Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

If a lawyer helps a plaintiff win an unjust case that sorely hurts the lives of a defendant and his family, will the lawyer have to answer for it someday at the judgment bar of God?  Or will the Lord say that he was just “doing his job”, regardless of the consequences?

Thanks,

Robert

 

Answer

 

Dear Robert,

I understand your concern, however, lawsuits are rarely black and white like that in the real world.  In almost any conflict, neither side is completely right.  The lawyer’s job is to argue the strengths of whatever side he is on.  I spoke with a friend, who is a lawyer about your question.  He said, “I have been involved in dozens of cases, and in all of them, while one side may have the advantage regarding the facts surrounding the case, both sides had positions that were arguable.”

The truly black and white cases that would be unjust to defend usually don’t make it very far – they get thrown out by the court (and the attorneys can be sanctioned for bringing these cases of “frivolous litigation”).  It’s also important to note that the lawyer is bound by professionally-defined ethical constraints as well as his own conscience in *how* (s)he represents the client.

Could an LDS lawyer represent a landlord in evicting a defaulting widow and her six children; or defend a rapist?  Sure.  Would he/she do so using the terms of a rent contract  known to be a forgery; or by offer an alibi from witness testimony he or she knows to be fraudulent?  Nope.  It’s not whether you win or lose—or even, in most cases, what side you’re on—that God cares about; it’s how you play the game.

And being a lawyer does offer unique opportunities to make peace; and lawyers are under a moral obligation to try to spot those sorts of opportunities.  There’s an apocryphal story about Lincoln being retained to collect an outstanding debt of $2.50.  Lincoln collected a flat fee of $5, paid the *defendant* $2.50 (which he immediately used to pay off the debt ), and kept the rest.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

(Visited 563 times, 2 visits today)
Copyright © 2017 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.

Pin It on Pinterest