Discussion: When Bad Things are Done by Good People


Course Code:
LAW 681J
Law Mandatory P/R/F


Some people live their lives in a manner that would lead few to declare them good people. From Tony Soprano to Saddam Hussein to Bernie Madoff, we are all familiar with individuals who have made crime and violence a constant in their lives. There are far more people, though, who try generally to live good lives, but find themselves having acted or having failed to act in ways that are widely condemned as evil. In the first four of our five meetings, we will be looking (through some books, reports and films) at case studies of such circumstances, including (a) those in authority who have covered up evidence of sexual abuse; (b) prosecutors who have ignored evidence of a defendant's innocence, (c) lawyers who have turned blind eyes to client misconduct, and (d) soldiers who have committed acts they would have once found unimaginable. In our fifth session we will consider contrasting case studies of individuals who resisted great pressure and kept their moral compasses well-calibrated. Throughout our inquiry, we will reflect in particular on the power of institutions and authority in affecting ethical mores. Winter Quarter. Class meeting dates: Five Wednesday Evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (precise dates TBD). DISCUSSIONS IN ETHICAL & PROFESSIONAL VALUES COURSES RANKING FORM: To apply for this course, 2L, 3L and Advanced Degree students must complete and submit a Ranking Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students and then see Consent of Instructor Forms). See Ranking Form for instructions and submission deadline. Elements used in grading: Class attendance at all sessions and class participation.

Current Offerings

2017-2018 Winter

Discussion: When Bad Things are Done by Good People LAW 681J Section 01 Class #33342

  • 1 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 8
  • Wed

Past Offerings

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