Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Legal advice from Mother Goose

Rule 2.1 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct provides that "In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. A lawyer should not be deterred from giving candid advice by the prospect that the advice will be unpalatable to the client." Comment 2 explains as follows:
In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors that may be relevant to the client's situation. Advice couched in narrowly legal terms may be of little value to a client, especially where practical considerations, such as cost or effects on other people, are predominant. Purely technical legal advice, therefore, can sometimes be inadequate. It is proper for a lawyer to refer to relevant moral and ethical considerations in giving advice.
In short, a lawyer has to give a lot of practical advice around a legal situation, and a common theme is that is that it is not worth suing or prosecuting a particular case. Lawyers frequently have to explain to clients that it would be expensive or unlikely to get a judgment, or it would not make business sense to collect on a judgment, or that the law really cannot correct certain moral problems. The Real Mother Goose on page 32 explains it this way:
For every evil under the sun
There is a remedy or there is none.
If there be one, seek till you find it;
If there be none, never mind it.

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