Helping a Client Violate Jewish Law
Steven H. Resnicoff
DePaul University College of Law
Jewish Law Association Studies X: The Jerusalem 1998 Conference
Often a client desires to accomplish an objective that contradicts Jewish law. For example, he may want to collect money to which, under Jewish law, he is not entitled. This chapter comprehensively explores whether, as a matter of Jewish law, a Jewish attorney is permitted to represent such a client. If the client would not have succeeded but for the assistance of this particular attorney, the chapter asks whether the attorney has violated the biblical prohibition against enabling another to transgress Jewish law. Second, even if the client would have prevailed without the help of this particular attorney, the chapter examines whether the attorney has nonetheless violated a biblical, or at least a rabbinic, injunction. Finally, the chapter asks a separate question, one largely, if not entirely, ignored by prior writers, namely, whether, depending on what the attorney may have said to the client in the course of the representation, the attorney may have violated a distinct prohibition against merely encouraging someone to violate Jewish law.
This chapter is probably the most extensive treatment in English of the relevant issues, and it provides copious citations to Talmudic and post-Talmudic sources.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Attorney, lawyer, lihafrish meissura, lihokhiah, kiddoshim tihiyu, novel birishut haTorah, hezek, lo taamod, oy lirosho, hillul HaShem, Shulhan Arukh, shoggegim, Jewish, Judaism, Jewish law, commandment, secular court, issur arkhaot, issur gezel, responsum, responsa, mummar, arevut, posek, poskim
JEL Classification: K10, K11, K12, K19, K30, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 3, 2008
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