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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

If there is any single theme that has provided the foundation of modern liberalism and has infused our more specific constitutional commitments to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, that theme is probably “freedom of conscience.” But some observers also perceive a progressive cheapening of conscience– even a sort of degradation. Such criticisms suggest the need for a contemporary rethinking of conscience. When we reverently invoke “conscience,” do we have any idea what we are talking about? Or are we just exploiting a venerable theme for rhetorical purposes without any clear sense of what “conscience” is or why it ...


Advocacy Revalued, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., Dana A. Remus Jan 2011

Advocacy Revalued, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., Dana A. Remus

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A central and ongoing debate among legal ethics scholars addresses the moral positioning of adversarial advocacy. Most participants in this debate focus on the structure of our legal system and the constituent role of the lawyer-advocate. Many are highly critical, arguing that the core structure of adversarial advocacy is the root cause of many instances of lawyer misconduct. In this Article, we argue that these scholars’ focuses are misguided. Through reflection on Aristotle’s treatise, Rhetoric, we defend advocacy in our legal system’s litigation process as ethically positive and as pivotal to fair and effective dispute resolution. We recognize ...