Ethics Paper

Submitted By ccc3082
Words: 1184
Pages: 5

The Firm, follows the main character, Mitch McDeere, a young man from a poor Southern family who graduated fifth in his class from Harvard Law School. He is approached with several job offers from major firms in New York and Chicago, but decides to accept the offer made by Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a much smaller firm based in Memphis, TN. This offer includes a salary which is 20% higher than the best offer he has received (one of the partners told Mitch he bribed a Harvard law clerk in order to ascertain this information) in addition to a Mercedes and a house which Mitch eventually discovers is bugged and his phones are wire-tapped. The Firm portrays an image as being a big ‘family’ wanting to take care of its own; in reality it is a corrupt, controlling, sinister organization of which approximately 30% of the clientele is legitimate, some of the companies they invest in do not exist and much of their profit comes from ties to the Chicago Mob via money laundering, drug smuggling, prostitution, etc. While Mitch, in the beginning, is blinded by the money and perks The Firm has to offer, his wife, Abbey, is not and is suspicious of The Firm with very good reason. After talking with some of the wives, Abbey learns that The Firm ‘encourages’ the wives to stay at home and have babies. In addition to this, all the attorneys are married, white males. The only female attorney was killed in a mysterious diving accident. Once the associates have settled into their cushy life-style and possibly have a child or children in college or private school, The Firm discloses its true nature and dark dealings. It is later revealed that attorneys who have attempted to blow the whistle on The Firm were murdered and their bodies never recovered. Each associate has a mentor, and Avery Toler is assigned to Mitch. After several weeks of working with Toler and returning from the Cayman Islands where he and Toler encountered one of the seedier clients, Mitch begins to realize The Firm’s true nature and is approached by FBI agents who are investigating The Firm. He is faced with the dilemma of assisting The FBI and risks being discovered by The Firm which would mean losing his life or continue to work for Bendini, Lambert & Locke and risk being arrested with everyone else and losing his right to practice law. Either way, whatever side he chooses to cooperate with, his life will never be the same as he knows it. Afterwards, Mitch is approached by one of The Firm’s legitimate clients who noticed that he is being billed at an excessive rate and advises him that this had been going on for over a year. This prompted Mitch to investigate The Firm’s billing practice of other clients as well. He discovered all clients, including the Morolto crime family, were being over billed. Mitch went to see the head of the Chicago Mob, asking for his permission to use their invoices for additional proof of the overbilling, which would be turned over to The FBI. After questioning Mitch extensively regarding the attorney/client privilege, and only after being strongly reassured that this privilege could not and would not be violated, even if his employment at The Firm was terminated, the Mob Boss gave his consent to allow the invoices to be used. This film touches on several ethical violations. One of these violations is referred to in Rule 8.4 of The Delaware Lawyer’s Rules of Professional Conduct. This rule states it is unprofessional for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. When one of the partners with Bendini, Lambert & Locke disclosed to Mitch at the initial interview he had bribed a law clerk at Harvard in order to find out what salary Mitch had been offered from other firms it was clear that partner had blatantly violated this rule. Although Mitch at the time of the interview had not taken and passed the bar exam, there was another partner from the