Robert Hohenberger
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7.1Robert Hohenberger
Robert Hohenberger
Robert Hohenberger
Robert Hohenberger
Robert Hohenberger
Robert Hohenberger
United States Army
Robert Hohenberger
36th Infantry Division
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Professional Ethics
My practice of law begins and ends with the Golden Rule
All too often lawyers are lambasted, ridiculed and made the butt of malicious jokes. "Trial lawyers" especially are targets for so-called "lawsuit abuse," and most people never realize that insurance companies and large corporations are behind such accusations to protect their own pocket books. Big billboards that claim to be "citizens for tort reform" are often funded by big money interests through some innocent sounding "foundation". There are bad eggs in all areas of life from stockbrokers to preachers to business people. But let us not forget that the United States Constitution was largely written by lawyers. To my knowledge, there is no better form of government anywhere else on the planet. It is the pinnacle of human political achievement.
Law has always been considered one of the three learned professions: law, medicine and theology. Today, Certified Public Accountants, Registered Engineers, and Architects could be added to that list.
Lately, the concept of a profession has been cheapened by people with a vocation calling themselves professionals. "Professional window cleaners" may make your windows sparkle, but they are not truly professionals in the primal sense of the word. Dividing athletes into professional and amateur makes sense, as professional football players who are paid can be distinguished from unpaid college football players.
To me, a real profession is marked by the requirement of an extensive, specialized education, by an agreed language, by an established literature, by a code of ethics, and by the grant of a license to practice that profession by the governing powers. A minister of a church receives his "license" by ordination from the authority of a church. True professionals are people under authority.
Professionals who violate their code of ethics by improper conduct will be stripped of their licenses to practice their professions. Professions have been termed higher callings, which impose a heavy duty on the practitioner. We read or hear of lawyers who have been disbarred and of doctors who lost their medical licenses. Most professionals strive to adhere to the ideal of those standards, standards of competence as well as ethics.
To lawyers of "the old school," the law is a jealous mistress. A lawyer may devote more time to his practice than to his family. This also means the client's interest comes before the lawyer's interest. The client is due complete loyalty and zealous representation. A conflict of interest is a no-no between a lawyer and his client. A lawyer should see a client through his problems, even if the client runs out of money. A lawyer has a duty to inform the client of any act of commission or omission that might cause a loss to the client, even if the lawyer may open himself to a claim of malpractice. Forgetting to timely file a suit for a client is an example. A lawyer "of the old school" cares for the welfare of his client, and he treats his client with respect, remembering that he is his client's counselor and advocate. In other words, as an old school lawyer, I believe in following the Golden Rule.
Law is a noble calling, and I am proud to be a practitioner of it.
Robert Hohenberger
Attorney at Law
Houston, Texas