Introduction to Law
Legal Ethics 1
Legal Ethics Ethics are attitudes, dispositions, or character traits that permit us to be and to operate in ways that develop this potential. Ethics provide us with moral principles or universal rules that tell us what to do. They enable us to pursue the ideas was have accepted; honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, and prudence. Legal ethics encompasses an ethical code governing the conduct of persons engaged in the practice of law and persons more generally in the legal sector. Ethics are established through learning and through practice. They become habits. Once they are acquired, they become characteristic of the person. (Issues in Ethics V1 N3 Velasquez, Manuel, Andre, Claire, Shanks, Thomas, S.J, Meyer Michael.J. Spring 1988). Ethics are important in American Law to ensure that laws are just, citizens are treated fairly, and legal professional’s practice with integrity (Henton, Lesley, ehow contributor, December 02, 2010). But why are they used today in court in law firms and by lawyers and paralegals? Well to answer that you have know the rules that the law firms and its constituents are to follow.
There are certain ethics that pertain to law firms and certain ethics that pertain to attorneys and paralegals. Rule 5.1 deals with the responsibility of a partner or supervisory lawyer. Meaning a partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable assurances that all lawyers in the firms conform to the Rules of Legal Ethics 2
Professional Conduct. (American Bar Association, Rule 5.1 Responsibilities of a partner or supervisory lawyer). Rule 5.3 applies to none lawyer assistants which means. A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the none lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to en sure that the person’s conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer (American Bar Association, Rule 5.3 Responsibilities Regarding None lawyer Assistant). And Rule 5.5 pertains to unauthorized practice of law; Multijurisdictional Practice of law; A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so ( American Bar Association, Rule 5.5 Unauthorized Practice of Law, Multijurisdictional Practice of Law). As the ancient philosopher Aristotle suggested, a person can improve his or her character by practicing self-discipline. (Issues in Ethics V1 N3 Velasquez, Manuel, Andre, Claire, Shanks, Thomas, S.J, Meyer Michael.J. Spring 1988). Basically ethics are something that you have to discipline yourself to be able to follow. That way you can practice the law that way that you are supposed to. There are ethics that not only apply to law firms but to the attorney’s also. Rule 1.1 Client –Lawyer Relationship. Meaning a lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation ( American Bar Association, Rule 1.1 Client-lawyer Relationship). Also there is Rule 6.1 Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service. Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services