Identifying the Ethical System
You are an intern at an attorney’s office and you have been asked to prepare a memo in response to the following scenario:
- You have been accompanying one of the attorneys in your office to visit a client in jail. You notice that the attorney has been requesting continuances in his case for frivolous reasons. This has kept the inmate in jail for a long time. You suspect this has to do with the fact that the attorney hasn’t received full payment for his work.
- The inmate discusses the problem with you, asking for your help. Upon being approached, the attorney explains the “Confidence Game,” or the need for putting informal pressure on clients to pay the required legal fees.
You are now in a very delicate situation and must determine what your next steps will be.
Write an analysis report of four to five pages in Microsoft Word document analyzing the dilemma and how you would go about handling the problem. Your report should:
- Address if the attorney’s action was ethical. Express your opinion with appropriate justifications.
- Explain why you believe the inmate feels he can trust you.
- Address if the legal code of the American Bar Association (ABA) was broken? If so, which of the legal codes of the ABA was broken and how?
- Explain, giving reasons, whether you feel that a report should be filed with a higher official.
- Explain, giving reasons, why you chose to handle the incident in the manner in which you did.
- Identify the ethical system you used to make your decision and why you rejected the other ethical systems.
Now you must determine if your actions would be considered “whistle-blowing.” In order to determine this you will need to address the following issues:
The importance of whistle-blowing to the criminal justice system.
- Explain when and how whistle-blowing is ethical, if at all. Is it a betrayal or a public duty?
- Identify an ethical system that would consider whistle-blowing a betrayal and why.
- Identify an ethical system that would consider whistle-blowing a public duty and explain why.
- Would you consider reporting your colleague to a partner in the law firm?
- Would reporting your colleague be considered “whistle-blowing?” Why or why not?
For information on the legal rules of conduct and whistle-blowing, visit the following websites:
Cato.org: Policy Analysis
USdoj.org: INS Employees’ Allegations of Retaliation
Guidelines for Conduct
Support your responses with examples.
Cite any sources in APA format