Archive for 2022

Ethics Slobs: the opposite of “ethics champions”

In a recent post I noted that “the various investigations into President Trump and members of his administration and others have focused attention on an age-old debate whether careless wrongdoing is as reprehensible as is the intentional sort.” The answer is, I believe, yes. I further noted that “I do […]

Ethics slobs

The various investigations into President Trump and members of his administration and others has focused attention on an  age-old debate: whether careless wrongdoing is as reprehensible as is  the intentional sort. The answer is Yes. I  do not have data on this.  But I do have  the wise observation of  […]

A very big day

Based on reporting over the past few days it appears to be reasonably likely (but certainly not certain) that Congress will pass and President Biden will soon sign a comprehensive climate change bill. If true, this would be truly great news. Saving the planet is indeed as good as news […]

Does your C&E program do this?

In his Devil’s Dictionary short story writer Ambrose Bierce defined ‘law suit” to mean: ‘A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.” I have always loved this definition, particularly, given that it was made more than a century ago. But does the […]

The Spirit of Liberty – and Ethics and Compliance

Learned Hand – considered by many to be the greatest of all US judges – once famously said:  “The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.”   This is a spirit which sadly seems as distant from us today as it ever has […]

The full promise of compliance and ethics programs

The full promise of compliance and ethics programs goes beyond the purely business realm to include nurturing habits of mind that address a wider range of challenges than just business-related ones (e.g. those concerning  family/personal life and governmental). Among other things, such habits of mind could include (but would not […]

Ethical standards for Caesar’s children

My most recent posting looks at COI issues that can arise when government officials use their office to benefit their spouses.   “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion,” the great man famously (and allegedly) said. But what about Caesar’s children? Children can, of course, be the source of potent COIs. There […]

Ethical standards for Caesar’s spouse

“Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion,” Julius Caesar famously said.  But that’s not always how it works. The issue of higher standards has been explored  (among other places) in a prior posting.  It has also recently arisen in connection with scrutiny of various business activities of Virginia Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ […]

What is a page of compliance worth?

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that a page of history can be worth a volume of logic.  This raises the question – at least among C&E professionals – What is a page of compliance worth? At least to my mind the answer is:  Potentially quite a bit. Among other […]

Conflicts of interest and the dark side of professionalism

Perhaps my favorite ethics story is when the senior partner of a law firm was confronted by a junior partner about an apparent conflict of interest, and replied “You’re an ethics expert – find a way around this.” In Professionalism Paradox: A sense of professionalism increases vulnerability to conflicts of […]