Chapter Five Keep Your Word

It’s high time to corral the corporate lawyers.

Shakespeare didn’t literally mean it when he said that the first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers, but you can forgive folks for smiling at the thought, given that the legal profession, collectively and with our complicity, is stripping America of personal accountability and trust. All of us, in ways large and small, partially are responsible for this erosion of integrity, but I place the greatest culpability, with notable exceptions, on attorneys—especially corporate lawyers.

Lawyers don’t start out their lives wanting to do that, but they are trained in law school to gain the edge, to win rather than mediate. Under the guise of legal protection, many corporate ...

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