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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Selected Works

R. Michael Cassidy

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Character And Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty To "Seek Justice.", R. Michael Cassidy Oct 2011

Character And Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty To "Seek Justice.", R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

A critical issue facing the criminal justice system today is how best to promote ethical behavior by public prosecutors. The legal profession has left much of a prosecutor’s day-to-day activity unregulated, in favor of a general, catch-all admonition to “seek justice.” In this article the author argues that professional norms are truly functional only if those working with a given ethical framework recognize the system’s implicit dependence on character. A code of professional conduct in which this dependence is not recognized is both contentless and corrupting. Building on the ethics of Aristotle and modern philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre and Bernard Williams, …