As crises proliferate around the world, from a global pandemic and natural disasters brought about by climate change to genocide and the rise of authoritarian regimes, lawyers are increasingly asked to play a role in addressing these crises. Not every client crisis is a crisis for the lawyer because that lawyer is prepared to handle it and knows just what to do and when to do it to pursue the client’s interests. But some of the crises that have emerged in recent years are novel, pervasive, and unprecedented in many ways, meaning that the legal profession, when its members are asked to address them, cannot rely on traditional approaches to their practice, and may need to take into account the interests of a wider range of stakeholders that is typical in the practice of law, where the interests of the clients are supposed to be paramount. Accordingly, since traditional lawyering approaches may not be appropriate for novel, pervasive crises, are new sets of ethical rules appropriate for just such crises to help lawyers navigate them effectively, competently, and ethically?
Lisa M. Holmes
The American judicial system is not a static, simple, or mechanical entity. Rather, it is a complex organization that is developed and staffed in response to changing caseload and societal pressures through a process that is inherently political. The key personnel who help the judiciary function bring varied backgrounds and perspectives with them that influence the work they do. As is the case with any political system, understanding American politics and policy making requires an understanding of the judiciary’s role in the American political system. In addition, on a daily basis, courts function to resolve disputes. While most cases have little direct impact on American policy or society broadly speaking, the resolution of these cases is important to those who turn to the courts of law to resolve their disputes.