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Hofstra Law Review

Abstract

Rules of legal ethics are, broadly speaking, of two kinds. Rules of the first kind relate to the integrity of the system of administering justice and are designed to insure that the system will function effectively and fairly. Those rules include such matters as full access to the legal system, the competence and independence of counsel, preservation of clients' confidences, and zealous representation within the bounds of the law. Rules of the second kind are those that are concerned less with the integrity of the system and more with the conduct of lawyers as members of a guild or trade association. Such rules, which are principally anti-competitive, include maintenance of minimum fees and restrictions on advertising and solicitation.

Canon 2 of the Code of Professional Responsibility contains provisions relating both to the integrity of the system and to restrictions on competition. The thesis of this article is that the guild, or anti-competitive, provisions of Canon 2 have perverted the more fundamental provisions of that Canon, those concerned with the integrity of the system. Accordingly, a proposed redraft is submitted for consideration.

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