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Charisse Mae V.

Mendoza, I-A

November-December Ethics Journal

So far, what has been discussed in class is primarily on the requisites of a good lawyer, as contained in the Lawyers Oath and Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Part of this lesson was about ethical dilemmas and we were tasked to think of as many ethical dilemmas that a lawyer could face and probably try to answer these issues if possible. One of the questions posed was whether the student would be willing to be a counsel for a person who he believes is guilty. Considering that honesty is part of what lawyers should maintain as a trait, how could a lawyer be honest to his client, to the judge, and especially to himself? If I, for example, would be tasked to defend a person who is accused of raping a woman my age and I think he really did it, how would I be able to handle the situation considering I am almost like his victim? It is hard on my part, considering if my client really admits that he did it. Maybe it is still early to tell but for now, probably I would decline to handle the case if I would be allowed and then I would recommend another lawyer to handle the case for that person. I do not have the courage yet to face that kind of situation. However, there is the question of the right to counsel of the client. A lawyer could not just decline to give legal advice at the expense of the client. If the client is really innocent, and I have already prejudged him, how would he be able to attain justice? Perhaps a lawyer should be objective first on how he views his clients and should not prejudge them. Even if the whole world thinks that the client is guilty or, if the victim is also at fault for what happened to him, the lawyer should hear what his client has to say before prejudging him and from there, should try his best to work for justice for his client. Another question that could be asked is whether lawyers could be disbarred for lying for their clients. For example, if as a defense of last resort for the client, the lawyer is compelled to present an argument which is fabricated. What if it is the only way to save the client? What if his clients life depended on it? What if, on the other hand, the lawyers life and that of his loved ones depended on it? Would a lawyer be liable for that act? And if lawyers could be disbarred for doing so, are there many lawyers who have already been tried because of that offense? Lastly, the society sometimes sees lawyers as cunning individuals who manipulate the law to their own advantage. In fact, in our country, there are many lawyers who are notoriously associated with acts which are contrary to law. Why is it like that? Is it not that lawyers are bounded by their oath and that they should be of continuous possession of good moral character? Why is it then that the people associate lawyers with this notion? What are the sanctions that could be given to these lawyers then? Could just anyone complain against lawyers who are tainting the image of the legal profession? Probably as I learn more about the legal profession I would be able to answer these questions.