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By Nancy L. Cook


The article explores the concept of \u22witness\u22 by looking at the history and tradition of giving testimony in three contexts, legal history, religion, and literary narrative, with the goal of situating lawyers within these traditions. The author\u27s interest in the topic was prompted by years of frustration with the circumscribed role of lawyers in the judicial system\u27s truth-telling enterprise and, more profoundly, by concerns with lawyers\u27 restrained capacity to shape truth in the larger, social-cultural sense. The question asked, therefore, is whether lawyers, who are positioned to witness (as in \u22behold\u22) so much about society, and have the social authority to witness (as in \u22attest\u22) to what they have seen, have an obligation, or at least a right, to speak. If so, what are the parameters of this role, what are its roots, and what is the nature of the discursive practice

Topics: Witness, Arts and Literature, Legal History, Legal Profession, Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Legal History
Publisher: NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2006
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