Promoting Public Protection Through an 'Attorney Integrity' System: Lessons from the Australian Experience with Proactive Regulation of Lawyers

The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2015

12 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2017

Date Written: January 26, 2017

Abstract

This essay uses the Australian proactive approach to regulating attorneys as a springboard to discussing the role of proactive regulation of lawyers in advancing public protection. The essay provides information on the genesis and implementation of “proactive management-based regulation, the system in Australia. The essay reviews key research findings from empirical studies on the impact of the new system on complaints registered against lawyers and the conduct of lawyers in firms. The essay suggests possibilities for using management-based principles to improve lawyer regulation and conduct in the United States and other jurisdictions. The author concludes with a challenge for regulators and regulated persons to transform the heavy reliance on a “disciplinary” approach that largely swoops in after alleged misconduct to an “integrity” system in which lawyers and regulators work in partnership to raise the ethical bar in the interest of public protection.

Keywords: Proactive regulation, lawyers, attorney, ethics, United States, Australia, professional responsibility, conduct, complaints, public protection, empirical studies, firm, disciplinary, management based, proactive, integrity, misconduct, regulator

Suggested Citation

Fortney, Susan Saab, Promoting Public Protection Through an 'Attorney Integrity' System: Lessons from the Australian Experience with Proactive Regulation of Lawyers (January 26, 2017). The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906525

Susan Saab Fortney (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States
817-212-3902 (Phone)

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