics among U.S. and Canadian law students. Selections are made through a “blind” review process and winners receive a cash prize.

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