Can lawyers be honourable?

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  • Can lawyers be honourable?

    TC2009 said:

    I'm no lawyer (I am far too honourable for that profession)
    Why is there a general perception that lawyers cannot be honourable?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
    Why is there a general perception that lawyers cannot be honourable?
    American 'ambulance-chasing' exponents, leading to UK "Have you been hurt? Claim big damages on no-win-no-fee basis" advertisements.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
      TC2009 said:



      Why is there a general perception that lawyers cannot be honourable?
      Does TC2009's comment amount to a 'general perception'?

      I don't think there is a general perception.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      • #4
        Actually, I'll qualify that. I don't think there is a general perception that they are dishonourable. There may be general perception that they charge excessively for some of the things they do, relative to charges for services requiring equivalent training, knowledge, skill and experience which are offered in other professions.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          TC2009 said:



          Why is there a general perception that lawyers cannot be honourable?
          (1) Because it is a lazy knee-jerk stereotype which makes the person repeating it feel good about themselves..

          (2) Because lay people generally do not understand and are frightened of the law (and by extension, lawyers).

          (3) Because lay people are not aware of, or do not understand the rules of professional ethics that bind lawyers. In particular they do not understand that lawyers act on instructions and are professionally bound to accept their client's version of events at face value, they do not understand the absolute neccessity for the "cab rank rule" at the Bar (which ensures representation for anyone, no matter how disreputable), they are usually astonished by the requirements with respect to the disclosure of evidence to the other side, and they do not understand the lawyer's duty to not to mislead the Court.

          (4) Because lay people on the whole are not all that ethical themselves and are therefore prone to judging lawyers by their own standards. The number of untruths (be they whoppers or just little white lies) that are told in the witness box every day simply beggars belief. Also, I recently witnessed a traffic accident, and a few weeks later the more innocent of the two drivers asked me to embellish and exaggerate my evidence ("But you could say that you saw that, couldn't you?")! She was a very respectable-looking and fairly well-spoken middle-aged woman (she looked like she was probably a teacher or even a doctor) but she didn't seem to realise that she was, potentially, asking me to commit perjury.

          (5) Because lawyers are expensive and people generally resent paying high fees, especially when, on the whole, people usually do not willingly become embroiled in litigation, the outcome of which inevitably involves at least one defeated and financially much worse off party and a winner who has gone through months of stress and expense, simply in order to restore, in so far as it is possible to do so, the status quo.

          (6) Because lawyers are, on the whole, good at manipulating language in order to persuade others to accept their client's version of events, or an interpretation of the law that most suits their client's case. They also have a tendency to use this skill in their non-professional life. Most lay people are not so skilled in this art, and are deeply suspicious of those who are.

          There are probably more reasons, but I have a headache due to this horrible weather.
          Health Warning


          I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

          All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by agent46 View Post
            (1) Because...etc.
            I was going to say all that!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by agent46 View Post
              (2) Because lay people generally do not understand and are frightened of the law (and by extension, lawyers).
              Meh. Most lawyers one deals with have no specific property law knowledge. They might be good at claiming for road accidents and the like, I dunno, I've never used one for that purpose.

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              • #8
                And don't even bother to get me started on the teaching 'profession'

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TC2009 View Post
                  And don't even bother to get me started on the teaching 'profession'
                  Oops. Mind the gap will be on to you. Don't make her angry- you won't like her when she's angry.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TC2009 View Post
                    And don't even bother to get me started on the teaching 'profession'
                    I'm with you on that one.

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                    • #11
                      It's OK. Even Ofsted inspectors and strange people like Chris Woodenhead are allowed to participate on this forum
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TC2009 View Post
                        Meh. Most lawyers one deals with have no specific property law knowledge.
                        And..........?
                        Health Warning


                        I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                        All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TC2009 View Post
                          Most lawyers one deals with have no specific property law knowledge.
                          Eh? Most conveyancing solicitors have a good working knowledge of much more conveyancing and land law than anyone else (inc. Estate Agents). Not all conveyancers are solicitors, true, and only a few of us have a particularly good grasp of the more complex or arcane aspects.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One deals 99.9% of the time with commercial property.
                            Don't get me started on estate agents either. Its a very long list of professions that I'm happy to take a stereotypical view on, although it can be shortened if you include 'Public Sector Workers' (oxymoron) as one category

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TC2009 View Post
                              One deals 99.9% of the time with commercial property.
                              Who are you - the Queen?



                              Originally posted by TC2009 View Post
                              Don't get me started on estate agents either. Its a very long list of professions that I'm happy to take a stereotypical view on,
                              Estate agency is not a profession.
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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