Ethics Quote of the Week

“Edwards, who wore expensive Italian suits, had panicked prior to a debate in front of an American union group. The label inside his jacket read “Made in Italy.” Sensing he might be about to step in a political cow pie if one of the unionists inquired, he asked Young about the label inside his own suit jacket. Young’s read “Made in the USA.” Edwards ordered Young to immediately take both jackets to a tailor and switch the labels. Later Edwards played back a videotape of the debate and complained to Young about how his suit appeared to be wrinkled where the labels had undergone the old switcheroo.”

————– Former John Edwards aide Andrew Young in his soon-to-be-released  book, The Politician

There are those who argue that small deceptions like this are meaningless. They are wrong. They are reliable symptoms of a lack of integrity and core dishonesty. If he had been asked by a union member if he bought American, Edwards was prepared to show his Italian jacket’s made-in-America label to loud applause, flashing his winning smile.

A recent story by Time Magazine’s Belinda Luscombe begins,

“There’s unpopular, there’s widely loathed, there’s despised, and then there’s John Edwards.”

And after him, apparently, there are American lawyers, most of whom that I have consulted on the matter of Edwards’ conduct argue that nothing Edwards has done rises to a level that “raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer,” the standard for professional discipline as stated in the profession’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

I doubt that the story of the label will change their minds.

3 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of the Week

  1. This is one more example of Edwards’ basic, base dishonesty in both his personal and professional life. He should be drummed out of every portion of his political and legal careers. He is scum, period. No excuses. No apologies will do.

    • Not exactly. They don’t believe—or don’t want to have to deal with a disciplinary standard that holds—that his “personal”, non-illegal, not while practicing law unethical conduct necessarily makes him untrustworthy as a lawyer. But of course it does.

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