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Professional Ethics

University of San Diego

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Legal Profession

Lawyers As Gatekeepers, Fred C. Zacharias Sep 2004

Lawyers As Gatekeepers, Fred C. Zacharias

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Three recent legislative and regulatory initiatives -- the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the 2003 amendments to Model Rules 1.6 and 1.13, and the Gatekeeper Initiative – all seek to enlist the assistance of lawyers in thwarting crime. Outraged opponents have relied on flamboyant rhetoric. They challenge the notion that lawyers should act as gatekeepers – which some of the opponents deem equivalent to operating like the “secret police in Eastern European countries.” This article makes a simple, and ultimately uncontroversial, point. Lawyers are gatekeepers, and always have been. Whatever one’s position on the merits of the specific reforms currently being proposed, it ...


Understanding Recent Trends In Federal Regulation Of Lawyers, Fred C. Zacharias Sep 2004

Understanding Recent Trends In Federal Regulation Of Lawyers, Fred C. Zacharias

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Federal lawmakers increasingly have taken actions that contradict, interfere with, or preempt state regulation of lawyers. Most of the commentary regarding the recent federal actions has focused on whether individual regulations are substantively justified. It is, however, worth considering more broadly whether and how the phenomenon of increasing federal regulation is symptomatic of changing views of appropriate professional regulation. This article considers a series of theoretical analyses of the increasing federal regulation -- themes and trends that the increasing regulation might represent or epitomize. Whenever the bar or other commentators criticize developments in professional regulation, it is important to place their ...


Prosecutorial Neutrality, Fred C. Zacharias, Bruce A. Green Sep 2004

Prosecutorial Neutrality, Fred C. Zacharias, Bruce A. Green

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This Article examines the ideal of prosecutorial neutrality in an effort to determine its value as a measure of prosecutorial conduct. Commentators often have assumed that prosecutors should be “neutral” in making discretionary decisions or have criticized prosecutors for decisions that purportedly demonstrate a lack of neutrality. The notion of prosecutorial neutrality recalls the traditional conception of prosecutors as “quasi-judicial” officers and emphasizes the distinction between prosecutors and lawyers for private parties. But the specific meaning attributed to prosecutorial neutrality has varied depending on the context. The term refers to diverse, and potentially inconsistent, views of appropriate prosecutorial conduct. The ...


The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith Sep 2004

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

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 ...