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False friends? Testing commercial lawyers on the claim that zealous advocacy is founded in benevolence towards clients rather than lawyers' personal interest

Moorhead, Richard and Cahill-O'callaghan, Rachel 2016. False friends? Testing commercial lawyers on the claim that zealous advocacy is founded in benevolence towards clients rather than lawyers' personal interest. Legal Ethics 19 (1) , pp. 30-49. 10.1080/1460728x.2016.1186453

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Abstract

Commercial lawyers often signal that ‘client first’ is an essential element of their professional DNA, and some scholarly proponents have laid claim to a moral justification for zeal. That moral justification is found, in particular, in the notion of lawyers as friends. One critique of zeal is that this moral claim is bogus: that ‘client first’ is a convenient trope for disguised self-interest. This paper explores the empirical validity of this ‘client first’ ideal through a value-based analysis of zeal in lawyering. Our data suggest plausible differences in ethical decision-making related to those values. The data are consistent with more zealous lawyers having stronger self-interested rather than client-interested motivations. More zealous lawyers are also less constrained by valuing conformity to rules. If our results are valid, they suggest that the claim that zeal is motivated by placing a high value on the interests of the client is false.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: ?? LAWPL ??
Law
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles - no Open Select
ISSN: 1460-728X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 26 May 2016
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 14:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/94200

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