Tuesday, February 26, 2019
One of the major recent developments in legal ethics scholarship is the examination of "behavioral legal ethics." Under BLE, “the central idea is that unethical conduct is frequently the product of psychological factors that occur largely outside of the conscious awareness of the decision-maker. The result is that well-intentioned lawyers will often be unaware of how their behavior diverges from their own conceptions of themselves as ethical and honest people.” ( Tigran W, Eldred, Insights from Psychology: Teaching Behavioral Ethics as a Core Element of Professional Responsibility, 2016 Mich. St. L. Rev. 757, 759)
Tigran Eldred and Molly Wilson have produced an interactive video on behavioral legal ethics. (available here) "Highlights include simulated scenarios by professional actors addressing the psychological dimensions of fraught ethical situations, such as law firm billing practices and disclosure requirements by prosecutors. Also included are multimedia discussions of some of the most important scientific studies in behavioral science (i.e., Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies and Hasdorf and Cantril’s famous selective perception study about the 1951 Dartmouth-Princeton football game). Viewers are guided through an interactive environment where they are prompted to respond to the material presented."
"Law teachers may find the video program useful to introduce core aspects of behavioral legal ethics in courses such Professional Responsibility and Criminal Procedure."
P.S. I have writte a book on behavioral legal ethics, Understanding and Overcoming Cognitive Biases For Lawyers And Law Students: Becoming a Better Lawyer Through Cognitive Science (2018).