As a retired attorney, I have for some time been concerned about the decline of the public’s confidence in the legal profession over the past several decades.
Sam Davis, dean of the University of Mississippi Law School, was cited as one of the letter writers in support of Dickie Scruggs (“Friends, competitors, colleagues react to sentences” June 28) in which he said that he would “continue to respect Scrugg’s integrity.”
Have I missed something? Didn’t Scruggs plead guilty to attempting to bribe a sitting judge for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage in a decision over the opposing parties in a lawsuit?
From the earliest days of formal training of future members of the bar in English and colonial colleges and down through the years in the United States, the strictest burden has been placed upon law school faculties to instill principles of integrity and ethical conduct in their students.
Attempting to bribe a judge for a favorable opinion in a court case is one of the most flagrant violations of ethical standards and principles that can be committed by a practicing attorney.
Like Dickie Scruggs, none of us is immune from falling into temptation, but knowing that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” it appears that Mr. Scruggs fell victim to his own greed.
But when a crime is committed, no matter the degree of generosity the offender may have bestowed, deans and university presidents have a higher duty to their students and to the integrity of the judicial system than to publicly laud the character of a confessed felon.