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Agency And Equity: Why Do We Blame Clients For Their Lawyers' Mistakes, Adam Liptak
Michigan Law Review
If you were to ask a child whether it would be fair to execute a prisoner because his lawyer had made a mistake, the answer would be no. You might even get a look suggesting that you had asked a pretty stupid question. But judges treat the issue as a hard one, relying on a theory as casually accepted in criminal justice as it is offensive to principles of moral philosophy. This theory holds that the lawyer is the client's agent. What the agent does binds the principal. But clients and lawyers fit the agency model imperfectly. Agency law ...