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Two Ways of Doing the Right Thing

  • Rosalind Hursthouse
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter is about a standard problem in legal ethics which can be roughly stated as follows. Lawyers’ professional role often permits— indeed requires—them to do things that would be wrong if they were acting outside their professional role. The usual general examples of the immoral sorts of things their role might permit or require them to do are: enable a client to defeat a just claim on a technicality if they can (Zabella v. Pakel), make opposing truthful witnesses look as though they are lying if they can (Triangle Shirt Waist), maintain client confidentiality even when this causes serious harm [including being sent to Death Row (Henry Drake)] to an innocent third party (Lake Pleasant Bodies) and, arguably, even when this involves remaining silent about a crime in progress or forthcoming.

Keywords

Virtue Ethic Forced Choice Moral Dilemma Practical Wisdom Moral Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Anthony Kronman, The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession (Cambridge, MA.: Belnap Press, 1993);Google Scholar
  2. David Luban, Lawyers and Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hazard, to good effect, vide supra, and Richard Wasserstrom “Roles and Morality” in The Good Lawyer: Lawyers’ Roles and Lawyers’ Ethics (David Luban ed., Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allenheld, 1983), pp. 25–37.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    David Luban, “Professional Ethics” in A Companion to Applied Ethics (R. G. Frey and Christopher Heath eds, Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), p. 595.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Peter Geach, The Virtues (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    David Luban, “The Adversary System Excuse” in The Good Lawyer: Lawyers’ Roles and Lawyers’ Ethics (David Luban ed., Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allen-held, 1983), pp. 83–122.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rosalind Hursthouse 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalind Hursthouse

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