The Legal Ethics Forum links here to a post on the Volokh blog here about weak and politically charged legal ethics issues raised as a means of attack against conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices by those on the left who disagree with the decisions of the so-called conservative majority of our nation’s High Court. Legal ethics can easily be misused and abused as a sword to attack or undermine those who cannot be attacked on the substance of their arguments, or on any other meritorious basis. This is so because the flimsiest assertion of a legal ethics claim can be made by anyone, however uninformed; it takes little or no effort to make the allegation, but it requires substantial effort by the accused to clear her name. Compare the reluctance of Delaware courts to allow motions to disqualify counsel due to alleged conflicts of interest to derail a lawsuit, as indicated in a decision highlighted on these pages here.
Anyone can lodge a “claim” against a lawyer or judge on alleged legal ethics, but the assertion alone does not ipso facto make it so. Those persons within the profession vested with the responsibility to filter the frivolous claims from the credible ones have an unenviable but important job. Everyone interested in the stability of the legal profession should be concerned when legal ethics are used as a cheap and inappropriate method to advance political goals.