Should You Represent “Unpopular” Clients?

Some would have you believe that a firm tarnishes its reputation when it undertakes to represent clients accused of horrible crimes or attempting to legitimize behavior society abhors. Should a lawyer run this risk?

Pennsylvania Bar Association President Kenneth J. Horoho Jr. today issued a statement to the state’s daily newspapers concerning the duty of attorneys to provide representation to unpopular clients. Horoho issued the statement in response to comments made by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Charles “Cully” Stimson suggesting that corporate clients of large law firms providing pro bono representation in legal proceedings involving alleged enemy combatants should force those law firms to choose between representing detainees and continuing to represent reputable firms.

In his statement, Horoho explains why it is actually an attorney’s obligation to undertake such representations.


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