Some argue that attorneys are not to be trusted because they are officers of the court; therefore, an attorney's first loyalty is to the court and not to his client. Such complaints, however, bely misunderstanding.
That the common-law tradition makes attorneys accountable to courts does not lessen their ultimate duty of loyalty to the law, where the courts hold contrary. Further, the courts are to be independent of the executive and legislative branches. The greater danger is not that attorneys are officers of the courts; but rather, that the judges, and therefore the courts, will become dependent upon the executive or legislative branches for their jobs and pay.
If the executive or legislative branch holds sway over the courts, these branches will also hold sway over the lawyers through the courts: in short, the courts will become the state's tool to silence the lawyers and limit lawyers' defense of those of whom the state merely disapproves.
The larger government becomes, the more attorneys the government will employ in disproportion to the sum of attorneys in private practice and government. As a result, the total attorney pool will increasingly consist of government attorneys, increasing the probability that government attorneys will be chosen as judges, as opposed to drawing judges from private practice.
Copyright © 2008 by Brent Winters