October 2010

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Month: October 2010

Are Lawyers Inherently Corrupt?

A study on international corruption in the legal systems around the world found that corruption is alive and well. Some findings:

  • Nearly half of all respondents stated corruption was an issue in the legal profession in their own jurisdiction. The proportion was even higher – over 70 per cent – in the following regions: CIS, Africa, Latin America and, Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
  • More than a fifth of respondents said they have or may have been approached to act as an agent or middleman in a transaction that could reasonably be suspected to involve international corruption. Nearly a third of respondents said a legal professional they know has been involved in international corruption offences.
  • Nearly 30 per cent of respondents said they had lost business to corrupt law firms or individuals who have engaged in international bribery and corruption.
Wow.

Ok, so I admit to insinuate that lawyers are inherently corrupt is unfair and superficial, but let's face it, corruption IS abound in the legal system. Surely, something about getting a J.D. does not automatically make one lose all sense of morality and ethics. Actually, I find this article quite timely as some of my family members and close friends were discussing this matter. My non-lawyer friends and family couldn't help but to notice that every other attorney they have met has some sort of crooked streak to them.

I think it comes down to
...
One of the leading thinkers in Cyber Law, Lawrence Lessigreviews The Social Network on The New Republic. Check it out. Here's an excerpt:

Did Zuckerberg breach his contract? Maybe, for which the damages are more like $650, not $65 million. Did he steal a trade secret? Absolutely not. Did he steal any other "property"? Absolutely not—the code for Facebook was his, and the "idea" of a social network is not a patent. It wasn't justice that gave the twins $65 million; it was the fear of a random and inefficient system of law. That system is a tax on innovation and creativity. That tax is the real villain here, not the innovator it burdened.