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By the mid-fourteenth century, professional associations of [#permalink]
14 May 2005, 20:30
By the mid-fourteenth century, professional
associations of canon lawyers (legal advocates in
Christian ecclesiastical courts, which dealt with cases
involving marriage, inheritance, and other issues) had
(5) appeared in most ofWestern Europe, and a body of
professional standards had been defined for them. One
might expect that the professional associations would
play a prominent role in enforcing these standards of
conduct, as other guilds often did, and as modern
(10) professional associations do, but that seems not to have
happened. Advocatesâ€™ professional organizations
showed little fervor for disciplining their erring
members. Some even attempted to hobble efforts at
enforcement. The Florentine guild of lawyers, for
(15) example, forbade its members to play any role in
disciplinary proceedings against other guild members.
In the few recorded episodes of disciplinary
enforcement, the initiative for disciplinary action
apparently came from a dissatisfied client, not from
(20) fellow lawyers.
At first glance, there seem to be two possible
explanations for the rarity of disciplinary proceedings.
Medieval canon lawyers may have generally observed
the standards of professional conduct scrupulously.
(25) Alternatively, it is possible that deviations from the
established standards of behavior were not uncommon,
but that canonical disciplinary mechanisms were so
inefficient that most delinquents escaped detection and
(30) Two considerations make it clear that the second of
these explanations is more plausible. First, the English
civil law courts, whose ethical standards were similar
to those of ecclesiastical courts, show many more
examples of disciplinary actions against legal
(35) practitioners than do the records of church courts. This
discrepancy could well indicate that the disciplinary
mechanisms of the civil courts functioned more
efficiently than those of the church courts. The
alternative inference, namely, that ecclesiastical
(40) advocates were less prone to ethical lapses than their
counterparts in the civil courts, seems inherently weak,
especially since there was some overlap of personnel
between the civil bar and the ecclesiastical bar.
Second, church authorities themselves complained
(45) about the failure of advocates to measure up to ethical
standards and deplored the shortcomings of the
disciplinary system. Thus the Council of Basel
declared that canon lawyers failed to adhere to the
ethical prescriptions laid down in numerous papal
(50) constitutions and directed Cardinal Cesarini to address
the problem. In England, where medieval church
records are extraordinarily rich, similar complaints
about the failure of the disciplinary system to reform
unethical practices were very common.
(55) Such criticisms seem to have had a paradoxical
result, for they apparently reinforced the professional
solidarity of lawyers at the expense of the enforcement
of ethical standards. Thus the professionâ€™s critics may
actually have induced advocates to organize
(60) professional associations for self-defense. The criticsâ€™
attacks may also have persuaded lawyers to assign a
higher priority to defending themselves against attacks
by nonprofessionals than to disciplining wayward
members within their own ranks.
7. Which one of the following best states the main
conclusion of the passage?
(A) Professional organizations of medieval canon
lawyers probably only enforced ethical standards
among their own members when provoked to do
so by outside criticisms.
(B) Professional organizations of medieval civil
lawyers seem to have maintained stricter ethical
standards for their own members than did
professional organizations of medieval canon
(C) Professional organizations of medieval canon
lawyers apparently served to defend their
members against criticsâ€™ attacks rather than to
enforce ethical standards.
(D) The ethical standards maintained by professional
associations of medieval canon lawyers were
chiefly laid down in papal constitutions.
(E) Ethical standards for medieval canon lawyers
were not laid down until professional
organizations for these lawyers had been
8. According to the passage, which one of the following
statements about law courts in medieval England is true?
(A) Some English lawyers who practiced in civil
courts also practiced in church courts, but others
served exclusively in one court or the other.
(B) English canon lawyers were more likely to
initiate disciplinary proceedings against their
colleagues than were English civil lawyers.
(C) English civil lawyers maintained more stringent
ethical standards than did civil lawyers in the
rest of Europe.
(D) English ecclesiastical courts had originally been
modeled upon English civil courts.
(E) English ecclesiastical courts kept richer and more
thorough records than did English civil courts.
9. The author refers to the Florentine guild of lawyers in
the first paragraph most probably in order to
(A) introduce a theory about to be promoted
(B) illustrate the type of action referred to in the
(C) underline the universality of a method
discussed throughout the paragraph
(D) point out a flaw in an argument presented
earlier in the paragraph
(E) rebut an anticipated objection to a thesis just
10. The author refers to the Council of Basel (line 47)
primarily in order to
(A) provide an example of the type of action needed
to establish professional standards for canon
(B) contrast the reactions of English church
authorities with the reactions of other bodies
to violations of professional standards by canon
(C) bolster the argument that violations of
professional standards by canon lawyers did take
(D) explain how rules of conduct for canon lawyers
(E) describe the development of a disciplinary
system to enforce professional standards
among canon lawyers
11. According to the information in the passage, for
which one of the following ethical violations would
documentation of disciplinary action against a canon
lawyer be most likely to exist?
(A) betraying a clientâ€™s secrets to the opposing party
(B) bribing the judge to rule in favor of a client
(C) misrepresenting credentials in order to gain
admission to the lawyersâ€™ guild
(D) spreading rumors in order to discredit an opposing lawyer
(E) knowingly helping a client to misrepresent the truth
12. Which one of the following is most analogous
to the â€œprofessional solidarityâ€