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Professional Responsibility and Ethical Considerations in Oil and Gas Acquisitions

James M. Hudson, Oil and Gas Acquisitions (1995)

Lawyers are constantly faced with issues of ethics and professional responsibility; such issues are neither isolated nor infrequent. At the same time the legal system, lawyers, and the legal profession itself are under increased scrutiny and criticism.1 For the most part, lawyers routinely resolve ethical and professional responsibility questions without thinking of them as presenting thorny issues that are difficult, if not impossible, to answer.2 This is because ethical and professional responsibility concerns are not simply philosophical matters left to scholarly examination, but form a basic part of the fabric of the legal profession and the lawyer's practice and reputation.

To a large extent, there are well defined guidelines that provide the basis to resolve ethical issues. It has been stated: “The main reason for having ethical guidelines is not to provide a cookbook solution to every practice-related problem, but to aid in the decision-making process for situations that involve ethical questions.”3 As a result, it is helpful to review periodically the standards that guide the practice of law. By doing so, we equip ourselves to resolve the issues of ethics and professional responsibility that we constantly face.

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This paper focuses on the practical analysis of ethical and professional responsibility issues that can arise in oil and gas