Defense Attorney Discretion Analysis

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The role of any attorney can be viewed in three parts: as a participant of the legal business, a delegate for clients and also an everyday civic resident of their community. Although it may seem as if the responsibilities amongst attorneys are equally distributed across the board, I feel that the role of a defense attorney at times can seem a bit more problematic. Discretion within any profession whether it is Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, Correctional Officers and or Judges can affect the moral principles and ethics of any person when having to make a decision. The responsibility of a Defense attorney is highly vital to any case or any client. I am going to discuss the role of a defense attorney and what the responsibilities consist of. …show more content…
431). Within the legal system discretion amongst defense attorneys is inevitable. I believe that defense counsels are faced to use discretion with a bulk of their cases. The use of discretion overlaps into ethical practices in many different aspects. For example, there are a multitude of distinctive types of conflicts of conflicts of interests that could arise when putting discretion to use. “The vast majority of cases in the criminal justice system are settled by a plea bargain, an exchange of a guilty plea for a reduced charge or sentence” (Pollock, p. 249). The ethical boundary that this settlement may cause for a defense attorney could possibly lead to disruption of colleague relationships amongst fellow prosecutors. If the defense is always aiming to get the best pleas bargain even considering that they know morally their client is wrong this could cause certain strains within the boundaries of the prosecutors. Using this type of discretion could be perceived as crossing ethical borders in the eyes of other counsel especially the …show more content…
249). Due to the nature of the case it could perceived as unprofessional judgement rendered from the defense given the fact that he could possibly benefit financially from the outcome of the case. Knowing what is at stake could feasibly obscure his expertise. In circumstances such as these discretions could inherently affect the aftermath of a case. The use of discretion within a zealous defense is normally a bit more debatable amongst defense counsels and the prosecution. Discretion could possibly cross the parameters of ethics when defense counsels are presenting a zealous defense. A zealous defense can be portrayed as the defense counsel displaying diligence and loyalty to their client regardless of the nature of the case. “The principle that every defendant is entitled to a zealous defense in court is one that should never be compromised” (Thoreau). For instance, it is unlawful for any defense attorney to illegally represent a client by suppressing evidence that should be made available to all parties, or by equivocating evidence or compelling their clients to do so. As long as these activities are not conducted then the defense counsel is legally operating within the scope of the law. However, a zealous defense can trigger several individuals

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