A lawyer might personally find it abhorrent to murder many innocent people. However, there may be a compelling reason to defend a customer against the state. They might, for example, feel that their client, as an individual person, deserves certain rights, regardless of their actions. Or they may feel that, compared to the measures taken by the state, which are considered legitimate in fact, the measures taken by their client are of a lower grade.
Ethical dilemmas that defense attorneys may experience include deciding how many cases they can realistically handle. They may feel pressured by their boss to accept new customers or to need the money. Being overwhelmed by cases makes it difficult, if not impossible, to remember specific details of your client's cases. They may suffer exhaustion if they constantly prepare to appear in court at the last moment and stay up late to investigate and review decisions, suggests Above the Law.
Cole, what other types of people might be attracted to the role of defense attorney, especially in cases where there isn't much ambiguity as to the defendant's culpability. Once a lawyer is accepted into the profession, along with the rights that correspond to him come certain obligations, which are codified in the Code of Professional Ethics. Minor errors that violate ethical principles and that do not have far-reaching consequences can be forgiven or otherwise fined, but serious violations are always accompanied by the loss of the license. Asking a colleague to take charge of a case that might be more suitable for him would certainly alleviate any doubts a lawyer would have about a potential conflict between personal and professional ethics.
Cole informed me that he also sees a tendency for certain types of people to be attracted to the position of defense attorney. Even to become a defense attorney and be able to protect the rights of accused offenders, you must complete law school and pass your state's bar exam. For example, it's more common to see people with stricter personal moral beliefs (including religion) as prosecutors (or future prosecutors), while defense attorneys may not think of their religious affiliation as a governing principle. Despite the possibility of obtaining high salaries and work autonomy, defense attorneys face a series of challenges in the performance of their duties, such as negative public perception, demand from demanding clients, the overwhelming amount of evidence, the demand for time, and stress.
For defense attorneys, ethical issues often arise when the two principles conflict. If a lawyer were to “file the case” because of their personal ethics, it would be against their professional ethics and vice versa. And recusing yourself from participating in a case in which a defense attorney no longer believes he can defend a person he considers guilty may be, depending on how you look at the outcome, simply placing the problem on the shoulders of another defense attorney. Defense attorneys must control costs to maintain a profitable business and enlist the help of legal counsel, assistants, and paralegals for the investigation.
Common ethical violations by defense attorneys, such as misrepresenting facts to confuse and manipulate the jury, discredit the profession. There are a lot of heroic defense attorneys who are doing tremendous work; there will also be a lot of ethical and unethical prosecutors.