Two Ways of Doing the Right Thing

  • Rosalind Hursthouse


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.


Virtue Ethic Forced Choice Moral Dilemma Practical Wisdom Moral Decision 
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© Rosalind Hursthouse 2008

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  • Rosalind Hursthouse

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