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Lawyers And Biblical Prophets, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 2003

Lawyers And Biblical Prophets, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

This is part of a broader exploration of the suggestion that the biblical prophets-Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Nathan, and the others-are sources of ethical reflection and moral example for modern American lawyers. The suggestion appears to be unusual; I am not sure why.

The Prophets were, more than anything else, lawyers-as their successors, the Rabbis of the Talmud, were. They were neither teachers nor bureaucrats, not elected officials or priests or preachers. And the comparison is not an ancient curiosity:

Much of what admirable lawyer-heroes have done in modern America has been prophetic in the biblical sense-that is, what they …


Lawyers As Prophets, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 2003

Lawyers As Prophets, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

Legal ethics is about injustice. My effort here is part of the broad, modern academic enterprise, and of the broad, modern professional enterprise now usually called professional responsibility. Both date from the Watergate scandal in the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, and the rejection, by legal academics and practicing lawyers, of the behavior of the President and other lawyers in that affair. Our modern enterprise, like the biblical Exodus, was born in outrage at the abuse of legal power.

In university law schools such as this one, legal ethics is now a discipline characterized by schools of thought on …


Wrongful Conviction, Lawyer Incompetence And English Law - Some Recent Themes, Geoffrey Bennett Jan 2003

Wrongful Conviction, Lawyer Incompetence And English Law - Some Recent Themes, Geoffrey Bennett

Journal Articles

Viewed from a distance the outward appearances of the English Legal System might look reassuringly stable. In fact, nothing could be further from the case. During the last ten years almost every facet of the system, even the constitutional order, has been radically overhauled, or at least significantly modified. The whole system of civil procedure has been recast, after over a hundred years of relatively little major modification, in an attempt to simplify and expedite proceedings with a new emphasis on judicial case management. Perhaps most important of all, the Human Rights Act 1998, which has been effective from October …


Symposium: Client Counseling And Moral Responsibility, Thomas L. Shaffer, Deborah L. Rhode, Paul R. Tremblay, Robert F. Cochran Jan 2003

Symposium: Client Counseling And Moral Responsibility, Thomas L. Shaffer, Deborah L. Rhode, Paul R. Tremblay, Robert F. Cochran

Journal Articles

One of the most important challenges to lawyers and clients is addressing issues that are not controlled by law. Will the client take steps (legal steps) that will harm other people? Will the officers of a corporation consider the effects of its actions on workers, on consumers, on the community, on the environment? In a divorce, will the client take actions that will harm a child or spouse? What role should the lawyer play regarding these questions? The way lawyers address such issues may do more to determine whether their practice is socially useful or socially harmful than any rule …


The Biblical Prophets As Lawyers For The Poor, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 2003

The Biblical Prophets As Lawyers For The Poor, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

Lawyers practicing poverty law often lack mentors and role models. This author discusses how biblical figures, who served poor people, could be mentors and role models for lawyers practicing poverty law. Prophets, and particularly prophets-as-lawyers, redefine power relationships. Shaffer discusses his personal journey through out his career in using religious guidance to help him better understand his career. He also discuss his teachings to his law students of the value of learning from prophets in their legal careers.