Complete 10 page APA formatted essay: Ethics in Professional Practice.
As articulated in the case of Duchess of Argyll v Beuselinck, “the duty of care is not a warranty of perfection.” But in a subsequent case3, a similar failure to fully inform the client was construed as a negligent omission on the part of the lawyer in the performance of his professional duty4.
A higher standard of duty of care arises in the case of a professional provider of services, upon whom a duty of care will be imputed because it is likely that the professional’s advice will be “trusted” and his “judgment” will be “relied upon” by the person in question5. There is an issue here of trust that a layperson would repose upon a professional provider of services since they will be assumed to possess the specialized knowledge that will make their advice valuable.6 Therefore a lawyer is expected to act with competence and diligence while serving a client. The case of Togstad v Vesely established that a lawyer can also be held responsible for promissory estoppel while rendering unpaid advice. He must also exercise a reasonable and compete for the degree of care and skill6a. Liability is imputed where the nature of an error made by a lawyer is such that “no reasonably well informed and competent member of that profession could have made.”6b In some cases, a lack of professional responsibility has also been deemed to be a deliberate failure and willful neglect.7 Therefore, the general rule that has been emerging is that lawyers cannot limit their liability by lowering the standard of care8. In the case of Heydon v NMRA, both the Courts have held practitioners to a higher standard of performance and duty of care. The scope of the duty of care has extended to warning clients of potential risks accruing from the ramifications of various actions. .