Professional Ethics for the Global Lawyer constitute the foundation of a lawyer’s duties in pursuit of his or her profession. Lawyers have many masters – their clients, the Courts, the profession, and the public – and balancing sometimes competing obligations to these bodies can pose considerable challenges. All lawyers, regardless of jurisdiction, are bound by standards of legal professional responsibility and have an obligation to comply with ethical duties, although – in some cases – considerable differences exist between the different legal systems.
This extra-curricular unit examines the professional responsibility systems of both common law and civil law jurisdictions from a comparative perspective and identifies the core features shared by most systems, and also highlights particular features of the various systems examined.
Topics covered include the basic elements of lawyers’ professional responsibility obligations, ethical considerations, including but not limited to relationships, conflicts of interest, compliance, billing practices, dealing with trust accounts, and unqualified practice. The tutorial also covers the remedies available for persons affected by a lawyer’s breach of legal professional responsibility, including the complaints procedure and issues of cost recovery. Finally, the tutorial addresses the sanctions imposed on lawyers for breaches of their professional obligations.