Richard A. Wasserstrom's Lawyers as Professionals: Some Moral Issues

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Richard A. Wasserstrom's article "Lawyers as Professionals: Some Moral Issues."

Criticisms of lawyers are the topic in Richard A. Wasserstrom's article "Lawyers as Professionals: Some Moral Issues." Wasserstrom broke this topic into two main areas of discussion. The first suggests that lawyers operate with essentially no regard for any negative impact of their efforts on the world at large. Analysis of the relationship that exists between the lawyer and their client was the second topic of discussion. "Here the charge is that it is the lawyer-client relationship which is morally objectionable because it is a relationship which the lawyer dominates and in which the lawyer typically, and perhaps inevitably, treats the client in both an
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Wasserstrom also considers the fact that in many situations lawyers have the optional ability to remove themselves form issues that may contradict their individual ethics. "Having once agreed to represent the client, the lawyer in under an obligation to do his or her best to defend that person at trial." With in the process of contracting a lawyer, the lawyer has the option of acceptance or refusal of representing the client. Therefore the lawyer can asses the case and decide if it violates any of their own individual ethics.

The fact that lawyers are positioned in an amoral world was one of Wasserstrom arguments. A lawyer?s relationship with their clients consists of complex inequalities. Some of the reasons that Wasserstrom indicates that a lawyer exists in an amoral world is explicitly evident in the example of the Watergate cover up. ?I think, at least a plausible hypothesis that the predominance of lawyers was not accidental.? Wasserstrom goes one to say ?the lawyer as professional comes to inhabit a simplified universe which is strikingly amoral.?

These two statements present clear support for the conclusion that Wasserstrom believes lawyers are positioned in an amoral world. The second conclusion is defended by many statements and situations concerning the lawyer?client relationship. Wasserstrom identifies a few dominant traits with in this relationship containing inequality, created by role-differentiation, and vulnerability.
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