Advocacy Revalued

31 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2012

See all articles by Geoffrey C. Hazard

Geoffrey C. Hazard

University of Pennsylvania

Dana Remus

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: November 30, 2009


A central and ongoing debate among legal ethics scholars addresses the moral positioning of adversarial advocacy. Most participants in this debate focus on the structure of our legal system and the constituent role of the lawyer-advocate. Many are highly critical, arguing that the core structure of adversarial advocacy is the root cause of many instances of lawyer misconduct. In this Article, we argue that these scholars’ focuses are misguided. Through reflection on Aristotle’s treatise, Rhetoric, we defend advocacy in our legal system’s litigation process as ethically positive and as pivotal to fair and effective dispute resolution. We recognize that advocacy can, and sometimes does, involve improper and unethical use of adversarial techniques, but we demonstrate that these are problems of practice and not of structure and should be addressed as such.

Suggested Citation

Hazard, Geoffrey C. and Remus, Dana, Advocacy Revalued (November 30, 2009). University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 159, No. 751, 2011, Available at SSRN:

Geoffrey C. Hazard

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Dana Remus (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

160 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

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