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M arch is National Ethics Awareness Month, and it’s meant to bring greater attention to the idea of ethics and ethical behavior, which, at times, can seem in short supply. My definition of ethical behavior is to do the right thing when no one is looking. Both C.S. Lewis and Aldo Leopold, an American author and philosopher, share this partial quote, which instructs us to act ethically even if we don’t think anyone knows about it. In other words, we shouldn’t act ethically because of some payoff. We do it because we are motivated by inherent goodness, not for any extrinsic benefit. Since our practice is devoted to personal injury, we have had the chance to get to know many other injury attorneys as well as medical providers and facilities in our market. As with any industry, there are times when you see how some people handle ethical challenges. We’ve had to terminate relationships because some folks we’ve done business with don’t live up to our ethical standards. I hope all of our clients and our referral partners know that we have the highest ethical standards. We always strive to do what’s right even when no one is watching! In order for me to become licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas, I had to be approved by the Board of Law Examiners to be of fit moral and ethical character. I’ve been open about my past struggles with drugs and alcohol, which I’ve mentioned a time or two in this newsletter. I had a brief relapse while I was in law school after years of sobriety. The Board of Law Examiners requires a questionnaire to be filled out after graduating law school, and I will be the first to say there were some questions that tested my ethics. Doing the Right Thing — Even When No One is Looking
potentially deny my admission to the bar with this information, but I can hold my head high today knowing that I was 100% truthful.
When the board approved me to practice law, I was immediately placed into situations that I could budge on the ethics — or stay true to my beliefs. In my 12-step work, one of our cliche sayings is “Do the next right thing.” When you are faced with your next ethical dilemma, I hope you do the next right thing! And never be afraid to do the right thing when no one is looking.
I could either not disclose to Texas, or I could do the right thing and ethical thing. I admitted to the relapse. It was a difficult thing to do, knowing the Board could
-Matt Aulsbrook 1
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