Richard A. Zitrin is the Director of Center for Applied Legal Ethics at the University of San Francisco School of Law and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He is a partner in the San Francisco firm of Zitrin & Mastromonaco, LLP. Professor Zitrin has taught Legal Ethics at USF sine 1977 and at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, since 1994. His principal practice involves litigating legal malpractice claims on behalf of plaintiffs and advising attorneys on issues of legal ethics, attorney practice and malpractice avoidance. He has extensive experience as a trial lawyer, with approximately 50 cases tried to verdict, and also has extensive experience and training and as a mediator. He has co-authored general-audience book on lawyers and the American legal system, The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer (Ballantine, 1999), a textbook that emphasizes a practical approach to teaching ethics, Legal Ethics in the Practice of Law (2nd edition, LexisNexis, 2002), and a book comparing the rules of ethics, Legal Ethics Rules, Statues and Comparisons (LexisNexis, 2002).
Professor Zitrin has written approximately sixty articles on legal ethics, including an on-line column, "The Moral Compass", for American Lawyer Media, and articles for the national periodicals such as the ABA Professional Lawyer, The National Law Journal, Voir Dire, Trial, and Legal Times. He speaks frequently around the country to lawyers, judges, law students, bar groups, and other professional organizations on ethics, malpractice, and attorney practice issues. He is the principal of his own continuing education provider, The Ethics Group. Professor Zitrin served as legal technical advisor to the 1991 film Class Action, in which he had a speaking role opposite Gene Hackman as a "bad guy" lawyer. He is a member of several state, local, and ABA organizations that address legal ethics and legal services issues, and has served as chair of state and local committees relating to these issues. He served on the State Bar of California's Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct from 1990 to 1996, as Chair in 1994-95 and Special Advisor in 1995-96. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and New York University School of Law. He is admitted practice in California and New York.