This Article addresses the recent proposal of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct by the American Bar Association. The author argues that the adoption of the Model Rules would interfere with a lawyer's ability to effectively perform his part of the judicial process, and that such interference would threaten the entire adversary system and the rights it vindicates. The author begins by outlining the major advantages and disadvantages of the adversary system. He then discusses the genesis of two ethical principles that are fundamental to this system, namely zealous representation of clients and limitation of candor to the court. The author then examines the anti-adversarial implications of the proposed Model Rules. The author concludes by suggesting that non-adversary standards of conduct should not be accepted unless the value judgments implicit in their adoption have been carefully considered, that reform which involves ethical precepts alone is inadequate because it creates serious conflicts for the practicing lawyer, and that the adoption of a non-adversary approach may undermine fundamental human rights.
The Decline of the Adversary System and the Changing Role of the Advocate in That System,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol18/iss2/3