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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Drafting Commercial Agreements

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The Ethics of Representing Organizations: Legal Fictions for Clients

ISBN13: 9780195371543
Published: September 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

The Ethics of Representing Organizations ,is divided into two sections:

The first half of the book explores professional responsibility issues from the perspective of the lawyer's duty to represent clients zealously within the bounds of the law. It examines the fiduciary and other ethical duties lawyers owe to their clients in the context of representing legal fictions, which includes the identification of an entity client, followed by what the authors call "the five C's," or fiduciary duties owed clients: competence, communication, client control, confidentiality, and conflict resolution. The authors then detail the legal bounds beyond which lawyers cannot pass in representing clients, paying careful attention to crimes and frauds, as well as duties imposed by tribunals and obligations of fairness to third parties. This section concludes with an examination of the various legal remedies clients and third parties may seek for breaches of lawyer obligations, including professional discipline, malpractice, disqualification, fee forfeiture, procedural sanctions and criminal accountability.

The second half of the book is devoted to the ethical problems that arise in particular organizational settings. Publicly held companies, not for profits, unincorporated associations, partnerships and business start-ups all raise their own special ethical dilemmas, and each is considered in turn.

Finally, the authors offer a checklist of "do's and don't's," special practice-oriented pointers that a lawyer for any organization should keep in mind.

On a stylistic note, the approach of the book is relatively informal-in comparison to a standard legal treatise-and uses a question-and-answer format designed to make the book as practical, accessible and informative as possible. That said, ample footnotes provide authority where appropriate and lead the reader to suggestions for more in-depth study.