Select Page

Legal Profession
Villanova University School of Law
Caudill, David S.

Rules of prof conduct: If u fail these u can be disbarred.
Professionalism/higher law: justice truth, religion, morality, pay attention to these but u will not be disbarred if you do not follow.
Man idea
·        Division btw ethics and morality (notions on what is good and true and right), u must follow the legal rules even if you do not believe in them in order to stay a lawyer.
·        Sometimes the rules do not give clear answers and u have to make decisions based on your own personal morality.
·        Utilitarian: based ethical judgments on resulting happiness for greatest number of people. Epicureans are all about happiness.
·        Mill: defends epicureans, saying; their pursuit of pleasure is more than about gross pleasure.
·        Critics: even if u produce unhappiness by doing the right thing u shld still do the right thing.
The debate over utilitarianism: summary
·        Mill: pleasure may not always mean physical pleasure.
·        We r all utilitarian and are all suspicious of popular morality. Think that we shld make decisions that wld help the most pple.
·        The golden rule: do to others what u wld want them to do to you.
·        Categorical imperative: act as tho your decisions wld become universal principles. Kant here is not speaking of making decisions based on the greatest amt of happiness or pleasure, just act rationally as tho your actions wld become the universal rule. Treat others as equals, and do not use pple.
Discussion Questions:
Q 1: U get a doc with the other side’s settlement tactics on them and look at it b4 u realize what it is. What are the options? Stop reading and give back, stop reading and throw it away, or read and use.
·        Utilitarian view: greatest happiness for the most pple wld happen if u stop and give it back.
·        Kant: act in a way that u wld want the world to follow; send it back.
·        Golden rule: give it back bcos u wld want others to do the same.
Q 2: U rep Samuel who inherits money and u have read his family, he is a single parent addicted to drugs, and his sister wants a conservator ship what can u do?
·        Rule ?: let an attorney seek conservatorship u think client is insane.
·        But all states have not adopted this, tho this is the ABA national rule:
o       Cali: u cannot use info given to u in confidence: walk away, and get someone else to save the child.
·        The rules offer an answer here, so u follow them.
Q 3: u make settlement for your client, u get checks, but they have been more than were supposed to be, clients says he shld stay quiet. What shld the attorney do?
·        Rules ?:  First ensure u are getting the wrong amt. Cases law states not reporting the higher amt is larceny.
·        So how do u get out of this without violating ethics since u have to serve your client, confidentiality, what can u do
·        U can quit, u can also let him know what the penalties are, but if he still refuses and says u cannot tell on him.
·        Legal ethics opinion: helps u to make judgment on issues that are not clearly solved by the rules or that u are not sure about. e.g. the ethics hotline.
·        Higher law: moral principles.
·        Lower law: rules and regulations – no need to make moral decision. You are given the answer.
·        Transcendental rules and conventions: are like higher law as they are not written down like rules.
o       e.g. u can talk to the other party’s witnesses. But if the other side hires and expert witness, it is bad form to contact that expert and talk

eport, petition to s crt.
·        who shld bear the burden of showing and applicants lack of god xter? they initially have the burden to bring in evidence of your bad xter, switching the burden back to you.
·        how did they find out? application discrepancies, at the hearing
Q 4:
·        Firms with branches in diff firms must specify which office each lawyer is licensed in.
·        Rule 8.4: yes bcos this is a dishonest offence.
·        Does not have to be practice of law, but can make u unfit to practice law.
·        Hypo: tells you that he has been fishing without a license for 40 yrs?
o       8.4 Comments: some offences carry no implication of dishonesty i.e. some things are so little, but a pattern of little offences can indicate indiff.
·        Rule 8.3a: We all generally have a duty to report other lawyers.
·        Hypo: asked to be a leader of grp of lawyers on drugs, can u report what they all disclosed the next day?
o       Rule 1.6 (confidentiality): no, bocs no requirement to report things otherwise protected by this.
o       Since he came to you for legal advice, u are in position of a lawyer, u cannot report him.
o       If one comes to you in your role as attorney to speak about past crimes, u cannot report them if you are their lawyer.
But if they tell about intended future actions u have duty to report bcos tho telling u as an attorney there is policy reason to stop the crime.