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Journal Articles

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Morality

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Full-Text Articles in Law

What Is The Government's Role In Promoting Morals - Seriously, G. Marcus Cole Jan 2008

What Is The Government's Role In Promoting Morals - Seriously, G. Marcus Cole

Journal Articles

In thinking about the government's proper role in promoting morals, it is helpful first to understand the nature of the disagreement. Part I of this Essay examines what is commonly meant by-as the great Lon Fuller described it-the "morality of law."' Following Professor Fuller's framework, this Essay distinguishes between two very different moralities of law: the "morality of duty" and the "morality of aspiration." The morality of duty consists of the basic proscriptions-against murder or theft, for example-required by any governmental authority. The morality of aspiration, however, is a different matter altogether. It comprises the rules associated with promoting virtue. …


"Technical" Defenses: Ethics, Morals, And The Lawyer As Friend, Thomas L. Shaffer, Robert F. Cochran Jr. Jan 2007

"Technical" Defenses: Ethics, Morals, And The Lawyer As Friend, Thomas L. Shaffer, Robert F. Cochran Jr.

Journal Articles

This essay examines the question of lawyer-client counseling on the issue of raising "technical" defenses, such as statutes of limitations. The authors challenge the prevailing notion of American lawyers that technical defenses raise no moral issue worthy of dialogue between lawyers and clients. Looking at the history of legal ethics and modern treatment in European law, they suggest that questions of limitations do raise moral issues. They go on to explore how those moral issues ought to be discussed and decided between lawyers and clients, using the framework of lawyers as godfathers, hired guns, gurus, and friends that they laid …


Forming An Agenda - Ethics And Legal Ethics, Robert E. Rodes Jan 2002

Forming An Agenda - Ethics And Legal Ethics, Robert E. Rodes

Journal Articles

The law profession is unique in the scope of the mandate it gives those within it to intervene in other people's affairs. As a result of this unique power of intervention, lawyers encounter a number of unique problems. This paper elucidates upon, and applies, the moral standards and intuitions to be used in approaching these problems. It argues that we should form our consciences in dialogue with our clients and that once they are formed we must follow them and limit our representation accordingly. If lawyer and client cannot agree on an agenda with which both are comfortable, the lawyer …


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, …


Less Suffering When You're Warned: A Response To Professor Lewis, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1989

Less Suffering When You're Warned: A Response To Professor Lewis, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

Professor Lewis' comment is a lucid brief for warning clients that their lawyers have moral limits. It begins with a generous description of the discussion Professor Freedman and I had on the subject of moral limits. I am able, as a result, to summarize the exchanges quickly: Professor Freedman's original proposition, in these pages, was that once the lawyer-client relationship is in place, it is immoral for the lawyer to refuse to seek the client's legal objectives; it is immoral for the lawyer to invoke her own conscience to prevent the client from obtaining what the law allows the client …


The Profession As A Moral Teacher, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1986

The Profession As A Moral Teacher, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

Professional ethics is commonly understood as the standards listed in codes. But ethical codes that are removed from one’s character and the practice of the profession are corrupting. Rather, ethics are properly taught through the profession as a moral teacher. This Article argues that professional stories that instruct on real life experiences and one’s character better educate lawyers and doctors on ethical standards. Sound ethical codes in the profession are those which depend on character.


The Legal Ethics Of The Two Kingdoms, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1983

The Legal Ethics Of The Two Kingdoms, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

The question I propose to address while I am with you is this: Is there a special morality for professional life? In terms of convention and argot, the answer to that question would appear to be: Yes, there is a separate morality for the professional lives of lawyers and judges. We do not follow the same morals in public and professional life as we follow in personal life.


Natural Law And The "Is"-"Ought" Question: An Invitation To Professor Veatch, John M. Finnis Jan 1982

Natural Law And The "Is"-"Ought" Question: An Invitation To Professor Veatch, John M. Finnis

Journal Articles

This Article invites Professor Henry Veatch to consider some of Finnis' previous work. Finnis asserts that his work presents "serious questions" for those who interpret Aristotle and Acquinas in the way the Veatch does and invites Veatch to respond.


Moral Theology In Legal Ethics, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1982

Moral Theology In Legal Ethics, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

I am talking at a Lutheran university and therefore should probably have some theses, some propositions that I could nail to the chapel door. But I'm afraid I have failed Martin Luther: I have only one thesis and it is not ready for a nail. It is still as much a question as a thesis. My question is whether there is any point in including moral theology in the study of legal ethics in the university. Let me be candid: I teach the typical required course in "professional responsibility," and I do a lot of writing on ethics, and I …


Henry Knox And The Moral Theology Of Law Firms, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1981

Henry Knox And The Moral Theology Of Law Firms, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

One of the reasons we modern American lawyers find the "golden age" of our 19th century forebears attractive is that it was morally unambiguous. It seems to have been an age of giants who were consistent. The "republican" lawyers who wrote our first statements on legal ethics were moral theologians as well as leaders—and they found no difficulty in being both. David Hoffman, who attracted as much applause from the conservative Calvinists at Princeton Theological Seminary as he attracted from the bench and bar, drew no distinction between the morals he practiced at home and the morals he practiced in …


The Moral Theology Of Atticus Finch, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 1981

The Moral Theology Of Atticus Finch, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

Heroes are identified by the needs of those who choose them. In the case of Atticus Finch, heroism centered on his insistence in telling the truth. In this article, Thomas L. Shaffer explores the idea that this truth was (I) an expression of the person he was and of the community he sought for his children and neighbors; (II) an expression of the virtue of courage and also (and therefore) the expression of a theology; (III) a political act; and (IV) a professional act. As early as 1854, Judge Sharswood (chief justice, law dean and eminent lawyer) could draw a …


Balzacian Legality, Thomas E. Carbonneau Jan 1979

Balzacian Legality, Thomas E. Carbonneau

Journal Articles

The study of law and literature is an area of growing interest to legal scholars in the United States. Honore de Balzac incorporated in his works a panoramic view of the social reality of nineteenth century France. In this context, the fidelity of Balzac's plots and characters to their external models has been well-documented in a number of fields, including sociology, commerce, and finance. In addition to this penchant for realism, however, Balzac laced his novels with an equally evident moral content. This commitment to accuracy and morality also influenced Balzac's novelistic treatment of the law and lawyers.

Balzac's work …