||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)
Legal ethics encompasses an ethical code governing the conduct of persons engaged in the practice of law and persons more generally in the legal sector.
In the United States
"Legal ethics" in the United States is generally understood to primarily apply to lawyers, while codes of professional responsibility also apply in a derivative sense (indirectly) to non-lawyers who work with lawyers, such as paralegals or private investigators. In the United States, the practice of law is regulated by the governments of the individual states and territories. As a whole, federal law does not control legal ethics.
Each state or territory has a code of professional conduct dictating rules of ethics. These may be adopted by the respective state legislatures and/or judicial systems. The American Bar Association has promulgated the Model Rules of Professional Conduct which, while formally only a recommendation by a private body, have been influential in many jurisdictions. The Model Rules address many topics which are found in state ethics rules, including the client-lawyer relationship, duties of a lawyer as advocate in adversary proceedings, dealings with persons other than clients, law firms and associations, public service, advertising, and maintaining the integrity of the profession. Respect of client confidences, candor toward the tribunal, truthfulness in statements to others, and professional independence are some of the defining features of legal ethics.
Some U.S. states, including New York, require applicants seeking to become attorneys to have taken a course in professional responsibility during law school.
Every state in the United States has a regulatory body (usually called a state bar association) that polices lawyer conduct. When lawyers are licensed to practice in a state, those lawyers subject themselves to this authority. Overall responsibility often lies with the highest court in a state (such as state supreme court). The state bar associations, often in consultation with the court, adopt a set of rules that set forth the applicable ethical duties. As of 2013, 48 states have adopted a version of the American Bar Association's model rules. California and Maine are the only states that have not adopted either—instead these states have written their own rules from scratch. There is some debate over whether state ethical rules apply to federal prosecutors. The Department of Justice has held differing opinions through different administrations, with the Thornburgh Memo suggesting these rules do not apply, and the Reno Rules asserting that they do apply.
Lawyers who fail to comply with local rules of ethics may be subjected to discipline ranging from private (non-public) reprimand to disbarment.
In India, under the Advocates Act of 1961, the Bar Council of India is responsible for creating rules for registering advocates, regulation of legal ethics, and for administering disciplinary action.
- No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America, by Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith. ISBN 0-375-75258-7
- California Rules of Professional Conduct, published by the Office of Professional Competence, Planning & Development of the State Bar of California.
- Gabriel Chin & Scott Wells, Can a Reasonable Doubt have an Unreasonable Price? Limitations on Attorney's Fees in Criminal Cases, 41 Boston College Law Review 1 (1999)
Legal Ethics: A Series of Shorts
Understanding Legal Ethics, w/ Russ Herman [part 2]
Attorney Russ Herman joins the Louisiana law talk show "John Redmann: Power of Attorney" to continue his discussion about legal ethics. Get more helpful law ...
"Basic Rules" of Legal Ethics: Fiat Justitia with Geoffrey Hazard
"About half of what a good lawyer does is to tell a client: 'Stop being a fool.'" UC Hastings Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu talks with Professor Geoffrey Haz...
Ask the Ethics Guy! #11- ETHICS VERSUS THE LAW
If something is legal, does that mean it's ethical? Dr. Bruce Weinstein, host of Bloomberg Businessweek's "Ask the Ethics Guy!," answers this evergreen quest...
The Robert P. Lawry Lecture in Legal Ethics - Fred C. Zacharias
The Robert P. Lawry Lecture in Legal Ethics Fred C. Zacharias - Herzog Research Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law September 26, 2007 4:...
Legal Ethics Picture Show
Ever wonder what kind of ethical challenges lawyers face? Sure you do. Watch this video and you'll find out. Also, download the supplementary powerpoint pres...
Legal Ethics: Duties to Clients CLE - Albany NY Attorney Douglas Rose - Tully Rinckey PLLC
On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, Tully Rinckey partner Douglas J. Rose, Esq. presented a free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course on "Legal Ethics: Duties to C...
Legal Ethics in An Age of Technology
Legal Ethics in an Age of Technology... That sounds a wee bit lofty, no? Some of you are probably thinking, "Ethics? We're talking about Facebook and Twitter...
Blackballing Lawyers and Legal Ethics
I go over my highlights from an ethics seminar. I also produce a comic at http://volcomic.com.
EMT 1-3: Medical Legal and Ethics
Module 1-3 of Wisconsin the EMT Curriculum - Medical Legal and Ethics.
IT Business Net
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:00:00 -0700
ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bloomberg BNA today announced the launch of its complimentary continuing legal ethics training series. The monthly series of Web events will be offered live and on-demand and will focus on a ...
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:11:18 -0700
Chuck Herring, an Austin lawyer and legal ethics expert, said removing the attorney general's legal team from the equation in the Sullivan case makes perfect sense. "If you're the TEC and you want to prove a point and want to pursue Sullivan ...
JD Supra (press release)
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:41:15 -0700
http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/research/guides/legal_ethics.cfm, a broad-based Legal Ethics Research Guide offered by Georgetown Law Library with links to substantial material. Many of the links are to Lexis and Westlaw, but there is an ...
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:09:02 -0700
A Florida judge who struck an assistant public defender in a hallway outside his Viera courtroom is now facing a legal ethics case. Assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock was representing a client before Brevard County Judge John Murphy when they ...
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:50:25 -0700
A legal ethics case is being pursued against an Illinois attorney who made headlines by filing the first lawsuit over the Malaysia Air flight that disappeared in March. Exactly what happened to Flight 370 remains unknown. Hence the petition by Monica ...
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:47:46 -0700
Mia Culpa Ad 7 25 When you write a parody of the hit Broadway show and movie Mamma Mia! with a lead character named Mia who did bad stuff (my bad=mea culpa), you get the new Ethics Follies production “Mia Culpa!” which opens September 24 at 2 ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:45:00 -0700
... legal exposure by virtue of their conduct and this report blasts them for that same conduct, he should not participate with regard to that part of the report,” said Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University School of Law who specializes ...
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:26:15 -0700
In an article that Mr. Gruntz wrote for the Kenner Star, he told of an early lesson in legal ethics, one that had stayed with him. "Forty years ago, as a young first-year law student, my legal ethics professor introduced me to the term noblesse oblige ...
Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter
You can talk about Legal ethics with people all over the world in our discussions.