Ethical Intersections & the Federal Tort Claims Act: An Approach for Government Attorneys

29 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2012  

Paul Figley

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This article suggests an ethical approach for government attorneys to follow when making decisions in the special context of the Federal Tort Claims Act. It reviews the history and purpose of the FTCA, the Judgment Fund, and the Westfall Act. It examines the swirl of competing interests that arise from the structure of the FTCA, the many defenses it provides, the deep pocket it grants successful claimants, the complete immunity it grants some tortfeasors, and the methods Congress chose for paying its settlements and judgments. It touches on the ethical obligations of government attorneys. It suggests that government attorneys responsible for administering the FTCA should affirmatively help claims enter the FTCA’s adjudicatory system and then treat each claim equally by raising every reasonable defense in every case.

Keywords: Federal Tort Claims Act, legal ethics

Suggested Citation

Figley, Paul, Ethical Intersections & the Federal Tort Claims Act: An Approach for Government Attorneys (2011). 8 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 347 (2011); American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2012-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2099760

Paul Figley (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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