Possible Ethical Pitfalls When Giving Friendly Advice

Melissa “Missye” Selman Scott
If you give the wrong legal principle, your friend may take action or refrain from acting in a way that is detrimental to her legal matter.

If you give the wrong legal principle, your friend may take action or refrain from acting in a way that is detrimental to her legal matter.

georgeclerk via iStock

Hey, you’re a lawyer. What do you think about . . . ?

There is possibly no other phrase that makes lawyers, young and old alike, shudder as they wait to hear what question will fill that ellipsis. We have all been there: chatting with friends at a cocktail party, the extended family gathering, or watching our child’s little league game. As lawyers, we have a responsibility to use our knowledge to assist our community in understanding the rule of law and our justice system beyond the direct outcome of a particular case they saw on the news.

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