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LARRY HAIVEN: Government’s offer to prosecutors amounts to wage cut
LARRY HAIVEN: Government’s offer to prosecutors amounts to wage cut

The recent Crown attorneys dispute is a conflict on several fronts. The battlefield is public opinion. It’s a war of words. 

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Publication date : 2019-11-02
Wins and losses for justice system in UCP budget
Wins and losses for justice system in UCP budget

Rural crime strategy fuels funding injections for Alberta Justice in new budget

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Publication date : 2019-10-25
N.S. government to return to talks with Crowns, as controversial law paused
N.S. government to return to talks with Crowns, as controversial law paused

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Liberal government today held off on enacting legislation that would have forced striking Crowns back to work, promising to return to the negotiating table next week.

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Publication date : 2019-10-25
Province withdraws request for emergency order to end N.S. Crown attorneys’ strike
Province withdraws request for emergency order to end N.S. Crown attorneys’ strike

The province passed a law Friday to declare the prosecutors an essential service, but it was not proclaimed.

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Publication date : 2019-10-25
Judge to hear application to end Crown prosecutors strike on Friday
Judge to hear application to end Crown prosecutors strike on Friday

Crowns walked off the job Wednesday in protest of Bill 203.

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Publication date : 2019-10-24
N.S. government files for injunction to try to end Crown attorneys’ strike
N.S. government files for injunction to try to end Crown attorneys’ strike

Government sprang Bill 203 on prosecutors last week after two sides failed to reach agreement.

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Publication date : 2019-10-23

Judgment, Identity, and Independence

Cassandra Burke Robertson*

      Whenever a new corporate or governmental scandal erupts, onlookers ask “Where were the lawyers?” Why would attorneys not have advised their clients of the risks posed by conduct that, from an outsider’s perspective, appears indefensible?  When numerous red flags have gone unheeded, people often conclude that the lawyers’ failure to sound the alarm must be caused by greed, incompetence, or both.  A few scholars have suggested that unconscious cognitive bias may better explain such lapses in judgment, but they have not explained why particular situations are more likely than others to encourage such bias.  This article seeks to fill that gap.  Drawing on research from behavioral and social psychology, it suggests that lawyers’ apparent lapses in judgment may be caused by cognitive biases arising from partisan kinship between lawyer and client.  The article uses identity theory to distinguish particular situations in which attorney judgment is likely to be compromised, and it recommends strategies to enhance attorney independence and minimize judgment errors. 

Full text (PDF file)