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The Lawyer’s Role, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 653

Essay

The lawyer’s role in this story was not portrayed as ethical to society. The lawyer utilized the reasoning from consequences, teleological reasoning.  “We treat the principles as values rather than as imperatives and as the ends to be achieved in society, rather than laws governing action directly.” (Newton, p23) The lawyer’s concern was not about potential fires or damages that their product could cause; it was simply about the repercussions that the company may face.  Legally this company had a moral and ethical obligation to their consumers.  In the lawyer’s presentation he said, “…it depends on what the question is and how the question can be fairly understood.”  He was advising his client that it was ok to misrepresent the truth, if it could be attributed to a lack of understanding with what was being asked.  This shows the lawyer was intending to negate the truth by unethically misrepresenting the facts.  Kant’s foundation explains, “In the realm of ends, everything has either a price or a dignity.” (Newton, p130)  If the lawyer was acting on this moral foundation, his priority would be on protecting what could not be replaced, that which could not have a value put on it, such as human life.  This lawyer’s actions associated with his personal moral responsibility will never advance justice.

The corporate lawyer’s responsibility is to represent the best interest of that company. He is expected to uphold the law as well, with moral and ethical standards.  The principle of ethical reasoning that this lawyer used was reasoning from rule: deontological reasoning. “It states a duty observes that present instance real or hypothetical falls under that duty and proceeds to derive the obligation to carry out that duty or instance.” (Newton, p23)  The lawyer made the choice to represent the company’s best interest, which meant telling the board that the CEO was condoning a very dangerous and unethical business practice.  The board is part of the company, so the client-lawyer confidentiality was not compromised in any way.  I am sure employees in certain positions of the company will have difficulty with trusting the lawyer, however the best interest of a company does not mean that every employee will be granted anonymity at the expense of the company.

Defamation of character is a common, unethical, practice that lawyers have utilized for eons. This takes away the credibility of a person, simply by creating a doubt of their personal ethics. The rule for allowing a cross-examination, without ruining ones character, is based on ontological reasoning.  “This is when we appeal to the principles as character traits rather than as goals or rules as virtues inherent in the moral agent rather than as characteristics of the act.” (Newton, p24)  The ethical tradition associate with this is deontological tradition, “that there is a logical system of moral imperatives inherent in the universe; that our minds are capable of understanding it; and that we are capable of obeying it.”  Lawyers have a logical sense of what is right and wrong, so by skewing what he knows is a moral imperative, he is knowingly and willingly dismissing his ethical responsibility to his position.

The law of love can simply be explained as, love is law. “This amounts to a Biblical foundation for the modern command to respect the rights and the autonomy of the individual human being just because that person is a human being, regardless of tribe, sect, color, or persuasion.” (Newton, p63) Court systems do encompass factors of the law of love by making discrimination illegal, however for the court to be embodied by this law, it would have to surpass the judicial laws.  Meaning, the foundation for which the court was established would become second to the principles in the law of love.  Today’s judicial system would never allow this.

Work Cited

Newton, Lisa.  Ethics in America: Study Guide. Pearson Education, Inc. 2004.  Print.

Newton, Lisa.  Ethics in America: Source Reader. Pearson Education, Inc. 2004.  Print.

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