April 2010 Vol. 108 No. 6 THE REVIEW

Misunderstanding Lawyers' Ethics

Monroe H. Freedman & Abbe Smith

A Modern Legal Ethics: Adversary Ethics in a Democratic Age. By Daniel Markovits. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2008. Pp. xii, 361. $29.95.

The authors argue that Daniel Markovits's recently published book, A Modern Legal Ethics, fundamentally misunderstands what lawyers do on behalf of clients in an adversary system, and how lawyers feel about it.  Freedman and Smith argue that not only is Markovits mistaken about the widespread unhappiness of lawyers, he is also misguided in pointing to "lying" and "cheating" as the source of unhappiness and "guilt."  Moreover, the authors argue that Markovits's proposed "ethic" for rescuing the legal profession is superficial wordplay-ironically derivative of the adversarial advocacy he condemns.

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