Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ethical Duties.......

One thing that is not said a whole lot, or even really talked about, is that there will come a time when you are going to need to report an attorney to the bar.  Each state has a Rules of Professional Conduct that must be filed.  Rules in Oregon state:

Rule 8.3 (a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has
committed a violation of the Rules of Professional
Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that
lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer
in other respects shall inform the Oregon State Bar
Client Assistance Office.

There is also 8.4 which deals with misconduct such as illegal acts, improper relations with a judge, influencing judicial opinions, using someone else to violate the rules and so on.

The first thing you need to know is this phone call is probably going to be the hardest call you will ever make.  In most cases, it is not confidential.  The lawyer that you report will know that you reported him or her.  And with that, you have created an enemy for life.  Law school does not teach you about this.  Very often all they say is that you have a duty to do so, but they do not tell you how hard it is to exercise the judgment to do so.  Human nature is such, that we don't want to get involved. 

What Would You Do, the show by John Quienes shows us that most of us won't become involved.  But with an admission to the bar, that luxury is non existent.  Being admitted to the bar is a privilege that carries some tough responsibilities.  Do what is right at all times but realize there will be a personal cost to you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa- Hope all is well. You haven't posted for a while, so just wanted to leave you a comment. Looking forward to your next post...