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Hofstra Law Review

Abstract

In a recent article, Professors Fred Zacharias and Bruce Green undertook to "reconceptualize" advocacy ethics. In the course of that article, they rejected the ethic of zeal, and stated erroneously that Henry Lord Brougham had himself repudiated his famous statement on zealous advocacy.

Inspired by Brougham almost two centuries ago, the "traditional aspiration" of zealous advocacy remains "the fundamental principle of the law of lawyering" and "the dominant standard of lawyerly excellence" among lawyers today. To paraphrase the ABA's 1908 Canons of Professional Ethics, the ethic of zeal requires that the lawyer give entire devotion to the interests of the client, warm dedication in the maintenance and defense of the client's rights, and the exertion of the lawyer's utmost learning and ability.6 Moreover, contrary to a suggestion by Zacharias and Green, neither Brougham nor anyone else has ever suggested that there are no lawful limits on zealous advocacy.

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