Business Ethics

In today’s competitive business environment, it can be difficult, yet imperative, for a business to have a set of principles to guide them.  An organization’s code of ethics can affect its reputation, productivity and, ultimately, its bottom line.  Much has been written about business ethics in general, and ethics in law firms, in particular. Below is a sampling of just a few of the many articles and blogs that are devoted to this topic.

Chron, the blog of the Houston Chronicle, has published a very interesting article on their site entitled “Ethical Dilemmas in Law Firms.”  In it, the author discusses ethical issues that law firms deal with every day in several different areas: Staff and management; conflicts of interest; financial concerns; client advocacy; and professional responsibility. Visit http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-dilemmas-law-firms-61000.html to read the article.

The ABA Journal web site published an article a few years ago in which it presents the “Top 10 Ethics Traps” for lawyers and law firms.  The article describes each trap and then, for each one, a different author writes about “The Way Out.”  Some of the traps discussed include “Overlooking the Marketing Rules,” and “Stumbling into a Lawyer-client Relationship.”  You can read this informative article at http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/top_10_ethics_traps.

Business Ethics blog, written by Lauren Bloom, offers many articles on a variety of wide-ranging issues, all from the perspective of ethics.  An example of such an article is “The ethics of employing dangerous people,” in which she discusses the shooting at the DC Navy Yard and the responsibility businesses have to keep their employees safe.  You can read more postings on business ethics by Ms. Bloom at http://www.thebusinessethicsblog.com/.

The Business Ethics Blog by Chris MacDonald, Ph.D., features news and commentary about corporate ethics.  Recent articles include “Ray Rice case shows how difficult it is for employers to deal with off-hours misconduct”, in which Dr. MacDonald explores what an employer’s ethical obligations are when an employee does something bad off the clock.  Another topical and interesting article is “Apple’s new watch and the ethics of disruption,” in which he talks about the ethics surrounding the fact that new technology and new products carry with them the potential to make life hard by putting people at other companies out of work.  Click here to read some of Dr. MacDonald’s thought-provoking articles: http://businessethicsblog.com/.

By Ellen Katkin, Director of Marketing, Gilbert LLP for the September/October 2014 issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.

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