LEGAL ETHICS IN THE UNITED STATES ELABORATED THROUGH THE PRISM OF ABA MODEL STANDARDS
The judiciary is an area that has at its center some of the most fundamental values, such
as justice and fairness ... It makes decisions for some of the most important human rights and
freedoms, it influence on parts of human life that are essential ... Therefore, it is more than
important the ethical conduct of all persons involved in the practising of the law.
The American legal profession is said to be experiencing drastic and rapid development.
According to statistics, the number of today’s lawyers in the United States has never been
higher. In the 1950s the number of lawyers and judges was about 176,000, in 1970’s -260,000,
in 1987-707,000 ... But such an increase in the legal profession is not just a percentage. The
presence of lawyers is increasingly exposed to the public, and the media ... This only increases
the pressure on their legal ethics. But the point of view is in common: Lawyers should have
From the narrative rules, through ABA’s Canons 1908, to the Model Code of Professional
Responibility, to The Model Rules of Professional Conduct, we can see that the effort, the
intention to preserve the essence of ethics has always been present, but the way it is expressed
is drastically changed ... ... In fact, designing an appropriate document and implementing it
has proved a bit problematic.
This paper will elaborate on the above mentioned three most relevant documents adopted
by ABA (American Bar Association) in order to understand the (r) evolution of the regulation
of legal ethics in the United States. A short briefing will also be given on disciplinary measures
for misconduct and the “channels” through which it is implemented. The analysis will end
with the opening of the question, what about the legal ethics in the digital age? How do states
face and how can they deal with this new challenge?