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Corinne A. Tampas

How very correct you are! Moreover, few people realize that lawyers must conduct themselves ethically outside the scope of their practice of law. As but one example, filing a false tax return could expose a lawyer to discipline even though it has nothing to do with the representation of a client, the rationale being whether that lawyer is morally fit.

Perhaps the most extreme attorney discipline I ever read about in a law journal was a few years ago. It involved long overdue books from a law library. The law library was owned by a county and when the attorney neglected to respond to overdue notices, the jurisdiction in which she practiced law found that she had misappropriated government property. It suspended her license for several months.

One can argue whether the law library book decision was just or not, but the bottom line is that few professionals are held to such a high standard. As lawyers we are bound by the Rules of Professional Responsibility wherever we roam the earth and whatever we are doing.

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