LAW GOVERNING LAWYER AND JUSTICE CONTRADICT EACH OTHER

Michael Sean Quinn*

            Justice in disputes requires that
participants be treated objectively and fairly. If the majority opinion in the
recent United States Supreme Court decision in the gay marriage case(2) is a
characterization of justice, then each citizen has a fundamental and legally
protected right to be treated with human dignity. This means, among many other
things, they have a right not to be crushed and ground up, metaphorically
speaking, for no reason in the public dispute process.

            The Texas Disciplinary Rules of
Professional Conduct explicitly begins with the following: “A lawyer is a
representative of clients, an officer of the legal system, and a public citizen
having a special responsibility for the quality of justice. See ¶1, first
sentence. These are the “Ethical Rules” that are part of the law governing
lawyers and their conduct. Those of every state are substantially similar at least, as the ABA’s Model Rules, the template for almost all of those of the states. 

            The trouble is that the same body of
law says this in ¶3, after having listed the diverse functions of lawyers: “In
all professional functions, a lawyer should zealously pursue a client’s
interests within the bounds of the law.”

            The problem is that deliberately
pursuing a client’s interests in an area where the law is silent may involve
imposing an unjust result on an opposing party. 
In my range of knowledge, this often happens in divorce cases, cases
where poor people seek remedies, and where the elderly seek relief or damages.

            In other words, zealous representation
of clients and the obligation of seeking and maintaining a high quality of
justice are inconsistent straight out of the gate. How could it foster justice for lawyer to deliberately obstruct the admission of facts and/or documents they know to be relevant and the truth? And yet systematic obstruction is a very important part of zealous advocacy. Nearly as important an postponement in a case where an elderly person is a plaintiff. 

            

Michael Sean Quinn, Ph.D., J.D.
The Law Firm[s] of Michael Sean Quinn et

Quinn and Quinn

                                 1300 West Lynn Street, Suite 208

                                             Austin, Texas 78703

                                                 (512) 296-2594

                                            (512) 344-9466 – Fax

                                E-mail:  mquinn@msquinnlaw.com

Originally posted on 07/30/2015 @ 5:29 pm

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc. (530)

One of Texas's leading insurance scholars, Michael Sean Quinn is a past chair of the Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas and has a broad legal practice.

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