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Journal Articles

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

1997

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

On Living One Way In Town And Another Way At Home, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1997

On Living One Way In Town And Another Way At Home, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

The title of this Lecture is from Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The occasion for the proposition is when the smalltown southern gentleman-lawyer Atticus Finch is given an opportunity to lie to protect his son from harm. He refuses. He says that the most important thing he has for his son is not protection but integrity. He says, "I can't live one way in town and another way in my home. "

The separation of town from home is an old one in the history of lawyers in America. When you trace the nineteenth-century development of legal ethics, …


Is This Appropriate?, Thomas L. Shaffer, Julia B. Meister Jan 1997

Is This Appropriate?, Thomas L. Shaffer, Julia B. Meister

Journal Articles

The word "appropriate" is so wildly overused in American culture that, as with other vacuous words and phrases, a person learns to read right through it. "Appropriate" is verbal tofu. This Essay pauses instead of reading through, particularly to notice the instances in which "appropriate" and its negative counterpart are used to give the appearance of a moral or legal judgment.

"Appropriate," chosen to express a legal judgment, is not only vacuous; it is also irresponsible. It catches the legislator, judge, or administrator in the act of passing the buck, as the President did when he ordered the Justice Department …