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The key thing for me is maintaining an emphasis between the structural and personal understandings of misconduct. Both have to be kept in mind. I've been doing work on in-house lawyers for some time (see here for a summary https://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/law-ethics/research/papers/erc-executive-report-legal-risk-definition-management-ethics.pdf and we are working on a longer piece exploring the interview data referred to in the study as well as a more quantitative study which is part of an engagement process with the in-house community in the UK, see here for more details https://elihls.wordpress.com/). One of the things that I think emerges from this is that the way the business defines its attitude to risk; the lawyers own conceptualisation of their role; their knowledge (at quite a basic level) of what professional obligations are imposed on them; and, their own personal values and objectives drive behaviour. On the whole, I'd say the lawyers are not good at conceptualising their role as a professional and weaker still at institutionalising and managing that role. This weakness comes from the lawyers themselves - individually and collectively - as well as from their environments. I absolutely agree with Alice that we have to be asking her tougher intractable questions about, if you like, the exo-skeleton within which lawyers operate but we also need to encourage introspection.
Commented Oct 1, 2015 on
Legal Ethics Forum
Last week Richard Painter posted on "Where were the Lawyers" in thinking about the Volkswagen scandal. In a column for slaw.ca today I consider that question, but also whether in asking it we ask the wrong thing: http://www.slaw.ca/2015/09/30/the-volkswagen-scandal-when-we-ask-where-were-the-la...
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