There is a widespread perception that even when lawyers are acting squarely within their roles, being good lawyers, they display the vices of dishonesty and deviousness. At the heart of the perception is the so called standard conception of the lawyer’s role according to which lawyers owe special duties to their clients which render permissible, or even mandatory, acts that would otherwise count as morally impermissible. Many have concluded that the standard conception should be set aside. This book suggests that the moral implications of the standard conception are often mischaracterised. Critics suggest that the conception requires lawyers to secure any advantage the law can be made to give. But Dare offers a moral argument for the conception, according to which it justifies a more limited and moderate sphere of professional conduct than is normally supposed, allowing lawyers to preserve their integrity while giving proper weight to the role-differentiated permissions and obligations of their roles.
Table of Contents
Contents: The standard conception of the lawyer's role; The critique of the standard conception; The idea of role-obligation; The standard conception and the role of law; The standard conception and the client-professional relationship; Virtue ethics, legal ethics, and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird; Detachment, distance and integrity; Conclusion: a response to the critique; Bibliography; Index.
'Tim Dare rises to the challenge of defending what some would consider indefensible - the morality of the lawyer's role. He does so in a rigorous and lucid way. This is a spirited riposte to the many critics of the so-called standard conception of lawyers' ethics. He argues that lawyers properly act zealously to ensure clients get the benefits accorded by law (even if the enjoyment of those benefits is considered reprehensible). Anyone who is serious about legal ethics needs to read this book and either agree with Tim or answer him - neither will be easy.' Duncan Webb, Canterbury University, New Zealand 'One of the most significant contributions to the growing literature on legal ethics yet published. Drawing on philosophical, legal and literary sources Dare presents a highly original and sophisticated analysis of the role of the modern lawyer that should be required reading on mandatory ethics classes in every law school.' Kim Economides, University of Otago, New Zealand 'The debate over professional role morality has been assumed to have been won by critics of the standard conception, but in this elegant, carefully argued book, Dare shows how the lawyer's role is justified as a contribution to procedures that enable us to live together in a community, despite moral pluralism and disagreement.' Brad Wendel, Cornell University, USA