Thursday, June 01, 2006

Random thought...

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been spending more downtime writing about things not involving law.

Just a quickie post du jour: I wish NY had a good, comprehensive list of rules and regulations concerning ethical behavior. The Ethical Considerations and Canons and Disciplinary Rules work very well on one level. At the same time, sometimes I want to flip open a book and see, in black and white, if something is prohibited, allowed or in grey.

The other day, for example, a local firm auctioned off a living will as part of a charity auction I was viewing. When I had asked the Ethics Police about that, last year, confused by the lack of specificity in the rules, I was sent an ethical opinion saying that such a thing was prohibited. Prohibited by some very pointless language that seemed to be utter inapplicable, in my opinion, about the attorney's duty to choose only clients with actual legal issues, etc. If I could limit my practice to those that only had legal issues, screening out those that just wanted someone to talk to, had no remedy at law, had mental issues, etc...I'd have three times as much energy and twice as much time to blog.

Point, and there was one there somewhere...the rules are too vague. Something like a donation to charity shouldn't be an ethical morass, but that's how our vague rules make it. I'm sure the system works in a way to allow necessary flexibility, but as a young lawyer without a lot of guidance from above...I'm strongly in favor of some boundaries that are spelled out so I know before I cross them.


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