Introduction Lawyers’ duties are relevant not only to their clients, for there is also a

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Introduction

Lawyers’ duties are relevant not only to their clients, for there is also a “public interest that the duty should be performed” [1P3]. Lawyers are, in society, in the unique position of quasi-state actors. Although not formally part of the state, they are vital in the smooth operation of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government [1P3]. Several features of lawyers’ duties and responsibilities are distinct to the legal profession. The justification for such features resides in this function lawyers are required to perform in society. It is the vital nature of lawyers in society which provides the rationale for their unique position.

The legal profession is largely self-governed [1P9]. In New
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On this approach, the lawyer is bound to act in accordance with applicable laws and rules, such as the Rules of Conduct and Client Care, but as long as they “operate within those constraints then they are acting appropriately” [2P12]. That is, the moral content of the client's instructions have no bearing upon the lawyer's actions. In contrast, on the ethics of care approach, the focus is on the particular nature of the relationship between lawyer and client, at the core of which is an “obligation of care” [1P64]. The key is creating and maintaining “responsive connection to others” [8P5] On this view, there is no universal rule for ascertaining the appropriate or moral action to be taken, but rather each set of individual circumstances gives rise to differing obligations. This holistic approach requires lawyers to look not only at the legal consequences, but also take into consideration the wider implications. On this approach, a lawyer may, for instance, assist clients by making referrals to non-legal sources of help. Lawyers also are more likely to seek resolution of issues through mechanisms other than litigation. The primary objection against such an approach is its lack of grounding in principle, resulting in inconsistency among choices.[1p67]

On the virtue ethics approach, the good lawyer is one who possesses the appropriate characteristics, such as honesty, sympathy and virtue [1P61]. A lawyer adopting this approach will necessarily

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