Critique of written exercise 3
This assignment gives you an opportunity to provide constructive feedback to your partner as well as provide an opportunity for you to improve your own writing. Click here for detailed instructions on critiquing papers. These instructions are also in the syllabus. Critique my partners paper
When discussing the client-lawyers relation, many other important factors come to mind. This written exercise is extracted from Banks, C. (2020). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice (5th ed.) Chapter-5, Lawyers and Ethics and research conducted from the Internet.Lawyers and ethics can be complicated, specifically when dealing with attorney-client privilege and confidentiality. Other factors that come to mind are the principle of neutrality, the principle of partisanship, the nature of professional ethics, the lawyer-client relationship, confidentiality, and last but not least, client-crime. This paper will address, depict, and explain the sensitive nature of the attorney-client relationship and the privileges that are afforded to the client. The paper will also discuss the distinctive, however fine line between attorney ethical behavior and morality. For example,the client may confess to an unrelated crime they had committed. The attorney now knows where the bodies are buried even though completely repulsive, despicable, and immoral. The attorney must honor the attorney-client privilege and confidentiality or risk being disbarred.
The nature of professional ethics is the expression used to categorize the guidelines governing professionals. A basic standard of conduct that in this case requires attorneys to maintain and follow a specific ethical standard of law. A set of rules attorneys have to obey within their profession. By setting this set of ethical standards, the client will feel confident that they can trust their attorneys to keep their case-related discussions confidential. Specifically, for attorneys, trust is a vital aspect of their profession, and clients seek that fundamental professional and ethical standard from their attorneys.
Trust is an essential core value in the legal profession for attorneys to fully understand clients’ issues and concerns. In the legal profession, every client perceives trust as a critical value and expects their attorney’s honesty, faith, and competence. Breaking the client’s faith and confidence certainly undermines the attorney-client relationship. That brings us to the principle of partisanship. In the legal system, the argumentative technique of attorneys suggests a distinctive ethic where in some situations, attorneys may do or act out things for clients which may be perceived morally doubtful by potentially misleading others or engaging in bullying tactics.
When dealing with the attorney-client relationship, attorneys may display a certain level of integrity. However, when arguing their client’s interests, attorneys may employ prejudicial, uncooperative, or self-interested tactics, perceived to be dishonest or dishonorable. Essentially, in terms of ethics, the criminal adversarial system has the best interest of the client in mind putting it foremost above all other considerations.
Society has to understand the role of attorneys in defending the rights of their clients in terms of justice and providing them with aggressive representation in the best interest of their clients. Attorneys accomplish this task following ethical standards of conduct. The next standard we will address is the principle of neutrality. This principle forces the attorney to accept a neutral postureregarding their client’scase, which they may directlyfind morally unacceptable. That being said, the attorney has to put aside a personal feeling when deciding how best to represent his client.
The attorney’s moral bearing should not have any ethical bearing on this decision and will assume full responsibility for helping his client achieve his purpose. Both principles discussed neutrality and partisanship to support equality before the law and limit the moral choices attorneys can make based on the responsibility they have to their clients. When referring to the case of the criminal defense lawyer, Richard Wasserstrom (1986: 122) argued that the lawyer’s focus is on his client’s interests above all other considerations, including moral concerns, which is especially justified (Wasserstrom 1986).Regarding “Layers and Ethics,” the following discussion is critical.
Confidentiality, Protecting the client’s activities is an essential ethical responsibilityforced on attorneys. Confidentiality symbolizes a certain level of respect for privacy. Clients will undoubtedly be hesitant to discuss or discusstheir affairs with attorneys with a reputation of loose lips. Additionally, if the attorney disobeys the obligation of confidentiality, it will undoubtedlycompromise other basic principles. At that point, the client will even question if the attorney is honestly acting in his best interests.
An essential factor to consider is that confidentiality solely belongs to the client, who may wave it alone. That being said, confidentiality plays a critical role in the attorney-client information shared. That relationship will significantly impact the attorney’s ability to provide the client with an effective defense. Unfortunately, debate still exists where some argue that ethical rules of law should not safeguard a guilty client over an innocent person. There is a certain disconnect between the duty of confidentiality and that of lawyer-client privilege, and both should not be confused.
This certainly can be a bit confusing “the duty of confidentiality is broader because it requires the lawyer to keep the client’s confidences generally, whereas the privilege relates only to confidences being used as evidence” (Banks 2020). The principle of evidence relates to information discussed or revealed during a criminal trial; in other words, confidences provided to the attorney by the client may not be used as evidence. In summary the criminal defense attorney has an ethical responsibility, confidentiality, and duty to protect the information provided during a client-attorney privileged conversation. Attorneys personal feeling or moral believes should have no bearing on the attorney’s service to the client.
This paper examined, addressed, and describedsome of the dilemma’s lawyers face each day to provide fair representation to their clients. We discussed the standard of the professional ethic they are expected to provide, including the core values—the principles of neutrality, partisanship, and client confidentiality. The attorney’s ethical dilemma, which this paper is based on, received confidential attorney-client privileged information.
The attorney will have to put aside his moral and personal principles. The information his client provided is certainly devastating at all levels. However, attorney-client confidentiality is still applicable since that was privileged information, and no exception applies. The crime has already occurred, and the five-year-old victim has been buried as per his client’s information. By the attorney disclosing this confidential information is not going to prevent further harm or death to a victim.
As noted in our textbook, “disclosure is permitted to the extent necessary to prevent a client from committing a criminal act that the lawyer reasonably believes is likely to result in imminent death or substantial bodily harm (Banks 2020). That being said, it is imperative to understand that exclusionpertainsto crimes that have yet to be committed, “and it should be contrasted with completed past crimes for which disclosing client information is not permitted” (Banks 2020).
Banks, C. (2020). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice.(5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Client Lawyer Relationship, Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of information. Dilemma. Family Law Quarterly, 45(1), 21-35.https://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_re…
Martin, Susan R., (2003), In Defense of Client-Lawyer Confidentiality … and Its Exceptionshttps://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi…
Snider, Thomas J. (2020), Attorney-Client Confidentiality is a Moral Good: Expanding
Protections of Confidentiality and Limiting Exceptions.The Georgetown Journal of Legal