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January 9th Meeting: "Business Ethics vs. Engineering Ethics: Conflicts of Interest, and Unlicensed & Unauthorized Practice"

posted Dec 29, 2017, 3:29 AM by robert miller   [ updated Dec 29, 2017, 3:42 AM ]
Presented by Troy S. Brown, Esq.
Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**
This presentation meets Cat B continuing ed requirements for the State of Maryland

Topic Description:
The concept of “business ethics,” as economist Milton Friedman summarizes, is “generally … to make as much money as possible while conforming to their basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.” Conversely, the concept “professional ethics” are often established by professional organizations to help guide members in performing their job functions according to sound and consistent principles, adopted by that professional community. Being caught between the proverbial Scylla of business ethics and the Charybdis of professional ethics can be difficult for engineering professionals to navigate. Many potential problems can arise for those aspiring endeavoring to build a lucrative business, especially one involving professional services that may be considered quasi-engineering, in nature. 

This presentation focuses on the interaction and tensions between professional ethics and business ethics, namely business conflicts of interest, unlicensed practice, and unauthorized practice. These issues necessitate resolving essential questions; the failure to properly navigate the interstices of business and professional ethics could result in reprimand, suspension, fines, revocation of one’s professional license, ruinous liability or the inability to compete, and, in the case of engineering disaster, even death. Many questions arise while balancing between these often opposing ethical poles. For example, what concerns should an engineer consider before being engaged to perform similar services for rival businesses? For a businessperson providing quasi-engineering services, should it matter, from an ethical perspective, if unlicensed an “engineer” provides engineering services? Similarly, should there by any ethical issues if an engineer licensed in one state extends her business into another state without obtaining proper authorization? 
From one perspective, we as a society want to protect the justified and reasonable endeavors of qualified professionals. One the other hand, society has an interest in ensuring minimum safety requirements for services provided by engineers. Sometimes these tensions can be harmonized, but as the provision of services becomes a matter of interstate commerce, these tensions become rather difficult to resolve. These issues, while not exhaustive of their type, represent three of the more ubiquitous and challenging for the 21st century professional/businessperson. The presentation will use several scenarios to illustrate the tensions between the contrasting concepts of professional ethics and business ethics to facilitate discussion.

Speaker Bio:
Troy S. Brown is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Brown graduated summa cum laude from Morgan State University in 1999, where he earned a B.A. in political science. Mr. Brown earned his J.D. in 2003 from Harvard Law School, and his masters in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Mr. Brown is a practicing attorney and currently works with the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was an associate professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law and a visiting professor at Vytautas Magnus University Law School, where he taught Professional Responsibility and Conflict of Laws. Mr. Brown was also an associate at McGuireWoods, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia where he practiced intellectual property and complex commercial litigation and represented franchisors, Fortune 500 companies, and major financial institutions in a broad range of litigation matters. He is a member of several professional legal groups including the American Bar Association and the Gate City Bar American.
Mr. Brown's research interests lie in governmental responses to crises, law and policy, and law and economics. 

Evening Schedule:
Event Date: Tuesday, January 9th 
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Registration/Deli Buffet/Open Bar
7:00 – 8:00 PM: SEI Announcements and Presentation
8:00 – 8:15 PM: Q&A and Closing Remarks

Cost for this Event:
SEI-MD Member from Sponsored firm = $25
Non-member from sponsored firm = $30
Dues Paying SEI-MD Member from non-sponsored firm = $40
Non-member from non-sponsored firm = $45
Full-Time Students = FREE
Event Location:
The Engineers Society Of Baltimore (ESB)
Garrett-Jacobs Mansion
11 West Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Nearby Parking: 
601 N Calvert St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Event Details:
(1) PDH awarded with attendance.
RSVP via Web Link to Sign-up Form 
Reservations will be considered firm and billed unless cancelled by no later than Friday noon prior to event.
Billing for late canceled reservations will be billed at the highest rate.
Checks or cash payable at the door. Checks payable to: “ASCE Maryland Section”.  Add a note indicating “SEI Meeting” in the memo spot on the check.
Credit card payment also available via PayPal.
ESB Dress Code: Jacket required, Tie optional.
robert miller,
Dec 29, 2017, 3:33 AM