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With the popularity of television courtroom dramas that distort the perception of what lawyers do, it is time to tell the truth about the U.S. judicial system. Here is a cogent and groundbreaking program for legal reform. In this provocative book, practicing lawyers and distinguished law professors Zitrin and Langford offer an incisive exploration of law as it is practiced in America today.
With expert analysis of actual cases ranging from murder to class action suits, the authors investigate lawyers' behavior and its impact on our legal system. It is an overview of the ethical dilemmas that face every member of the legal profession daily-whether they are a criminal defense lawyer, personal injury attorney, or corporate in-house counsel.
Praise for The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer...
"A perfect book for students to explore what's legal, what's ethical, what's moral? Here, they'll be exposed to 'the most important ethical dilemmas that lawyers face.'"—Monroe H. Freedman, Howard Lichtenstein, Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics, Hofstra University Law School
"The authors seize the 'high ground' of the business-versus-profession debate arguing that the delivery of legal and adjudicative services should not be governed solely by market forces and human acquisitiveness...a good (at times great) read."—Jeffrey W. Stempel, Florida State University, author of The American Lawyer
"The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer is a book that challenges lawyers and would-be lawyers to confront fundamental issues of morality and ethics involving the legal profession. The book is exceptionally well done, filled with real life situations and the difficult choices that confront lawyers. It is sprinkled throughout with wisdom, and an understanding of spiritual underpinnings that will make the book an unforgettable experience for every reader. The authors have rendered an important public service in writing this book and then bringing it into the academy through presentations such as the recent law school orientation at Fordham."— Dean John Feerick, Fordham University School of Law
"Two quick comments about The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer. First, I just finished reviewing my student evaluations for the 140 students I taught this past spring, and almost to a person, they loved the book. Towards the end of class this spring, I announced that I was teaching the PR class in summer school, and would be using the same three books, so students could sell them if they wished. Of the 140 students, two asked to sell their copies of Moral Compass, which shocked me. As much as I love the book, I was thinking that most students would want to give it up, but many kids are having spouses and parents reading their copies of Moral Compass. So, congratulations again."—Professor (and former Dean) Larry Raful, Creighton University School of Law
"Richard Zitrin and Carol Langford’s The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer is both thoughtful and provocative. Last year, we required our entering students to read The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer as part of our law school Orientation. Zitrin and Langford’s cautionary tale alerted our students to the ethical dilemmas that real lawyers face every day. Their real world experience combined with their remarkable ability to weave a story provided insights and relevance that are unparalleled in other works. I have seen the lasting impact of The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer in my students as they advanced through their studies. Students who began their law school careers discussing Zitrin and Langford’s ideas consistently draw on those ideas in our discussions in my upper division Professional Responsibility course. I strongly recommend the Zitrin and Langford book for any law school looking for an engaging orientation program that will invite students to explore the ethical challenges of modern law practice."—Steven J. Johansen, Associate Professor and Director of Legal Writing, Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College, and Chair, AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Part One: Truth, Justice, and the American Lawyer; 1. Buried Bodies: Robert Garrow and His Lawyers; 2. Another Day Spent Representing the Guilty • Part Two: Power and Its Abuse, or "We're Only Doing Our Job"; 3. Power, Arrogance, and the Survival of the Fittest; 4. A Gun to the Head of the Junior Attorney; 5. Blowing the Whistle in Corporate America • Part Three: Greed and Deceit, or "Everybody's Doing It"; 6. Insurance Lawyers: Chasing Ambulances and Chasing Money; 7. All the Court's a Stage and all the Lawyers Players: Leading and Misleading the Jury; 8. Lawyers as Liars; 9. Keeping it Secret (Or What You Don't Know Can Hurt You); 10. Class Actions: Public Protection or Windfalls for Lawyers; Conclusion: Can It Be Fixed? What Can We Do?