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On my plane flight to attend the American Association of Law Schools meeting at which Professor David Wilkins presented his paper, Do Clients Have Ethical Obligations to Lawyers? Some Lessons From the Diversity Wars, the pilot requested passengers to "assist the flight attendants in their principal duty of providing safety to all passengers," following a recent incident with mid-flight turbulence in which one person died and several were injured. The pilot reminded us that "service" was only a secondary function of the flight attendants, with their principal duty being to ensure that all of us traveled and arrived safely, and that we should assist the flight attendants (not just cooperate with them) in this effort. "Aha!," I thought, our culture is moving to a recognition of reciprocal responsibilities between providers and recipients of service, and that is what Professor Wilkins' paper is about. It is also about the familiar recognition that ethical responsibilities are often complex and contradictory, with multiple sources of law and ethics guiding choices and behavior.

Publication Citation

11 Geo. J. L. Ethics 901