Among key emerging societal principles to which a lawyer owes a high degree of fidelity are those that advance sustainability and that combat corruption. This essay considers the character of those ethical obligations when sustainability and corruption principles are manifested against the needs of institutions and the objectives of ‘deals’. Part 1 briefly introduces the challenge of lawyer ethics. Part 2 then maps the lawyer’s ethics duty as a function of cross cutting ethical duties. Part 3 turns to the framework and challenges of the ethical lawyer, situating the role of lawyers as ethical gatekeepers and mediators. Part 4 applies the insights developed to examine the lawyer’s ethical dilemmas as they may manifest themselves within the specific context of sustainability and corruption and within institutional frameworks and client transactions. The essay concludes with the core insight that ethics is a deeply moral project and that fidelity to moral principles ought to drive ethical decision making.
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