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Pro Responsibility OUTLINE-GM

Pro Responsibility OUTLINE-GM - Professional Responsibility...

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Professional Responsibility Gina Martinez Fall 2002 Professor Robert Vischer I. THE LAWYER AS PROFESSIONAL: Model Rules Preamble: A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an  officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice. As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. Advisor: provides a client with an informed  understanding of the client’s legal  rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. Advocate: zealously asserts the client’s position under the rules of the adversary  system. Negotiator: seeks a result advantageous to the client but consistent with  requirements of honest dealings with others. Evaluator: acts by examining a client’s legal affairs and reporting about them to  the client or to others. What is a Professional? Theoretically, one in a nobler position. o Richard Wasserstrom: Lawyers as Professionals: Some Moral Issues  (article) 6 characteristics of a professional     Substantial period of rigorous education Theoretical knowledge & intellect o Not manual or creative  Economic Monopoly that is  self regulating Social prestige and affluence o Not a necessity, but a tendency Fundamental personal interests Significant relationship between you as a professional and your clients 2 moral criticisms of lawyers     o “the lawyer- client relationship renders the lawyer at best systematically  amoral and at worse more than occasionally immoral in his or her dealings  with the rest of mankind.” o “The lawyer-client relationship which is morally objectionable because it is a  relationship in which the lawyer dominates and in which the lawyer typically,  and perhaps inevitably, treats the client in both an impersonal and a  paternalistic fashion.” o These criticisms are derived from the fact that the lawyer is a professional Role Differentiated Behavior: Role determines the morality of behavior     1
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o One’s role as a professional (doctor, lawyer, etc) alters one’s moral universe  and thus creates the opportunity to prefer the interests of the client or patient  over those of individuals generally. o Application to law: Client’s interests come first, no matter what issues it  causes for the professional o Example: Parent/child relationship: you won’t sell your home to keep  Ethiopians from starving but will do so to keep your own children from  starving.
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