Legal duty obligations come in a variety of different forms. For example, you might be required to speak out on issues of social justice or equality (perhaps regarding the treatment of women or racial or ethnic minorities) contrary to your own personal interests. Or perhaps you’re required to speak out on behalf of an injured or disadvantaged group as against the interest of the primary oppressor.
Legal duty obligations can also take the form of acting in bad faith. This means that you don’t really want to take on a particular case, but you feel compelled to do so because of the other attorneys representing the opposing party. These are just two examples of the types of situations you could find yourself in. Some professionals have the ability to ignore legal duty obligations. Others have the power to do the opposite.
What are some other duty examples? Take a look at your own situation. Have you ever had a personal stake in a case and if not now then when? When your attorneys are fighting for the opposite side in court, are you prepared for what they’re going to ask you?
It’s easy to forget the importance of knowing and following duty examples. Yet knowing and following these obligations can be crucial to your success in this world. How many times do you get pulled over for speeding, only to see a cop wave you on because “we have a traffic accident”. Or how many times are you on the phone with your spouse during dinner, only to listen to them lament the state of their marriage, only to pick up the phone and hear them drone on about how awful day it was outside until you both decided to take a cab home? The point is, these examples are not optional.
It’s important to remember that these examples are there for a reason. The bottom line is that if you want to succeed, you need to honor your duties. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, perhaps even jail time. If you fail to pay your tax obligations, the penalties can be in the millions. And if you fail to appear in court when you are owed a judgment, that could mean spending more than a few years in jail before you’re done.
So don’t wait for the duty examples to pile up. Make sure you honor your duties. There’s no way around it.
And of course, it’s also important to remember that while each of these examples is important, the ultimate responsibility falls on you. Don’t ignore your obligations, and don’t become a liability to your employer or to anyone else. These legal duty examples are there to help you understand what you’re going to owe when you’re not following your duties. You need to act responsibly and truthfully and you need to be careful to keep your actions within the parameters set by the law.