In Praise of Overzealous Representation - Lying to Judges, Deceiving Third Parties, and Other Ethical Conduct
Monroe H. Freedman
Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 34, 2006
Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-9
Three ethical rules are both clear and highly desirable - MR 3.3(a)(1), which forbids a lawyer to make a false statement of fact to a tribunal; MR 4.1(a), which forbids a lawyer to make a false statement of material fact to a third person; and MR 8.4(c), which proscribes conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Nevertheless, by considering the larger legal context of the lawyer's role, by understanding inconsistent ethical rules in the light of reason, and by applying insights of moral philosophy, this article concludes that there are circumstances in which a lawyer can ethically make a false statement of fact to a tribunal, can ethically make a false statement of material fact to a third person, and can ethically engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Zeal, Overzeal, Lying, Deceit, Equivocation, Mental Reservation
Date posted: April 12, 2006
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