Teel-Client Representation Running head: CLIENT REPRESENTATION


Client Representation Holly A. Teel, BBA September 26, 2011 LS501-01: Ethics and the Professional Instructor: Stephen Muffler Kaplan University

and the attorney’s own moral compass. The unexpected house fire is judged as unethical because it did not benefit his friends. society. Islam. Jane’s attorney as a utilitarian would weigh the consequences of his actions and the consequences of actions of a similar dilemma before making his decision. Buddhism. Teel-Client Representation CLIENT REPRESENTATION In the legal profession ethics and morals standards are governed in many ways. in her web post Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles. Judaism.” In the case of Jane’s attorney forging her signature. and Interpretations of the “Golden Rule” from Hinduism. and Confucianism. Christianity. Egoism. UTILITARIANISM Utilitarianism is the concept in which the happiness of the greatest number of people in the society is considered the greatest good. who forges Jane’s signature to a hotel registry to save Jane from being wrongly convicted.if a person lights a fire in a fireplace in order to warm his friends. Catherine gives the following example: “…. Kant’s Categorical Imperative. adopt. the laws in which legal profession swear to up hold. In the case study of Jane. each one of these ethical principles will be examined and be applied to the actions of Jane’s attorney. and apply one or 2 more or combination of common ethical principles of Utilitarianism. then the utilitarian now seems to have chosen an unethical decision. however in the case of an attorney forging any signature. Jane’s attorney could assume with a fair level of accuracy that the future consequences would out weight the good his actions. and then the fire burns down the house because the soot in the chimney caught on fire. Such assumptions of future consequences may not be as easily defined or determined. Each of these governing bodies utilize. According to Catherine Rainbow (2002).H. such as professional organizations. This assumption . under the utilitarianism concept the action of forgery would be immoral based upon the future consequences of the attorney’s actions would not benefit Jane.

2d 303. Third.H. Any act. if the actions were to take place in the State of Florida. EGOISM Egoism is the concept that states we ought to only do what is in our personal rational selfinterest. 2003). being sufficient to punish a breach of ethics and at the same time encourage reformation and rehabilitation. under the psychological egoism concept the action of forgery would be moral because he would feel good afterwards. Jane’s attorney would have researched Florida Bar v. Teel-Client Representation can be made with a high level of certainty with all the proven documentation he would have readily available to him regarding the court opinions regarding disciplinary actions of attorneys 3 for forgery. . the court would take a utilitarianism approach when making its determination regarding the proper and just sanctions against an attorney whom engages in the acts of forgery. For instance. the judgment must be fair to society. 307 (Fla. In the case of Jane’s attorney forging her signature..First. McFall. but to solely for the “warm and fuzzy” feeling he would achieve but the action its self. Second. 'deep down' all our actions are based on self-interest. personal happiness). Moreover. both in terms of protecting the public from unethical conduct and at the same time not denying the public the services of a qualified lawyer as a result of undue harshness in imposing penalty. so that even so-called good deeds are done just for the satisfaction we get presumably. In determining a proper sanction. desire for reward. He would have engaged in forgery not to save Jane. is actually motivated by some selfish desire of people engaging in such act.” Ironically. (e. avoidance of guilt. the judgment must be severe enough to deter others who might be prone or tempted to become involved in like violations. Psychological Egoism is the concept which means. because that is how we have been raised by our parents. no matter how altruistic it might seem. the Court will take into consideration the three purposes of lawyer discipline: “…. the judgment must be fair to the respondent. 863 So.g.

one could argue that Jane’s attorney’s action can be justified by mere explanation that Jane if she had the chance would engaged in the act of forgery to save the life of her attorney based upon their friendship.H. thus making his actions of forgery justified and moral. CHRISTIANITY. which apply to everyone under any circumstances. BUDDHISM. due to the ultimate “good will” it would serve by saving Jane’s life from the death penalty. MY FINAL THOUGHTS The acts of Jane’s attorney in my opinion are unethical and cannot be justified under any of the any of normative theories. herself would not engage in the act of forgery therefore. INTERPRETATIONS OF THE “GOLDEN RULE” FROM HINDUISM. Jane’s attorney. meaning Jane. AND CONFUCIANISM The concept of the “Golden Rule” from all six religions has the same meaning “do unto others as you would have them do to you. There should be no occasions under which any exceptions are made. In the case of Jane’s attorney forging her signature. under the “Golden Rule” concept the action of forgery could be both moral and immoral.” In the case of Jane’s attorney forging her signature. her attorney engaging in the act on her behalf is immoral and wrong. JUDAISM. ISLAM. On the one hand. by the of his choice of profession should have . one could make the opposite argument that the act of forgery is immoral or unethical based upon the mere fact that Jane’s own moral compass and the golden rule. On the other hand. Teel-Client Representation KANT’S CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE Kant’s Categorical Imperative is the concept that all moral statements should be general laws. under the Kant’s Categorical 4 Imperative concept the action of forgery would be moral in the long scheme of things.

CONCLUSION In the case study of Jane. McFall. By not engaging in a criminal act to save Jane would do more good than any other action. who forges Jane’s signature to a hotel registry to save Jane from being wrongly convicted and from an ethical point of view the act of forgery is unethical. The punishment of act would have negative consequences such as imprisonment for me. each one of these ethical principles have been examined and be applied to the actions of Jane’s attorney. In all principles the bad consequences of the act forgery far out way the good or logical consequences of Jane’s attorney. 2003). 307 (Fla. 5 The damage the unethical act would cause would be too great that it would not be worth the risk.H. References Florida Bar v. the answer is no. My family would be best served by finding alternatives to the truth of what truly happen versus the grief and guilt they would feel as a result of an unethical and dishonest act. If the situation was different and the person accused or at the risk of the death penalty was a family member or a child of mine would my opinion change? Sadly. 863 So. thus making the risks too great. 2d 303. . and the person I was trying to protect if. Teel-Client Representation a higher moral compass and realize the best way to assist Jane is through the court system.

htm. Retrieved September 27. Teel-Client Representation Rainbow. Online. 2011. Davidson. Descriptions of Ethical 6 Theories and Principles. Catherine for Biology 372 at Davidson College. 2002 Department of Biology. Davidson College.edu/people/kabernd/indep/carainbow/Theories. . NC 28035.davidson.H. http://www.bio.


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