Faculty Faculty Notes

Prof. Norman Silber’s Article on Monroe Freedman and Multidimensional Legal Ethics Makes 4 SSRN Top 10 Lists

Norman I. Silber, Professor of Law

Professor Norman Silber’s article “Monroe Freedman and the Morality of Dishonesty: Multidimensional Legal Ethics as a Cold War Imperative” (Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 44, No. 1127, 2016) recently made the SSRN Top 10 download lists for:

• POL: Moral & Ethical Practices (Topic)
• PSN: Other Political Theory: History of Political Thought (Topic)
• Political Theory: History of Political Thought eJournal
• Strategy & Social Policies eJournal

From the Abstract:
This Article reaches into the personal history of Monroe Freedman, a pioneer in multidimensional legal ethics … . It argues that his outspoken defense of lying as sometimes necessary and even moral behavior in the adversary system should be understood as an outgrowth of his early religious perspective about the nature of moral obligations, as well as a response to excesses of the Cold War that touched him personally.

It contends that Monroe’s confidence in the fundamental fairness of government rules, processes, and punishments — and that of hundreds of other young lawyers — was undermined by [his] experience with the National Lawyers Guild, inquisitions, and FBI surveillance during the 1950s, and that understanding the history does at least as much to explain his attitude about ethics in an adversary system as his better-known encounters with the problems of criminal defense lawyers in more immediate contexts.

Read the full abstract and article on the SSRN website.