The “Charles Stimson” Rule and Three Other Proposals to Protect Lawyers from Lawyers

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Lawyers can be “at the edge” for many different reasons. For purposes of this Article, I define “at the edge” to mean lawyers who for one of two reasons encounter risks of, or actual harm to, their career, freedom, physical safety, reputation, or income. The two reasons are the identity of the lawyer’s client, or the nature of the claim the lawyer is making in court, or both. Lawyers may also be at risk for tactics that bring sanctions. But that is a different kind of risk, a risk of crossing an ethical or legal boundary, and not part of my definition. I will focus on lawyers who risk or suffer harm doing the job they are authorized or required to do. Some of these risks can be addressed and perhaps eliminated or minimized through rules. Some cannot.

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