Lawyers Are Unregulated: Unless You Have Faith In Attorney Self-Regulation
Does anyone believe that lawyers are regulated - that when a lawyer has been shown to have told lie in court, that he will receive a punishment for the crime? That only happens in fantasy world. Lawyers are "self-regulated". That is another way of saying "Not Regulated".
Why did Martha Stewart go to prison for lying? She was not a lawyer. Why did Bill Clinton escape a prison sentence for lying under oath? He was a lawyer, and they are above the law and only get a slap on the wrist when they commit a crime like that.
Wikipedia (as of Jan 16, 2007) says it well:[T]he concept of the self-regulating profession has been criticized as a sham which serves to legitimize the professional monopoly while protecting the profession from public scrutiny.[*] Disciplinary mechanisms have been astonishingly ineffective, and penalties have been light or nonexistent.[**][***]
That Wikipedia excerpt referenced these academic sources:
* Richard L. Abel, American Lawyers (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 246.
** Abel,American Lawyers, 147;
Richard L. Abel, The Legal Profession in England and Wales (London): Basil Blackwell , 1989), 135 and 250;
Harry W. Arthurs, Richard Weisman, and Frederick H. Zemans, "Canadian Lawyers: A Peculiar Professionalism," in Lawyers in Society: The Common Law World, vol. 1, eds. Richard L. Abel and Philip S.C. Lewis, 123-185 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 146;
Alan A. Paterson, "The Legal Profession in Scotland: An Endangered Species or a Problem Case for Market Theory?" in Lawyers in Society: The Common Law World, vol. 1, eds. Richard L. Abel and Philip S.C. Lewis, 76-122 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 104;
David Weisbrot, "The Australian Legal Profession: From Provincial Family Firms to Multinationals," in Lawyers in Society: The Common Law World, vol. 1, eds. Richard L. Abel and Philip S.C. Lewis, 244-317 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 284.
*** William T. Gallagher, "Ideologies of Professionalism and the Politics of Self-Regulation in the California State Bar," 22 Pepp. L. Rev. 485, 490-491.(1995).
More Good Reading:
Leslie C. Levin, The Emperor's Clothes and Other Tales About the Standards for Imposing Lawyer Discipline Sanctions, 48 American University Law Review 1 (1998).
Paula A. Monopoli, Legal Ethics and Practical Politics: Musings on the Public Perception of Lawyer Discipline, 10 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 423, 425 (1997).