Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2001


This Article explores the significance, challenges, and complexities of attorney fact-finding in ethical decision-making. Almost all discourse about legal ethics, from the pedagogical to the scholarly to the practical, takes facts for granted in order to focus on issues about ethical rules. The factual dimension of ethical decision-making, however, is critical to the decision-making process and can be subjected to rigorous and systematic study. Indeed, it is lawyers in a situation who engage in ethical decision-making, and such a situation entails the assimilation and interpretation of many sources of information. Such a process necessarily includes the motivations and ambivalence of attorneys themselves. The Article concludes by exploring how ethics scholarship and pedagogy should embrace a more reflective, sophisticated vision of ethics by recognizing issues of fact as crucial to ethical decision-making.