The lawyer in securities regulation has a responsibility to the public to make an adequate investigation to determine the truthfulness of all matters requiring disclosure. Protection of the public through the federal securities disclosure system relies upon the proper behavior of the professionals in the field. However, the developing actions and attitudes of the SEC toward attorney responsibility in securities regulation do not reflect a general assertion that legal counsel has a social responsibility that must prevail over the interests of the client. The objective of federal securities law to protect the investor and the public is the distinguishing factor. In securities regulation the primary responsibility of the lawyer is to effectuate compliance with federal regulations. The primary social responsibility of all lawyers is to provide guidance to their clients to enable them to comply with the law or to achieve their desired goals in a lawful manner.
Ray Garrett Jr.,
The Social Responsibility of Lawyers in Their Professional Capacity,
30 U. Miami L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umlr/vol30/iss4/5