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Legal Ethics

Legal Ethics

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Description
It is astonishing that a student can go through his or her legal training with little or no understanding of professional ethics. It is all the more surprising given the major scandals in the financial sector leading to the economic collapse that has so character¬ised this century. Lawyers played no small role in these and the events have justifiably led to considerable soul-searching within the profession. But that is merely part of a broader crisis in the legal profession. As legal aid budgets are drastically cut, denying many access to justice, there is a discomforting truth in the cynics' claim that lawyers exist to make rich people richer. Lawyers need a clearer understanding of the ethi¬cal basis of what they do and the ethical restrictions on their behaviour if they are to regain the confidence of the public and confidence in themselves.
This book is firmly targeted at the student reader. It does not purport to give answers to all of the difficult issues raised. I hope that readers will gain an under¬standing of the different views that people take and be equipped to develop their own perspectives. There is plenty of further reading suggested at the end of each chapter for those wishing to find out more.
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Contents
Table of cases
Table of statutes and professional codes
1.  ETHICAL THEORIES
Introduction
Lawyers and legal ethics
The role of ethics
Ethical disagreements
General ethical principles
Are lawyers' ethics special?
The role of the lawyer
Should law degrees include ethics?
Professional codes
Conclusion
2.  THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Introduction
Professionalism
The social place of lawyers
The crisis of legal professionalism'
Culture
Legal executives
Anti-lawyers
Conclusion
3.  THE REGULATION OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Introduction
The need for regulation
Who can practise law?
Regulatory bodies
Self-regulation
Issues around codes
Alternatives
Complaints about solicitors
Barristers
McKenzie friend
Alternative business structures
Legal education
Conclusion
4.  THE LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
Introduction
The professional codes
The 'standard conception'
Alternatives to the standard conception
The differing models
Advertising
The 'cab-rank rule'
Solicitors and client choice
Who is the client?
Referrals
Ending a relationship with a client
Conclusion
5.  CONFIDENTIALITY
Introduction
The protection of lawyer-client communications
Professional guidance
Confidentiality
Legal professional privilege
Duty to disclose
Against privilege
Conclusion
6.  CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS
Introduction
The basic principles
The professional codes
The ethical basis for the principle
What is a 'conflict of interest'?
Exceptions Conclusion
7.  FEES
Introduction
Sources and forms of funding
Ethics and fees
Contingency fees
Speculative fees
Insurance
Hourly fees
Court assessment
Solicitors Regulation Authority review
Legal proceedings to recover fees
Client funds
Legal aid
Conclusion
8.  NEGLIGENCE AND LAWYERS
Introduction
Contract
Fiduciary duties
The basic principles of negligence
The removal of immunity
Conclusion
9.  LITIGATION
Introduction
Theories of litigation
Is litigation good?
Adversarial litigation
Inquisitorial adjudication
Criminal litigation
Civil litigation
Advocacy
Duty to court
Conclusion
10.  ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Introduction
The forms of ADR
Negotiation
Mediation
Collaborative law
Arbitration
Conclusion
11.  THIRD PARTIES
Introduction
General principles: unfair advantage
Correcting mistakes of third parties
Threatening to bring a hopeless application
Offensive behaviour
Undertakings
Contacting opposing party
Unrepresented parties
Tort duties to third parties
Broader ethical

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