The Evolving Complexity of Dispute Resolution Ethics

27 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2017

See all articles by Carrie Menkel-Meadow

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: September 28, 2017


This Essay argues that conventional conceptions of the lawyer’s role as an advocate for a client with the purpose of maximizing client gain have resulted in a code of ethics and body of law that enshrines adversarial ethics as a normative matter. Adversarial ethics are inadequate for many lawyer roles, including those of mediator, arbitrator, advisor, and facilitator, and they distort the other roles lawyers might play when they conduct themselves as problem-solving professionals. This Essay reviews the developments (and lack of appropriate developments) in the evolving ethical issues presented by these other lawyers’ roles and suggests that trans-substantive adversarial assumptions in lawyers’ work should be reconsidered, with more context-based ethical principles and practices.

Suggested Citation

Menkel-Meadow, Carrie J., The Evolving Complexity of Dispute Resolution Ethics (September 28, 2017). Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2017, Available at SSRN:

Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-1987 (Phone)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9379 (Phone)
202-662-9412 (Fax)

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