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Does Ethics Have a Place In Law?

Does Ethics Have a Place In Law?

Ethics are defined as the moral principles that help govern a person’s behavior or the conduction of a certain activity. Since the dawning of civilization, laws have been used as a beacon of order in society. This goes as far back as the Code of Hammurabi, a preserved Babylonian code of law used in ancient Mesopotamia. Since then, a long-standing debate has remained the world of law. Do ethics have a place in it?

Rules are used to maintain minimal civil standards in society and they tell us what our punishment will be if we do not adhere to those edicts. They do not inform us of whether or not that is what an ethical person would do. The rule of law is grounded in principles of fairness, equality, and justice. In many scenarios, judges and lawyers have to practice proper behavior in order to maintain these characteristics. If these guidelines aren’t followed, then the rule of law will begin to unfold while public unrest would be on the rise.

The law profession can lead to many conflicts of interest because there are situations where the rule of law may go against one’s ethical beliefs. Just like health professionals are not allowed to discriminate or treat others unfairly, the lawyers have an obligation to ensure that there is no internal conflict between his beliefs and what the law states. These conflicts of interest have the capacity to exacerbate over time and can lead to serious legal proceedings, such as negligence or breach of trust.

In addition to this, there also arises the issue of potential confidentiality issues and whether or not the lawyer is double minded. There is an inherent duty within those who practice law to exhibit a level of trust that the client can rely upon. This issue of trust gets further exacerbated if the lawyer has nefarious means to what decisions he chooses to make. Whether it be intentionally misleading the court or other forms of manipulation, ethical dilemmas typically arise because there is a gross lack of transparency.

Discussing the role of ethics in law ultimately remains fruitless if the honorable nature of the law profession isn’t the initial point of concern. As the topic continues to gain traction, it is important the integrity isn’t compromised.


5 Employee Rights you Should Know About

5 Employee Rights you Should Know About

5 Employee Rights you Should Know About

Businesses owners and managers need to pay attention to their employees. Although your work to create a healthy, productive work environment matters, you can hurt yourself if you ignore the legal and regulatory requirements that affect your firm as an employer.

Failure to discover and fulfill your obligations can result in civil and legal penalties that can negatively impact your ability to do business. The following five employee rights will remind you of some of your basic responsibilities as an employer.


Although employers have a right to monitor employees as they do their work, your employees still have a right to privacy regarding their personal possessions. These rights extend to handbags, briefcases, and lockers. They also apply to mail that is personally addressed to employees.

Also, you should be aware that employees may have privacy regarding their telephone calls and voicemail messages. However, practically no protections exist for the way employees use your business’ computers, network and internet connection.

Fair compensation

Labor laws require that you must pay your employees in a fair and equitable way that at least approximates industry norms. However, you must pay employees within your organization similar wages if they do similar work. If you follow this guideline, you will protect yourself from allegations of gender, age, and race-based discrimination.

Hiring practices

Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating in the hiring of workers based on their race, religion, sex or nationality. Some laws may also forbid you from discriminating based on sexual preferences. Generally speaking, you should hire based on the knowledge, skills and other capabilities of an applicant.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits your firm from discriminating against qualified candidates with certain disabilities. Also, “reasonable accommodation” rules mean that you must take reasonable measures to ensure that disabled team members have equal access to your facility and work areas.

Age Discrimination

Laws prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants and employees who are more than 40 years old. However, these rules don’t work in reverse, so you can favor older employees over younger ones.

You’ve just reviewed five important rights that employees have. Now, it’s up to you to take the next step and learn more about employment law and the federal, state, and local regulations that affect your business.


The ACLU Effect on Crime and Policing

The ACLU Effect on Crime and Policing

Chicago citizens and police officers have always had something of a tense relationship. The residents of the city have complained of mistreatment from law enforcement due to racial biases; meanwhile, police officers and first responders are desperately trying to keep bad guys off the streets to keep good guys, their stuff, and the city at large safe.

Starting in 2011 with the untimely death of Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter movement renewed public interest in police brutality and the safety of inner city residents against the force of police who may be entering scenes with ill intentions and racial prejudices. Calls for mandatory body cameras and more transparency during police-civilian interactions that left people dead have taken up a permanent dwelling on social media and at every political rally.

With the tide of public opinion turning against police officers, the prison system, and law enforcement at large, many police precincts are up against steep odds for increasing their budgets during local votes and reminding citizens that they exist to keep streets safe, not to purposefully hurt or terrorize people.

