Ethics and the Law of Contract Juxtaposed: A Jaundiced View of Professional Responsibility Considerations in the Attorney-Client Relationship
56 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2016 Last revised: 9 Feb 2016
Date Written: 1991
In their professional dealings, attorneys perform a wide variety of societal roles. Whether acting as counselor, mediator, litigator, negotiator, or fiduciary and guardian of their clients' interests, attorneys are set on a pedestal, apart from all other professionals. They are subject to distinctive guidelines and rules, not only with respect to representing their clients' interests, but often with regard to separate or tangentially related commercial transactions with those clients. Usually these guidelines and rules are far more restrictive than those to which other professions or even other kinds of fiduciaries are subject. This article explores the professional responsibility required of attorneys in their commercial relations as compared with the professional expectations demanded of other professions and fiduciaries. We find that the expectations for attorneys are continually said to be much higher than for other professionals, and we question whether those expectations are warranted.
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