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The Market for Bad Legal Advice: Academic Professional Responsibility Consulting as an Example


William H. Simon


Columbia University - Law School; Stanford University - Stanford Law School

December 18, 2007

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 07-158
Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 1025984

Abstract:     
Clients demand bad legal advice when legal advice can favorably influence third-party conduct or attitudes even when it is wrong. Lawyers supply bad legal advice most readily when they are substantially immunized from accountability to the people it is intended to influence. Both demand and supply conditions for a flourishing market are in place in several quarters of the legal system. The resulting practices, however, are in tension with basic professional and academic values. I demonstrate these tensions through critiques of the work of academic professional responsibility consultants in such matters as Enron, Lincoln Savings & Loan, and a heretofore undiscussed aggregate litigation settlement. I also suggest reforms to reduce the incentives and pressures for bad advice that now prevail.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

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Date posted: November 1, 2007 ; Last revised: December 23, 2007

Suggested Citation

Simon, William H., The Market for Bad Legal Advice: Academic Professional Responsibility Consulting as an Example (December 18, 2007). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 07-158; Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 1025984. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1025984 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1025984

Contact Information

William H. Simon (Contact Author)
Columbia University - Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
Jerome Greene Hall, Mailbox A-18
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-9215 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
(650) 723-4605 (Phone)
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