Misbehaving Lawyers: Cross-Country Comparisons

Misbehaving Lawyers: Cross-Country Comparisons, Published by Legal Ethics, 2012

25 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2013 Last revised: 29 Mar 2014

See all articles by Leslie C. Levin

Leslie C. Levin

University of Connecticut School of Law

Date Written: January 31, 2013


Lawyer misbehaviour occurs in every country and regulators often struggle to address it effectively. This article looks at six case studies of disciplined lawyers in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It notes the similarities in the cases and to disciplined lawyers previously described in case studies in the United States. In particular, these case studies involved male lawyers predominantly working in solo or small firms who were insufficiently exposed to positive professional values early in practice. They were willing to lie to achieve their goals and were motivated, at least in part, by money. The article considers how the love of money, the behavioural disposition known as Machiavellianism, and the need to maintain self-esteem may have affected the lawyers’ conduct. It also discusses the need to deal more effectively with recidivists, like the lawyers in these case studies, and identifies some possible regulatory responses to recidivism.

Keywords: lawyers, legal profession, regulation

Suggested Citation

Levin, Leslie C., Misbehaving Lawyers: Cross-Country Comparisons (January 31, 2013). Misbehaving Lawyers: Cross-Country Comparisons, Published by Legal Ethics, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2209884 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2209884

Leslie C. Levin (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
860-570-5207 (Phone)

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