In philosophy, moral responsibility is the status of morally deserving praise, blame, reward, or punishment for an act or omission, in accordance with one's moral obligations. Deciding what (if anything) counts as "morally obligatory" is a principal concern of ethics.

Philosophers refer to people who have moral responsibility for an action as moral agents. Agents have the capability to reflect on their situation, to form intentions about how they will act, and then to carry out that action. The notion of free will has become an important issue in the debate on whether individuals are ever morally responsible for their actions and, if so, in what sense. Incompatibilists regard determinism as at odds with free will, whereas compatibilists think the two can coexist.

Moral responsibility does not necessarily equate to legal responsibility. A person is legally responsible for an event when a legal system is liable to penalise that person for that event. Although it may often be the case that when a person is morally responsible for an act, they are also legally responsible for it, the two states do not always coincide.

 Professional responsibility is the area of legal practice that encompasses the duties of attorneys to act in a professional manner, obey the law, avoid conflicts of interest, and put the interests of clients ahead of their own interests.

 Conflicts of interest. This occurs where the same lawyer or firm is representing both sides in a lawsuit, or previously represented one side. In countries with the adversarial system of justice, a conflict of interest violates the right of each client to the undivided, zealous loyalty of his lawyer. Conflicts may also occur if the lawyer's ability to represent a client is materially limited by the lawyer's loyalty to another client, a personal relationship, or other reasons.
Incompetent representation. Attorneys have a duty to provide competent representation, and the failure to observe deadlines or...

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