Ethics One Of The Most High Profile Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Business - Law Type: Essay Paper: #29805892 Related Topics: Legal Ethics, Profile, Professional Ethics, Code Of Ethics
Excerpt from Essay :


One of the most high profile disbarment cases in the United States, the one of Egil Krogh, Jr., reveals the interface between politics, ethics, and the law. In many ways, Krogh was an ideal fall guy for the Nixon administration. On the other hand, all individuals must take personal responsibility for their actions even when they were directed to act by a superior. The Krogh case presents the dilemmas of ethics that arise in particular in positions of power. Intimidation was certainly used on Krogh, every bit as much if not more than that which he used against Dr. Fielding and other targets of surveillance and government manipulation. The ethical norm central to the court's decision is directly related to personal responsibility. It was categorically wrong to "authorize the burglary of Dr. Fielding's office," in addition to similar and related infractions ("Thinking Critically About Relevant Legal Issues," n.d.). Being coerced, or afraid to lose one's job or professional status, is not a valid excuse for acting wrongly. The court therefore made the correct decision to disbar Krogh, even if there should have been a broader attempt to weed out the deeper corruption at play in Washington.

The court's reasoning is sound and based on several core elements. For one, the court understands that Krogh himself was not the problem. A morally corrupt system far greater than one man was the problem, and Krogh certainly took the fall, as he was a...


The court holds Krogh and others like him to a higher moral standard. The attorney is entrusted with a deep and serious responsibility to promote justice. Carrying out unethical orders for selfish reasons represents a miscarriage of justice. The courts put it well: "Rather than being overawed by the authority of one who holds such an office…the attorney who is employed by such an officer should be the most keenly aware of the Constitution and all of its provisions, the most alert to discourage the abuse of power," (cited in "Thinking Critically About Relevant Legal Issues," (n.d.). In other words, the attorney at law in a position of power should know better.

The courts also acknowledge that Krogh acted fully of his own volition, knowing that what he was doing was ethically wrong but did it anyway. By that time, he had become fully entrenched in the corrupt political system. The fact that seems especially powerful in shaping the court's reasoning is based fully on personal responsibility. Krogh knew what he was doing was wrong, and he had an obligation to act in accordance with his oath as an attorney and not an obligation to a corrupt employer. The employer held the highest office in the country, but that is of no matter; the law and its ethical principles are far higher principles that all public servants hold.

Although "he has a spotless record except for the incident involved in these proceedings; that he is outstanding in character and ability; that his reputation is beyond reproach," the court provides several reasons for…

Sources Used in Documents:


Leddy, C. (2007). Egil Krogh tells his story in "Integrity" Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved online:

"Thinking Critically About Relevant Legal Issues." (n.d.).

Cite this Document:

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