(Oxymoron?) Ethical Decision-Making by Attorneys: An Empirical Study
66 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2014
Date Written: 1996
Many commentators believe there is a professionalism "crisis" in the legal profession today which is evidenced by a perceived decline in ethical and civil behavior by attorneys.' Those commentators claim that there is a marked increase in discourteous, uncivil, "Rambo"-like behavior among lawyers. The existence of this crisis is not entirely un-controverted? However, little empirical research has been conducted to determine whether attorneys are indeed behaving less ethically than they were in the past or whether they are actually exhibiting an inappropriate level of unethical conduct now. Instead, empirical research to date has focused on the moral and ethical decision making styles of attorneys. Moreover, the results of these studies often have been inconsistent. Some studies find that the moral development of attorneys differs from that of the general population, while other studies find few significant differences.
Keywords: lawyers, attorneys, ethics
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