Nonetheless, the ACLU and the Chicago PD struck a once-in-a-lifetime agreement that both sides hoped to benefit from, the former, fewer cases of police misconduct, and the latter, better public support. In particular, the ACLU was interested in putting an end to controversial “stop and frisk” laws that were intended to allow police to be proactive in getting guns and drugs off the streets, but were generally racially biased in execution, leading to numerous court cases. As per the truce, officers have been instructed to meticulously document each and every interaction they have so that a file is prepared if and when the ACLU has to respond to claims of police brutality. Naturally, with the pressure to catalog every traffic stop and stop-and-frisk, the number of both has dramatically decreased. 

In a landmark study recently released from the University of Utah, though, researchers Paul Cassell and Richard Fowles blamed what they call the “ACLU Effect” for Chicago’s 58% increase in homicides in 2016, a peak even for the troubled city itself. The former a professor of law and the latter an economist, the two set out to create an econometric model that accounted for all the possible variables that lead to an increase in homicides in the city, and time and time again, they continued to be struck by the “ACLU Effect,” or the fact that increased paperwork lead to an 82% decrease in traffic stops and stop-and-frisks. Naturally, the ACLU has come out staunchly opposed to the study’s findings and note that it’s more important for the police force to function constitutionally than for them to play fast-and-loose with people’s lives.

This isn’t the first time cities have had to evaluate the efficacy of stop-and-frisk policies. In the 1990s, the “Broken Windows Theory” said, in essence, that decay and neglect beget more decay and neglect. As such, if communities clamp down on smaller infractions like turnstile jumping, graffiti, prostitution, and selling loose cigarettes, then they could reduce the downstream crime. Rudy Giuliani became the mayor of New York City and the champion of broken windows theory and boasted that his officers’ ruthlessness on petty crime leads to the decrease in New York City homicides.

This “Broken Windows Policing” had some fans, and a 2001 paper noted that in areas of NYC that saw spikes in misdemeanor arrests also saw sharp reductions in violent crimes. However, upon further review, the 2001 study omitted some important information that rendered it almost wholly irredeemable. Most notably, the study failed to account for “reversion to the mean,” or the tendency for large spikes in anything — stock prices, crime rates, etc — tend to be followed by large dips back down to a mean amount. While yes, crime in New York did fall under Giuliani’s administration, that likely would have happened with or without stop and frisk policies.

As more and more media outlets pick up the story of the ACLU Effect, we’ll see who can offer additional information or potential solutions. In the end, everyone in Chicago wants to see a reduction in crime, and the ACLU and the Chicago PD may have to reevaluate how they can join forces to do so with the best interests of the citizens in mind.

Abogado Aly Civil Law:

Civil Law consists a group of laws that govern disputes between individuals in such areas as contracts, property, and family law. Civil Law is anything that is not criminal or public law. There are breach of contract cases where one makes a deal, signs a contract and does not follow the contract obligations that were laid out. There are consumer rights cases where you are protected as a consumer from businesses trying to take advantage of you. Lastly, there are construction law cases with lien matters, landlord-tenant matters and more.

At the offices of Abogado Aly, each attorney has their own specialization; however, they meet everyday to ensure that each case is handled by a group of professionals with varying specializations so that all attorneys at this office can look at each case from multiple angles. Adriana Rodriguez’s specialization is in Civil Law, and the aim of this blog is to inform readers on Civil Law in the news today.

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The attorneys at Abogado Aly, PLLC come with the greatest care and compassion for their clients. Adriana Rodriguez is no stranger to that. As a native Houstonian, she was raised in Houston’s own East End District. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and obtained her Bachelors Degree in Government. After graduating, Ms. Rodriguez attended South Texas College Law of Downtown Houston where she obtained her Law Degree. As a young child, Ms. Rodriguez grew up watching friends and family struggle with constant difficulties directly stemming from their legal issues. After witnessing these struggles as a child, she knew that she wanted to become an attorney to help people with their legal troubles. Now an Attorney at the Law Office of Abogado Aly, Ms. Rodriguez wants to help you understand your rights and keep you from being taken advantage from. She primarily deals with issues of family and immigration; however, all of the attorneys and staff at the offices of Abogado Aly assist each other on all of the cases within the office. Ms. Rodriguez understands that family cases can be tricky and difficult, but she is there to find the best possible solution for both parties in this time of need. If a couple gets married in another county but establishes Harris County as their residence in the three months prior to filing the divorce, they can still have Ms. Rodriguez represent them for their divorce cases.
Andrea Rodriguez | Attorney at Abogado Aly Law PLLC