Ethical Worksheet Sample CJA/324 Version 3 PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 4
University of Phoenix MaterialEthical Worksheet SampleIncident Review
What is the ethical issue or problem? Identify the issue succinctly.
The moral agent is a criminal defense attorney. The attorney knows of another criminal defense attorney who is an alcoholic and ignores his client obligations. What should the moral agent do?
What are the most important facts? Which facts have the most bearing on the ethical decision presented? Include any important potential economic, social, or political pressures, and exclude inconsequential facts.
The attorney often appears in court intoxicated. He ignores his cases and does not file appropriate motions before deadlines expire. His clients, who are court-appointed, usually end up with convictions and heavy sentences due to his incompetence. In trial, he is unprepared and unprofessional. Defendants have complained. Defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges are aware of his incompetence and have done nothing. The attorney's disbarment would likely cause drastic economic consequences for the attorney. If the moral agent is responsible for his disbarment, the moral agent may face the social stigma and pressure of being labeled a snitch. With emphasis on stiffer penalties for defendants, there is political pressure to ignore the situation, as only alleged criminals are affected by his incompetence.
Identify each claimant (key actor) who has an interest in the outcome of this ethical issue. From the perspective of the moral agent-the individual contemplating an ethical course of action-what obligation is owed to the claimant? Why?
(owed to the claimant)
Perspective (What does the claimant hope will happen?)
The attorney would prefer that the moral agent ignore the situation and do nothing.
The clients would prefer that the moral agent help them obtain new counsel or that the attorney's incompetence was corrected.
Other criminal defense attorneys
Good defense attorneys would prefer that the incompetent attorney's behavior was corrected or that he be prevented from practicing criminal defense. Marginal defense attorneys might prefer that the moral agent does nothing, lest their own actions be called into question.
Prosecutors, judges, and bailiffs
Bailiffs would prefer not to have to accommodate his unpreparedness and intoxication in the courtroom. Prosecutors and judges may prefer that the moral agent does nothing, as a more competent attorney may make their job more difficult with motions and objections. Some prosecutors and judges may prefer that the incompetent attorney's behavior was corrected or that he was prevented from practicing to avoid reversals on appeals due to his incompetence.
The advocates of law and order may prefer that the moral...