Legal Ethics & Responsibility - Essay Example

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Legal ethics and responsibility Introduction Law, like other professions, induces ethics and responsibility on lawyers. A lawyer’s legal responsibility, for instance requires conducts of duty with a reasonable degree of care and the capacity of competence…
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Download file to see previous pages A lawyer’s role Roles refers to a person’s duties or functions in a particular set up. Lawyers’ roles are manifested in their scope of professional duties that extends from the judicial system to the general societal set up. One of the roles of a lawyer is to ensure a proficient capacity to meet client’s legal needs. While academic and professional regulatory bodies ensures that only qualified personnel are licensed to practice, maintaining a continuous level of proficiency remains the duty of each lawyer. This role is prompted by dynamism in the legal system due to continuous developments in legislations and case laws. The two sources of laws require lawyers to equip themselves with every single change that may result from overruling or distinguishing precedents as well as legislations. A lawyer also has a role of witnessing in judicial procedures. As a representative of either party to a case, a lawyer will facilitate extraction of material facts in the case to facilitate informed judgement. Similarly, a lawyer plays a critical role in offering ground for judgement. This is because in their arguments in cases, lawyers offer highlights of ratio decidendi of cases with related facts, which could be applicable in making judgements. This corresponds with lawyer’s role to defend their clients in judicial processes by presenting their legal opinions based on case laws and statutes (Brennan, 2007, p. n.p). A lawyer also plays a role in guiding judicial processes as a watchdog. The wide scope of law, especially with respect to judicial precedents may lead to controversial decisions by judges. Where justice is miscarried due to mistake in law, legal principles or even facts, lawyers facilitate correction of such mistakes through lodging appeals against such rulings. Similarly, it is a lawyer’s duty to ensure that professional dispensation of duty is free from conflict of interest. Independence must be maintained in practice to eliminate any form of pecuniary or proprietary conflict of interest. Lawyers, both at individual levels and through institutions, also ensure that common laws are maintained and not disregarded by other sources of law. A lawyer’s scope of responsibility is therefore to, through different avenues, ensure that administration of justice is achieved through observance of the rule of law and natural justice (Brennan, 2007, p. n.p). What it means to be an ethical lawyer To become an ethical lawyer means to ensure observance of ethical principles as are applicable to the scope of the legal profession. Like other professions, a number of ethical values that defines practice regulate the legal profession. One of the fundamental ethical values is the moral duty of a lawyer to refrain from conflict of interest that could disregard the ethical principle of beneficence. Existence of conflict of interest will mean that the lawyer will be partial in discharging duties in order to first satisfy personal interest at the expense of the client. This will deprive the client of the benefits of the legal service to the breach of the ethical principle of beneficence that advocates for the good welfare of all members of the society (Icheku and Icheku, , n.p.; Australian, 2011, p. 5). Similarly, an ethical lawyer is characterized by high standards of honesty and courtesy. This means that a lawyer must be truthful in all dealings and must be considerate of clients’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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