Procedural Rules as Ethics Rules

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Long title: 
Procedural Rules as Rules of Ethics and Professional Conduct
Author(s): 
Cameron, Camille
Author(s)' contact information: 
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
Canada
Year: 
2014

There is a trend in common law civil procedure to incorporate new rules that are explicitly aimed at setting standards of conduct. Some of these new rules are directed at parties, some at lawyers, and some at non-parties who play a significant role in the conduct and management of disputes, for example, commercial litigation funders, insurers and expert witnesses. This is a shift in the focus and the content of procedural rules. Those rules were historically confined in their scope to the technical progress of a dispute to trial or settlement. They generally left the setting of explicit standards of conduct to the relevant professional rules and to the expectations created by notions (admittedly contested) associated with the obligations imposed on lawyers as officers of the court. This paper will examine this shift in the content and focus of modern procedural rules, and the reasons for it. Issues addressed will include the kinds of standards of conduct now found in procedural rules, how they are different or add to the other traditional sources of rules of ethics and professional conduct, how they are being monitored and enforced, the limitations in existing rules of professional conduct that have led to these new rules, and whether there is yet any evidence that they have resulted in improved conduct (however defined).

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