AuthorAllan C. Hutchinson
To write a book on legal ethics and professional responsibility is quite
a challenge particularly for someone who has not spent a great deal
of time in the hurly-burly of legal practice. I have tr ied to use this d is-
advantage to my advantage. Rather than fall into the familiar t rap of
reproducing prevailing w isdom on the ethics and etiquette of cur rent
practitioners, I have been more ref‌lective and critical. My ambition has
been to unearth t he foundations of present think ing and practice and
subject them to a searching cr itique. Having rea ssessed and reworked
those underlying assumptions, I have sought to suggest a slightly dif-
ferent and more challenging approach to legal eth ics and professional
responsibilit y. Throughout, my emphasis has been on the practical con-
text and real pressures of contemporary lawyer ing, particularly for the
neophyte lawyer. My approach is premised on the v iew that, as a profes-
sion, lawyers are motivated by the desire not only to make a good living
but to act in an ethical man ner and to lead a good professional life. Ac-
cordingly, this book offers itself as b oth a critical guide to present dogma
and doctrine as well as a call to ethical ar ms. The unifying theme the
development of an ethically sati sfying and professionally resp onsible ap-
proach to legal practice is, I hope, a sens ible contribution to an im-
portant task that should be appreciated and shared by all lawyers.
One point about the text’s format is in order. I have included f‌ifty
or so problems throughout the book. They are intended to provoke
discussion and focus debate. However, I have resisted t he temptation
to offer my own suggestions about how to resolve them. This reticence
is in keeping with the overall message of the book ethics is al l about
private decision-maki ng and draws on knowledge, experience, and ser-
ious commitment: there are no easy or set an swers, only hard choices
and constant reassessment.

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