St. Mary's University School of Law
The zealous pursuit of law has its own ideals and dogma that sets it apart from the other rules in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Decades after many enactments and amendments, there still exists many debates considering its operation as to whether an attorney owes a duty toward society over the representation of the client. This is a Delphi method that has made even the best seasoned ‘Justiciar’ and ‘Legislator’ unable to find the proper guidelines to implement upon the Legal Superstructure. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct attempt to clear the fog around the existing principle of Zealous Representation, but clouded grey areas of the rules still exist. In many ways, unraveling this knot is similar to picking apart a spider’s web without damaging its intricate design. This paper tries to unknot the Gordian Knot of zealous representation and offers an overview of the complex relationship between Natural Law, Legal Positivism, and the General Principles of Morality with Legal Ethics and the conflict that arises between the inherent sense of justice and fairness with the Model Rules during a lawyer’s representation of clients. In addition, this paper offers some tentative suggestions that attorneys should be aware of the ethical constraints of their profession and should not exceed the scope of their authority when representing their clients. To ensure proper representation of their clients, attorneys must understand and adhere to the ethical boundaries of their profession. The authors attempt to apply existing citations and precedents to point out the boundary of zealous representation.
Sudarsanan Sivakumar & Marshall Maina,
“Zealous” Professional Ethics: The Transcendence of Natural Law, Legal Positivism, and the Ethical Stage in the U.S. Legal Ethics System and the Moral Dilemma that Surround Zealous Representation,
St. Mary's J. on Legal Malpractice & Ethics
Available at: https://commons.stmarytx.edu/lmej/vol14/iss1/4