In this Article, Professor Simon argues that conventional approaches to legal ethics are too categorical. Rather than operating within a system of formalized ethical rules, he argues, lawyers should exercise judgment and discretion in deciding what clients to represent and how to represent them. In exercising this discretion, lawyers should seek to "do justice." They should consider the merits of the client's claims and goals relative to those of opposing parties and other potential clients. They should also consider the substantive merits of the client's claims and the reliability of the standard legal procedures for resolving the problem at hand. Professor Simon also defends his argument against a variety of possible objections that supporters of conventional approaches to legal ethics might make.
William H. Simon,
Ethical Discretion in Lawyering,
Harv. L. Rev.
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