Freiburger Vorträge zur Staatswissenschaft und Rechtsphilosophie_Lawyers as Insincere Actors


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  • hochgeladen 5. März 2021

Prof. Lawrence Solan (Brooklyn Law School)

Vortrag gehalten am 04.11.2010

Zur Person:
Nach seinem Bachelor-Abschluss an der Brandeis University erwarb Solan den Ph.D. in Linguistik an der University of Massachusetts sowie den J.D. an der Harvard Law School. Bevor Lawrence Solan 1996 an die Universität wechselte war er Partner in der Kanzlei Orans, Elsen and Lupert und zuvor Assistent von Richter Stewart Pollock am Supreme Court von New Jersey. Seit 2002 ist er Direktor des Center for the Study of Law, Language and Cognition an der Brooklyn Law School. Zwei Jahre darauf wurde er dort Don Forchelli Professor of Law. Im Jahr 2009 verlieh ihm das Wuhan Institute of Technology eine Honorarprofessur. Er war Visiting Professor an der Yale Law School sowie Gaststipendiat an der psychologischen Fakultät der Princeton University. Er war Präsident der International Association of Forensic Linguistics, ist Mitglied der International Academy of Law and Mental Health und Mitherausgeber des International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law. Gegenwärtig ist Lawrence Solan Visiting Fellow im Department of Psychology und Visiting Professor im Council of the Humanities and Linguistics an der Princeton University.

Lawrence Solans wissenschaftliche Beiträge wurden in den führenden amerikanischen Zeitschriften veröffentlicht. Zu seinen wichtigsten bisher erschienenen Büchern zählen The Language of Judges (1993), mit dem er eine wegweisende Arbeit auf dem Gebiet der theoretischen Linguistik und juristischen Argumentation vorlegte, und Speaking of Crime: The Language of Criminal Justice (gemeinsam mit Peter Tiersma, 2005). Demnächst erscheint von ihm Under the Law: Statutes and Their Interpretation und in Mitherausgeberschaft mit Peter Tiersma The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law.

Lawyers are given license to suspend what philosophers have called sincerity conditions. We ordinarily take people as being sincere in their speech. They expect us to do so, just as we, when we speak, expect others to take us as being sincere. Lawyers, however, are given license to be insincere. They are trained to be simultaneously truthful and insincere. On the one hand, they are required to tell the truth in the context of legal proceedings. On the other, they are insincere in that they routinely structure their speech to lead others into drawing inferences that will serve the lawyer’s goals, whether or not those inferences reflect a fair assessment of facts or law. This paper looks at the distinction between lying and deception, and finds some moral distinction, but not enough to justify the conduct acceptable by the legal profession on moral grounds. The paper discusses aspects of our psychology that make us vulnerable to the kind of deception practiced by lawyers, and concludes by criticizing American legal education for not imbuing a sense of responsibility in young lawyers that should accompany the license to be insincere. While the article focuses on lawyers working in the American adversarial system, many of the observations and issues apply to lawyers working in other legal systems as well

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