The importance of ethics in the legal profession cannot be overestimated. In fact, legal ethics refer to the code of conduct that regulates the behavior of people within the legal profession. This code of conduct covers the nature of the interaction of the attorney with his/her clients as well as the duty owed to the society. An attorney should agree to uphold the rules of professional conduct at all times in order to maintain a license to practice law. The rules of professional conduct were adopted by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1983. In fact, these rules have been adopted by all the state bar association in the United States except California. California has a similar code but with a different format. This article provides information on the importance of ethics in the legal profession.
Professional ethics are crucial to any profession out there. In fact, it is more pressing in the legal profession since attorneys are usually viewed with suspicion. Hence, such a code of conduct is vital to safeguard the credibility of the attorneys and the legal system as a whole. Most often, lawyers are faced with conflicting interests depending on the client they represent – or which side of the story they represent. That is why legal ethics are so important to help the attorney to navigate a delicate balance of his/her work and these interests to promote the greatest good of all involved in a lawsuit. Ethics will help safeguard the interests of the client the lawyer represents and ensure his or her service without any discrimination. If an attorney has violated any of the rules or the client has reasons to believe that his/her lawyer has not acted in a professional manner, the client can always file a complaint with the relevant bar association in the state. On the other hand, if the violations are more serious, the client can consider legal malpractice lawsuit against the particular attorney.
Since the code of ethics is determined by various bodies and associations, the codes vary from place to place. But there are some common codes of ethics that apply across the board. Here are some of these codes:
. Misappropriation Of Client’s Funds Or Commingling – The attorney should always keep the client’s money separately from his/her own in order to avoid mismanagement of such funds.
. Neglect And Lack Of Communication – A lawyer should keep his/her clients informed on all matters about their cases. In fact, they shouldn’t intentionally delay or ignore responding to any queries raised by the client.
. Conflict Of Interest – The attorney shouldn’t have a divided loyalty when representing a client – nor should they have vested interest in the opposition.
. Solicitation – A lawyer shouldn’t use misleading or false information to attract more clients.
. Malpractice – This usually includes things such as fabrication of evidence and forging of documents.
The aforementioned article provides information on the importance of ethics in the legal profession.