Recent Article on Ethics

Recent Article on Ethics

Here is a link to a very interesting article on an ethical conundrum faced by many bankruptcy lawyers.  It is written by Gregory Duhl, who is a law professor from William Mitchell College.


Section 524 of the Bankruptcy Code divides the consumer bankruptcy attorney's loyalties between the client and the court. On the one hand, the attorney is the gatekeeper for the court in ensuring that whether a debtor enters into a reaffirmation agreement is balanced against one of the primary objectives of the bankruptcy system - to give the debtor a "fresh start." On the other hand, the attorney has an obligation under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to pursue the client's objectives during the bankruptcy representation.

This Article is about the lawyer-client relationship. Ethics scholars have traditionally adopted either a client-autonomy or paternalistic model to analyze the lawyer-client relationship. This Article rejects both and proposes a collaborative model of lawyer-client decision-making. Congress must free bankruptcy lawyers of their ethical conflict, so that lawyers can work in collaboration with their clients to help debtors improve financially post-bankruptcy. Then, the client might be able to be her own gatekeeper, freeing both the courts and attorneys from that responsibility.

Here is a link to the article (free account creation required on Social Science Research Network to read the entire article)

Read more at, a blog by Michael McBride.