Practice of Justice A Theory of Lawyers' Ethics

ISBN-10: 067400275X

ISBN-13: 9780674002753

Edition: 1998

Authors: William H. Simon

List price: $35.50
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Should a lawyer keep a client's secrets even when disclosure would exculpate a person wrongly accused of a crime? To what extent should a lawyer exploit loopholes in ways that enable clients to gain unintended advantages? When can lawyers justifiably make procedural maneuvers that defeat substantive rights? The Practice of Justice is a fresh look at these and other traditional questions about the ethics of lawyering. William Simon, a legal theorist with extensive experience in practice, charges that the profession's standard approach to these questions is incoherent and implausible. At the same time, Simon rejects the ethical approaches most frequently proposed by the profession's critics. The problem, he insists, does not lie in the profession's commitment to legal values over those of ordinary morality. Nor does it arise from the adversary system. Rather, Simon shows that the critical weakness of the standard approach is its reliance on a distinctive style of judgment--categorical, rule-bound, rigid--that is both ethically unattractive and rejected by most modern legal thought outside the realm of legal ethics. He develops an alternative approach based on a different, more contextual, style of judgment widely accepted in other areas of legal thought. The author enlivens his argument with discussions of actual cases, including the Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal and the Leo Frank murder trial, as well as fictional accounts of lawyering, including Kafka's The Trial and the movie The Verdict.
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Book details

List price: $35.50
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/15/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.22" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

William H. Simon is Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law at Stanford University.

An Anxious Profession
The Moral Terrain of Lawyering
The Dominant View and Alternatives A Preview
False Starts A Right to Injustice
The Entitlement Argument
The Libertarian Premise
The Positivist Premise
Libertarianism versus Positivism
The Problem of Retroactivity
The Problem of Private Legislation
Conclusion Justice in the Long Run
The Adversary System and Trial Preparation
Identification with Clients and Cognitive Dissonance
The Efficiency of Categorical Norms
Aptitude for Complex Judgment
Conclusion Should Lawyers Obey the Law?
Lawyer Obligation in the Dominant View
Positivist versus Substantive Conceptions of Law The Pervasiveness of Implicit Nullification
Some Clarification about Nullification
Nullification versus Reform
Tax versus Prohibition
Determination versus Obligation
A Prima Facie Obligation?
Divorce Perjury and Enforcement Advice Revisited
Conclusion Legal Professionalism as Meaningful Work
The Problem of Alienation
The Professional Solution
The Lost Lawyer
The Brandeisian Evasions
Self-Betrayal Conclusion Legal Ethics as Contextual Judgment
The Structure of Legal Ethics Problems
Some Objections
The Moral Terrain of Lawyering Revisited Is Criminal Defense Different?
Contested Issues
Weak Arguments for Aggressive Criminal Defense
Social Work, Justice, and Nullification
The Stakes
Conclusion Institutionalizing Ethics
A Contextual Disciplinary Regime: The Tort Model
Restructuring the Market for Legal Services
Conclusion Notes
Further Reading
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