Essay: Correctional Officers: As an Attorney

Pages: 7 (2324 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] My colleague's actions, especially his drinking problem, hinder his ability to provide much attention to cases. This drinking problem could also be the reason for his seeming incompetence, poor demeanor and behavior, and inability to represent facts appropriately. Therefore, my colleague has not only violated the rules for professional conduct but also infringed the ethical legal code for this profession, which has resulted in several moral and ethical issues.

Since a lawyer serves as an evaluator of a client's legal issues, he/she must be prompt, competent, and diligent in all professional functions. While conducting his/her professional activities, an attorney's conduct should comply with legal requirements in relation to provision of client service and in handling personal and business matters. Lawyers are required to uphold the legal process and demonstrate respect for the legal process i.e. To his colleagues, judges, public officials, and clients ("Florida Rules of Professional Conduct," n.d.).

One of the major moral and ethical issues surrounding my colleague's actions is whether he demonstrates respect for the legal process, especially to his colleagues and clients. This attorney has not demonstrated highest level of skill and epitomized the legal profession's ideals of public service. The second ethical issue at stake in this scenario is whether the attorney is facing conflict between his responsibilities to clients and his sense of individual honor such as societal obligations. These moral and ethical issues could be factors contributing to the attorney's misconduct, incompetence, and inability to maintain professional standards for legal practice.

In attempts to resolve this issue, one of the major steps to undertake is to examine whether there is violation of any legal code of the American Bar Association. This association has developed and constantly reviews the Model Rules for Professional Conduct to guide and direct lawyers and provides a framework for regulating conduct through disciplinary mechanisms. The legal code of the ABA that was broken by this attorney is failure to abide by the principles of substantive law with regards to demonstrating respect for the legal profession and all its stakeholders. Violation of these principles is demonstrated through drinking problem, incompetence, improper documentation for cases, poor demeanor and behavior, misrepresentation of facts, and interference with case documents.

Therefore, necessary measures and actions should be taken to deal with the attorney's conduct based on the Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement. These rules establish a procedural mechanism to investigate and prosecute allegations against lawyers at the state level. The investigation and prosecution of complaints is carried out in a fair and efficient way that offers suitable due process for the accused lawyers. Similar to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement are constantly reviewed based on the emerging issues in the legal profession.

The most appropriate course of action in this scenario is to sanction the attorney under the administration of a disciplinary authority. This will be followed by filing a misconduct inquiry about the attorney at the State Bar. The respective State Bar will examine whether the information constitutes Attorney Misconduct and take appropriate disciplinary actions. This course of action is appropriate since it helps in avoiding using disciplinary measures as procedural weapons against the lawyer. Furthermore, it will provide the attorney with a fair and efficient manner for due process in his case.

In conclusion, ethical code of conduct is an important aspect for professionals in the criminal justice field and the legal profession. Professionals in these fields are not only required to comply with constitutional law but abide by the ethical legal code in their practice. As evident in these examples, failure to comply with ethical legal code results in the emergence of several moral and ethical issues. Furthermore, this may contribute to several lawsuits that are filed against these professionals. Therefore, the criminal justice system and legal profession is not only governed by constitutional provisions but also by ethical legal code.

References:

"A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual." (2009). Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Retrieved from Columbia Law School website: http://www3.law.columbia.edu/hrlr/JLM/Chapter_24.pdf

"Employee Professionalism, Ethics and Conduct." (2011, January 10). Department Order

Manual. Retrieved from Arizona Department of Corrections website: http://www.azcorrections.gov/Policies/500/0501.pdf

"Florida Rules of Professional Conduct." (n.d.). Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from Cornell University Law School website: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/fl/code/FL_CODE.htm

Heibutzki, R. (n.d.). The Disadvantages of Being a Correctional Officer. Retrieved August 27,

2013, from http://work.chron.com/disadvantages-being-correctional-officer-10287.html

"Officer Requirements." (n.d.). Correctional Officer Ethical Standards of Conduct. Retrieved from Florida Department of Law Enforcement website: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/CJST/Menu/Officer-Requirements-Main-Page/CO-Ethical-Standards-of-Conduct.aspx

Podgers, J. (2012, November 1). A New Look: ABA Plans First Comprehensive Review of Disciplinary Enforcement Rules in 20 Years. ABA Journal. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/a_new_look_aba_plans_first_comprehensive_review_of_disciplinary_enforcement/ [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Correctional Officers: As an Attorney."  Essaytown.com.  August 27, 2013.  Accessed April 18, 2019.
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