It is a Lawyer’s Duty to Assist in Improving the Legal System
“Law is the business to which my life is devoted and I should show less than devotion if I did not do what was in me to improve it.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
As trial lawyers, we have chosen to represent the injured, the defenseless and the oppressed. Our choice carries with it additional duties. Not only do we owe our clients the duties every lawyer owes to every client, we have the heightened duty to protect the rights of our clients. In fact, all lawyers licensed to practice in Kansas have been provided a certificate that recognizes such a duty. The certificate provided to each Kansas attorney, signed by all the Kansas Supreme Court Justices, specifically provides:
“[We] will neither delay nor deny the rights of any person through malice, for lucre, or from any unworthy desire.”
Although the certificate to practice law in Kansas does not create an affirmative duty to protect the rights of the injured, the defenseless or the oppressed, it does recognize our special duty toward “the rights of any person.” Certificates in other states do not focus on the rights of others.