Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1496988
 
 

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Role Differentiation and Lawyers’ Ethics: A Critique of Some Academic Perspectives [formerly titled: Moral Freaks: Lawyers’ Ethics in Academic Perspective]


William H. Simon


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

May 22, 2010

Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 2010
Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 09-215

Abstract:     
Much recent academic discussion exaggerates the distance between plausible legal ethics and ordinary morality. This essay criticizes three prominent strands of discussion: one drawing on the moral philosophy of personal virtue, one drawing on legal philosophy, and a third drawing on utilitarianism of the law-and-economics variety. The discussion uses as a central reference point the “Mistake-of-Law” scenario in which a lawyer must decide whether to rescue an opposing party from the unjust consequences of his own lawyer’s error. I argue that academic efforts to shore up the professional inclination against rescue are not plausible. I conclude by recommending an older jurisprudential tradition in which legal ethics is more convergent with ordinary morality.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

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Date posted: October 31, 2009 ; Last revised: May 27, 2010

Suggested Citation

Simon, William H., Role Differentiation and Lawyers’ Ethics: A Critique of Some Academic Perspectives [formerly titled: Moral Freaks: Lawyers’ Ethics in Academic Perspective] (May 22, 2010). Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 2010; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 09-215. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1496988

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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