Rule 41

Professional conduct of lawyers in Arizona is governed by Rule 41 of the Supreme Court of Arizona. It says (skipping to the good stuff):

(d)  To counsel or maintain no other action, proceeding or
defense than those which appear to him legal and just,
excepting the defense of a person charged with a public
offense.
(e)   To employ for the purpose of maintaining causes
confided to him such means only as are consistent with
truth, and never seek to mislead the judges by any
artifice or false statement of fact or law.
(f)   To maintain inviolate the confidences and preserve
the secrets of a client.
(g)   To avoid engaging in unprofessional conduct and to
advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a
party or a witness unless required by the justice of the
cause with which the member is charged.
(h)   Not to encourage either the commencement or
continuation of an action or proceeding from any corrupt
motive of passion or interest, and never to reject for any
consideration personal to himself the cause of the
defenseless or oppressed.

I’ve read 50 pages so far of the Arizona State Bar’s “Opinion and Order Imposing Sanctions” against disgraced (and now disbarred) former Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas and henchmen (henchwomen?). It is quite a piece of work.

Of course, the disciplinary panel had good material with which to work, but they’ve interwoven an amazing number of metaphors and great quotes ranging from the Bible, to Dwight Eisenhower, to Lincoln, to various Founding Fathers, to Shakespeare. to Gandhi. And that’s all just in the first 50 (of 247) pages.

My favorites so far, first from Abraham Lincoln:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you
want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

And from the disciplinary panel itself:

Attorneys must ever guard against the temptation to confuse what is legal with what is ethical or moral.  Because an act is legal, according to the letter of the law, does not make it ethical.  Because an act is ethical does not make it legal.

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1 Comment

  1. UPDATE: Quoted in an AZCentral article, Ed Moriarity, attorney representing former Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon, said,

    “The fact of the matter is that if every lawyer in every case was subjected to the scrutiny that was given to this case, no lawyer would be able to practice — and the lawyers should be aware of that.”

    Absolutely.

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