Chicken Little Lives: The Anticipated and Actual Effect of Sarbanes-Oxley on Corporate Lawyers' Conduct
This article addresses the controversy surrounding the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which was seen by many lawyers as threatening the relationship between lawyers and their corporate clients. Part I of this article introduces the topic by providing a brief history of the increased government regulation and enforcement actions that forced lawyers to reexamine their role in representing their clients, beginning with the case of SEC v. National Student Marketing Corp. Part II reviews the organized bar's reaction to Sarbanes-Oxley. Part III focuses on law firms' response to the legislation. Part IV considers the views of individual corporate and securities lawyers ("corporate lawyers") who have reflected on the short and long term effect of the legislation and related SEC Standards. Part V concludes by arguing that Sarbanes-Oxley effectively raises the ethical bar for all lawyers.