Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Monument to the Unethical.

As I breezed through the courthouse lobby today, I studied the new bronze statue that regales the space.

I realized it celebrates unethical behavior.

Three images appear: one judge--as evidenced by the robe; one attorney--as evidenced by the briefcase; and one client--as evidenced by the casual sartorial display.

A missing image--the opposing party (or his/her/its counsel).

Except in John Grisham novels, lawyer and judicial ethics generally prohibit such "ex parte" communications where only one side of the case gets to advocate its cause without anyone else present. (Cal. Rule of Professional Conduct 5-300(B); Cal. Judicial Canon 3(B)(7).) It's thought to undermine the "adversarial" principle of our legal system.

I guess the sculptor didn't get the memo.