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Washington, DC

Keith R. Fisher

Distinguished Fellow of The National Judicial College
Legal Opinions & Ethics


Keith R. Fisher

An honors graduate of Princeton University and Georgetown University Law Center, Keith Fisher joined the National Center for State Courts in 2015 as Principal Consultant and Senior Counsel for Domestic and International Court Initiatives.  He is an experienced lawyer and law professor and is a nationally known expert on domestic and international financial services regulation and legal and judicial ethics.  Recent speaking engagements on domestic and international  ethics issues include the Center for Judicial Ethics National Judicial College, the International Conference on Court Excellence in Singapore, the Professional Responsibility Training Session for Immigration Judges, an American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Symposium on Improving the Greek Court System, the Magistrature de Quebec’s Colloque soulignant les 40 ans du Conseil de la magistrature, the U.N.’s Global Judicial Integrity Network conference on social media in Vienna, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s conference on judicial ethics and social media..  He also serves on the Board of Editors for UNESCO publications on judicial bioethics.

Keith has been a member of the A.B.A. Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and recently completed a three-year term as chair of the Business Law Section’s Professional Responsibility Committee.  He was the principal drafter of the A.B.A.’s amicus curiae briefs (at both the certiorari and merits stages) to the U.S. Supreme Court in Caperton v. Massey Coal Co. (dealing with the due process ramifications of a judge’s refusal to recuse).

Keith has considerable experience in large law firm practice where, among other things, he worked on Supreme Court and other appellate matters with E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. and (now Chief Justice) John Roberts.  While a full-time professor of law, he taught ethics, constitutional law, contracts, and virtually all courses in the domestic and international banking, commercial, and business law curriculum.  His published scholarship has appeared in a wide variety of law reviews and anthologies, and some of his articles have won prizes or honoraria or been cited in judicial opinions.  He is currently the author of the LEXIS-Nexis Matthew Bender Banking Law Manual, updated semiannually.  

Keith also has a degree in music theory and composition and studied as a child at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.  He studied composition with Roger Sessions Edward T. Cone, and Milton Babbitt, among others.  Keith had a leading role in the Franco-Swiss docudrama Cleveland vs. Wall Street, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.  He enjoys racquet sports, is an avid chess and bridge player, and has a love of learning about foreign languages and cultures.  He speaks French, Italian, German, Spanish, Greek, and a smattering of Japanese.

Sample Publications:

Banking Law Manual (Lexis-Nexis/Matthew Bender (2015 – ).

Legal Process Outsourcing and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 34 Comp. L. Yearbook Int’l Bus. 507 (2013).

Selva oscura: Campaign Support, Judicial Disqualification, and Due Process, 48 Duq. L. Rev. 767 (2010)  – commissioned by the Duquesne Law Review for a symposium on judicial independence. 

Education for Judicial Aspirants, 43 Akron L. Rev. 163 (2009). 

Repudiating the Holmesian “Bad Man” Through Contextual Ethical Reasoning, 2008 J. Prof. Law. 13 (2008), available at  

– commissioned by the A.B.A. Center for Professional Responsibility for inclusion in a symposium in 2008 celebrating the centennial anniversary of the adoption of the Canons of Professional Ethics.  Commissioned papers, which were selected from among many competing submissions, received an honorarium and were published in the centennial issue of The Journal of the Professional Lawyer.

Toward a Basal Tenth Amendment: A Riposte to National Bank Preemption of State Consumer Protection Laws, 29 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 981 (2006) 

– selected by the judges as a winner in the 2005 Peterson Prize National Writing Competition, sponsored by the Willamette University Center for Law and Government and the Willamette University College of Law, from among competing submissions by law professors as well as professors of political science, history, and related disciplines, and given a substantial monetary award.

– cited in The Clearing House Association, L.L.C. v. Cuomo, 510 F.3d 105 (2d Cir. 2007).

Transnational Competition Law and the WTO, in 2 Business Law & Technology: Present and Emerging Trends 273 (Sylvia Mercado Kierkegaard ed., 2006).

The Higher Calling: Regulation of Lawyers Post-Enron, 37 Univ. of  Mich. J. L. Reform 1017 (2004). 


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