Legal Professionalism and Criticism
How far can a lawyer go in criticizing a judge or a fellow attorney? A recent article on Law.com asks just that. Lots of lawyers can get into trouble by complaining about biased judges in the age of mass media, but what about over beers after the case? The article points out that an advocate can really hurt her client if she doesn’t find out everything that she can about the judge and the opposing counsel before she goes to court. In the end, the article concludes that it is not only the right, but the duty of lawyers to speak out about judicial foibles and biases. Do you think that this is the case? Certainly if there is explicit misconduct or bias then something needs to be changed, but where on the scale of preferences and idiosyncrasies does a judge or lawyer become open for criticism? Where does a lawyer’s duty to professional tact and courtesy end, and his duty to criticize begin? Let us know what you think.