THE ATTORNEY ETHICS AND CODE OF CONDUCT
WHAT ARE ATTORNEY ETHICS?
In this article, we will be looking at the topics which say: “the attorney ethics and code of conduct” but I will first of all give a distinction between a lawyer and attorney.
A lawyer is someone who is educated in the law. A person who has been educated in the law will always be addressed as a lawyer, even if he or she does not give legal advice to other people while Attorneys graduate from law school and they can also choose to practice law as a profession. However a potential attorney must pass the bar exam to be eligible to practice law within a specific jurisdiction. Apart from performing the basic functions of a lawyer, attorneys can also act as legal representatives for their clients. An attorney does not just interpret the law; he or she also applies his knowledge of the law to provide the needs of his client.
That is to say that attorneys act as lawyers but not all lawyers can perform the work of attorneys. But our main discussion is the attorney and ethics.
Attorney ethics describe a set of state codes and rules that regulates the conduct of lawyers. These codes ensure lawyers follow the law, pursue justice, and zealously advocate their client’s best interests. Legal ethics is a term used to describe a code of conduct governing proper professional behavior, which establishes the nature of obligations owed to individuals and to society. In order to maintain a license to practice law, attorneys agree to uphold the Rules of Professional Conduct.
I will go in details to list some ethics of an attorney
- A lawyer should preserve the confidences of a client.
- This means that the lawyer can never use a client’s confidence or secret to his personal advantage or for personal gain. Typically, a lawyer can only divulge a client’s confidence with the client’s consent and only after the lawyer gives full disclosure as to the legal consequences of that disclosure.
- In limited some instances, a lawyer can reveal confidences if such confidence is a client’s intent is a crime that may cause death or serious injury.
- Professional Judgement
- A lawyer should exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of a client.
- A lawyer cannot accept employment from a client when there is a conflict of interest.
- Furthermore, a lawyer is to refrain from acquiring a financial interest (other than legal fees) in the cases.
- Additionally, a lawyer should generally refrain from entering into business agreements with a client if those business interests differ.
- A lawyer must represent a client competently.
- If a lawyer is not competent to handle a legal matter, that lawyer is generally required to become competent, either by consulting with another lawyer or conducting adequate research.
- Furthermore, a lawyer should not handle a legal matter without adequate preparation under the circumstances.
- Finally, a lawyer is not allowed to neglect a case that has been entrusted to him.
- Zealous Representation
- A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law.
- However, in cases where a client’s conduct could arguably be illegal, a lawyer may refuse aid or participate in such conduct.
- Furthermore, a lawyer may not assert a position, file a suit, delay trial, or take actions on behalf of a client, particularly when such actions are undertaken merely to harass or maliciously injure another individual.
- A lawyer cannot knowingly use perjured testimony or false evidence.
- A lawyer cannot knowingly assert false statements of law or fact.
- A lawyer cannot preserve or create evidence which the lawyer knows is false.
- A lawyer cannot assist his client in conduct the lawyer knows to be illegal or fraudulent.
- Furthermore, if a lawyer receives information that a client has conducted fraud on a person or tribunal, the lawyer must ask the client to rectify the fraud. If the client is unable and unwilling, the lawyer must reveal the fraud to the individual or tribunal. However, a lawyer is prevented from doing this if the information is a privileged communication.
These are the attorney ethics that an attorney should abide. There will be violation if he goes against it.