Taking Ownership of Legal Outcomes: An Argument Against Dissociation Paradigm and Analytical Gaming
Washburn University - School of Law
August 10, 2010
St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2011
This article argues that professional responsibilities arise within the connectionist web of laws, ethics, and personal conscience. Lawyers, judges, and law professors must not renounce personal responsibility in providing professional services. Willful reasoning derived from personal conscience alone, however, cannot be the driver of legitimate reasoning. Legal professionals must pursue cognitive coherence by connecting personal responsibility with the knowledge of laws and ethics. Lawyers must not accept the dissociation paradigm that forces them to game the system or surrender personal responsibility in serving clients. Judges must not accept the dissociation paradigm that forces them to game legal reasoning or serve as conscience-free enforcers of laws. If legal reasoning derived from binding legal sources yields multiple solutions to a legal problem, judges must choose the solution most compatible with their conscience. Of all legal professionals, law professors are in the most privileged position to teach and write in the connectionist domain of laws, ethics, and personal conscience. A legal profession, which values legal professionals as fully integrated human beings rather than mere service-providers separated from their inner values, cannot owe rigid adherence to the dissociation paradigm.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 66
Keywords: reasoning, responsibility, judges, dissociation paradigm, analytical gaming, ownership principleAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 10, 2010 ; Last revised: November 3, 2011
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