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St. Mary's University

Journal

Legal Profession

American Bar

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Ethics And The “Root Of All Evil” In Nineteenth Century American Law Practice, Michael Hoeflich Oct 2017

Ethics And The “Root Of All Evil” In Nineteenth Century American Law Practice, Michael Hoeflich

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article discusses the bifurcated notions on the purpose of working as an attorney—whether the purpose is to attain wealth or whether the work in and of itself is the purpose. This Article explores the sentiments held by distinguished and influential nineteenth-century lawyers—particularly David Hoffman and George Sharswood—regarding the legal ethics surrounding attorney’s fees and how money in general is the root of many ethical dilemmas within the arena of legal practice. Through the texts of Hoffman and Sharswood, we find the origins of the ethical rules all American attorneys are subject to in their various jurisdictions.