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
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
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