I am currently reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketcham, titled The Life of Abraham Lincoln. This book (fortunately part of the public domain) goes into some detail to illustrate the integrity and honesty of the 16th president of the United States, even as a practicing lawyer.
Lincoln put his conscience into his legal practice to a greater degree than is common with lawyers. He held … that law is for the purpose of securing justice, and he would never make use of thwarting justice. When other maneuvered, he met them by a straightforward dealing. He never did or could take an unfair advantage. On the wrong side of a case, he was worse than useless to his client, and he knew it. He would never take such a case if it could be avoided. … Sometimes, after having entered on a case, he discovered that his clients had imposed on him. In his indignation he has even left the court room. Once when the Judge sent for him he refused to return. “Tell the judge my hands are dirty; I came over to wash them” (page 80).
Ponder that. A lawyer whose integrity would not allow him to “take an unfair advantage,” and who was known for leaving the courtroom mid-case if he found out his clients had misled him as to the justice of their cause.
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