Grandmother Rule on Ethics

 Grandmother Rule on Ethics
                Sometimes a person says something during one of my Continuing Legal Education programs that just nails it. I can spend hours talking with people about legal or business ethics, and then someone listening to me just makes a comment that captures all of what I am trying to say in a few sentences, and often much better than I am then trying to do.
                That happened to me yesterday in Winston-Salem, when an old friend and successful trial lawyer was recounting some advice one of his mentors and law partners once said to him.
                “I can tell you all you need to know about ethics in one good sentence, and how to never get in any trouble with the Bar or your clients or really anyone”, the mentor once told my friend.
                “What are you saying”, my friend asked.
                “Just follow this simple rule…before you do anything at all that gives you some pause before doing it, ask yourself this question… ‘would your grandmother approve of what you are about to do?’ If she would, then go ahead. If she would not, don’t go near it, and for goodness sakes, don’t do it. If you follow this advice, you won’t have to worry about reading any rules or regulations or guidelines. Ever. The best rule is to ask “would your grandmother approve”.

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