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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

Legislators who are also practicing attorneys often face a conflict between their duty to further the interests of constituents and their duty to act in the best interests of their clients. These inevitable conflicts undermine not only the integrity of the legal profession, but also the public's trust in the democratic system. Although the organized bar has recognized the significance of this problem, its response has been weak and inconsistent. This Article recommends several solutions, including prohibiting lawyer- legislators or their law firms from appearing before state agencies, legislative lobbying, and representing any client directly or indirectly interested in legislative action. The Article also suggests a procedural framework for implementing these solutions. Finally, the Article considers the effect of these proposals on the trend toward a full-time state legislature.

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