I’d just like to add that perhaps he’s directing his article towards those “reputable,” established, and well-known lawyers as equally as towards new lawyers.
Yes, everyone is entitled to fair justice, should receive representation, as Professor Morton cited,
“It not infrequently happens that the unpleasant, the unreasonable, the disreputable and those who have apparently hopeless cases turn out after a full hearing to be in the right.”
However, even when you have two potential litigation clients, one with a valid claim, the other trivial, and both able to satisfy a lawyer’s financial retainer requirements, a new lawyer trying to make it out on his own – who has experience – but wants to make a name for himself compared to a “reputable lawyer” will have a different mindset when approached by the potential client, no?
Obviously, both would like to win their client’s case and ensure justice is served, but would a new lawyer trying to make it out on his own want to spend as much time on a “Sure winner” than a “marginal” case? Would a reputable lawyer be able to “afford” more time on a marginal case?
Yes, I agree everyone has to start somewhere, and at the same time not bring the profession of law into disrepute. But when a new lawyer on his or her own has school loans/debts to repay and is attempting to establish a reputation I think ultimately the altruistic representation of a client by a lawyer will suffer, maybe a little, or maybe not.
The US has a population of 300 million, with a number of lawyers that represent that population. This dwarfs the representation of the 33 million Canadians by the number of lawyers that the 25 or so law schools in Canada spit out. As a Canadian in a US law school, the competition in US law schools is furious, in addition to competition amongst established lawyers for the “almighty dollar” is just as if not more fierce. Maybe that’s what helps form this view.
Maybe the “ambulance chasers” or for those who just want to establish themselves (choosing or devoting more time towards sure-winners than marginal cases), may not be as prevalent in Canada as I think I see in the US.
In the end, as lawyer’s we’re supposed to stick up for society, represent society, not cheat society. I agree with Professor Morton, but everything is susceptible to nuances. Perhaps I am stating the obvious and being a realist, but yes, ideally lawyers shouldn’t put the “almighty dollar” to the forefront, because it’s much more difficult to curb such practices than you think – Justice Archibald.