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Author Topic: Question about morals in a career in law  (Read 956 times)

HoustonTX

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Question about morals in a career in law
« on: April 14, 2009, 03:15:31 PM »
For those in Law School and/or those Trial Lawyers already in their careers.

I am ever so far from an L1 but always pondered the following situation.

One thing I was wondering, is there a line to be drawn when handling cases? I assume that your one and only goal is to help your client win in the court of law. 

How would you/do you handle cases where you know your greedy client is truly on the wrong side and has no business taking a case to court other than to acquire money from a clearly innocent defendant.

What do lawyers do in this situation, knowing that there truly is a way to "screw over" the other party? 

While the fate of the case is in the hands of the jury, but with clever persuasion, do lawyers in fact take it to the table, find a work-around, and throw their morals out the window?

-Moral Dilemma

PS If it is common practice to leave your conscience aside, then I stand corrected.





ISUCKATTHIS

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 03:23:08 PM »
Whoever pays you is right.

nealric

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 03:52:08 PM »

It depends.

If the plaintiff clearly has no case and is filing it for harassment purposes, you may be subject to sanctions for filing for him- especially if there are known falsehoods on the complaint. The client also might be subject to liability for abuse of process, etc.

If the plaintiff is just a jerk with a shaky (but still reasonable) case- then you have the normal duty of zealous representation. That said, you are never obligated to take a case you don't believe in (except to the extent your job depends on it). 

These types of problem will be addressed when you take professional responsibility in law school.
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sheltron5000

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2009, 05:03:06 PM »
I'd also say that if you break the law, or violate ethics rules to file the case then you have already crossed the line.

If you don't have those things, then: A. the client has no case and will probably lose; B. the client has some kind of case to make, but shouldn't and you should counsel them to that end; or C. they have a legitimate case and you just can't see it.

If you counsel them not to proceed and they still want to, you still have the option of not taking the case.

If someone can make a case they shouldn't the problem is likely the law and not the lawyer...


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ISUCKATTHIS

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2009, 07:55:46 PM »
Let me summarize:  "Yatta, yatta and yatta."

When you're a laywer, he who pays you is right.  Full stop.  Obviously, you don't lie and you don't suppress or hide information... but there is no moral conflict.  This is your profession:  deal with it.

jacy85

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2009, 10:34:56 PM »
Let me summarize:  "Yatta, yatta and yatta."

When you're a laywer, he who pays you is right.  Full stop.  Obviously, you don't lie and you don't suppress or hide information... but there is no moral conflict.  This is your profession:  deal with it.


Some people might practice law like that, but not everyone does.

k0em9u

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 10:47:20 PM »
Let me summarize:  "Yatta, yatta and yatta."

When you're a laywer, he who pays you is right.  Full stop.  Obviously, you don't lie and you don't suppress or hide information... but there is no moral conflict.  This is your profession:  deal with it.

You didn't ace professional responsibility did you? :)

Not to mention, client aside, a lawyer can be disciplined, even worst case scenario disbarred for filing bull lawsuits as harassment or blackmail etc.
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ISUCKATTHIS

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 10:51:04 PM »
If you guys think there is no way to harass people and still stay within the law or within official "ethical" boundaries... 

Well, that's cool. 

k0em9u

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 10:52:41 PM »
Is that really relevant? It's quite possible to be an ambulance chasing scumbag too, that probably shouldn't be your career goal?
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ISUCKATTHIS

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Re: Question about morals in a career in law
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2009, 10:53:41 PM »
Of course not, ambulance chasers don't make any money.