In this equally inspiring and troubling book, leading lawyers and legal academics draw on case studies, biography, and memoir to explore the relationship between ethics and the law in Canada.
The stories are revealing. Adam Dodek revisits Smith v. Jones to explore what can happen when client confidentiality and the public good come into conflict. Allan Hutchinson examines the poor choices made by serial killer Paul Bernardo’s defense lawyer. David Asper recounts the fight to free David Milgaard from jail, including mistakes he made along the way. Richard Devlin celebrates the life and career of “Rocky” Jones, a black lawyer from Halifax who battled racism both outside and inside the law. Janine Benedet demonstrates how women’s issues are marginalized within the legal profession. Constance Backhouse reveals how historically lawyers obstructed Jews, people of colour, Aboriginal people, and women from entering law. Lorne Sossin questions why so few lawyers donate their time pro bono. Trevor Farrow raises troubling questions about access to justice within in Canada. Alice Woolley reflects on pressures within Canada’s legal culture. Brent Cotter recalls the life and work of Ian Scott, an Attorney General who used his position to transform society. And Micah Rankin critiques the Law Society of BC’s decision to punish lawyer Gerry Laaraker for criticizing another lawyer who he believed engaged in legal intimidation and blackmail.
Highly readable and engaging, In Search of the Ethical Lawyer brings to life the ethical challenges lawyers face and redefines what it means be a “good” lawyer.
This collection will interest students, scholars, and practitioners in law, sociology, and public policy.
In Search of the Ethical Lawyer is an engrossing collection of essays that seeks to inject a measure of humanity and empathy into discussion of some of the most complex and compelling ethical issues in Canadian legal history, past and present. In this regard, it succeeds, providing a perspective that simply cannot be matched by an examination of related court decisions or academic articles … Ethical Lawyer offers lessons and practical advice that today’s lawyers can understand and integrate into their own careers.
There are many different conceptions of what an ethical lawyer is and what legal ethics are and there are tensions among these conceptions that make legal ethics more complex than I had ever imagined … In [In Search of the Ethical Lawyer], Adam Dodek and Alice Woolley have compiled a set of stories that illustrate these diverse aspects of ethical lawyership … I highly recommend this text … All in all, [it] is an indispensable guide for both the seasoned legal practitioner and lay user of the Small Claims Court.
This important volume brings together stories too often seen only in isolation and frequently more notorious than well understood. It is through these stories, captivatingly told, that new insights emerge to advance our thinking about legal ethics, while bringing to life the ethical challenges lawyers face.
Legal ethics scholarship in Canada is still largely in its infancy. In Search of the Ethical Lawyer is thus an important and unique addition to that field. In combining the practical with the theoretical, it provides an accessible, provocative examination of some of the more difficult ethical issues confronting lawyers.
Adam Dodek is associate professor in the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of Solicitor-Client Privilege and The Canadian Constitution, as well as the co-editor of five other books. He is a member of the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism and is a former Governor of the Law Commission of Ontario. He is also a founding member of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics and a member of the Advisory Board for the journal Legal Ethics. In 2014, he was named by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential figures in the Canadian legal profession.
Alice Woolley is a professor and associate dean academic in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. She is the author of Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics in Canada and co-editor of Lawyers’ Ethics and Professional Regulation (2nd Edition). She is a founding member of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics, a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, and a member of the Board of the International Association of Legal Ethics. In 2015, she was named by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential figures in the Canadian legal profession.
Contributors: David Asper, Constance Backhouse, Janine Benedet, Brent Cotter, Richard Devlin, Trevor Farrow, Allan Hutchinson, Micah Rankin, and Lorne Sossin
Foreword / Paul Wells
Introduction / Adam Dodek and Alice Woolley
1 Keeping Secrets or Saving Lives: What Is a Lawyer to Do? / Adam Dodek
2 Putting Up a Defence: Sex, Murder, and Videotapes / Allan C. Hutchinson
3 “No One’s Interested in Something You Didn’t Do”: Freeing David Milgaard the Ugly Way / David Asper
4 “Begun in Faith, Continued in Determination”: Burnley Allan (Rocky) Jones and the Egalitarian Practice of Law / Richard F. Devlin
5 Feminist Lawyering: Insiders and Outsiders / Janine Benedet
6 Gender and Race in the Construction of “Legal Professionalism”: Historical Perspectives / Constance Backhouse
7 The Helping Profession: Can Pro Bono Lawyers Make Sick Children Well? / Lorne Sossin
8 A New Wave of Access to Justice Reform in Canada / Trevor C.W. Farrow
9 Michelle’s Story: Creativity and Meaning in Legal Practice / Alice Woolley
10 Ian Scott: Renaissance Man, Consummate Advocate, Attorney General Extraordinaire / W. Brent Cotter
11 Gerry Laarakker: From Rustic Rambo to Rebel with a Cause / Micah Rankin
Commitment, Emotion, and Action in Qualitative Research
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