|Most people are encouraged and considered successful when they seek the well-being first. This is the cornerstone of many occupations. Parties to a transaction seek to win something for themselves. Their self-interest is paramount. Only limited by minimal legal obligations to abstain from deception or fraud.
Attorneys are bound to higher standards. They are expected to put their client's interest first at all times. There are many reasons for this limitation on attorney's conduct:
First, because it is the law. The rules of professional responsibility state it this way.
Second, because attorneys serve the judicial system, there are higher interests at stake. Like the perception citizens may have of their system.
Third, because of the nature of the relationship. It is critical that this type of relationship is regulated.
The attorney becomes a fiduciary and an agent of his client. Attorneys are entrusted with sensitive information about a client who is in probably in a dire situation. The attorney is trusted by the client as an expert in the inner workings of the legal system. The attorney is not a passive enforcer but a counselor at law. If attorneys could use their clients information and use it to their benefit the legal system would collapse.
By Raul R., Esq., LL.M.