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Vioxx and Corporate Apologies

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6 Responses

  1. Ted says:

    I’ve responded, but my trackback seems not to have taken.

  2. Part of the problem is confusion about the lawyer’s role. It is not the _lawyer’s_ decision whether the _client_ will apologize. The lawyer’s job is to advise and recommen–based on her assessment of the practical consequences as well as her own sense of right and wrong. Framing the problem as one of zealous lawyers who won’t “let” the client apologize lets the client off the hook.

  3. Elizabeth Nowicki says:

    Thank you, both, for the comments. The first one requires more time than I have to respond right this moment.

    The second comment, however, might require only my clarification:

    In terms of a lawyer “letting” a client apologize, I mean that sometimes a lawyer is professionally and ethically obligated (in my view) to passionately object to something that a corporate client wants to do or, in some situations, resign if the client will not act or refrain from acting. (I discuss this point in a recent article of mine regarding attorney liability for securities fraud: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=905876)

    My point regarding apologies is to query whether there are times when the good attorney should either recommend to a board making an apology or be willing to consider seriously the notion of a board so doing, despite the knee-jerk liability-based objection.

    I am not intending to take clients “off” the hook. I am wondering whether there is something to be said for putting the hook into lawyers (meaning “suggesting that there is something to the notion that a good litigation and corporate counsel should consider the role of apologies when dealing with mass torts”).

  4. That makes sense–I’m glad you’re raising these issues.

  5. bruce says:

    judge weinstein is an enemy of our constitution and should be removed from the bench and sent to a home for senile nut cases.

  6. bruce says:

    judge weinstein is an enemy of our constitution and should be removed from the bench and sent to a home for senile nut cases.

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