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Legal Ethics Midterm Exam (Selected Questions and Answers)
Last Modified:  2012-04-23 08:21:51
The compulsory Legal Ethics course for 2011 Double Masters’ students was taught by CESL Co-dean Fang Liufang. For the midterm examination, students were given three essay questions and asked to choose two. They were required to find sources and analyse the questions. Below are the questions and essays from ten students.

Question 1: The case of Xu Chaosheng comes from the Qing Dynasty “Conspectus of Criminal Cases” (刑案汇览).

The governor of Guizhou province asked the Board of Punishment for instruction regarding Xu Chaosheng. Xu was charged with inciting litigation. The governor asked whether Xu’s sentence to banishment should be reduced to one of monetary redemption, due to his already having reached 70 years of age. After checking for precedents, it was discovered that precedents did exist for people who had reached an age where they were no longer likely to reoffend. However, in Xu’s case, although he was old, his mental capacity was undiminished, and therefore may still continue to incite litigation. Thus since this was a serious case, the authorities decided it did not warrant the commutation of the sentence of banishment to one of monetary redemption.

What un-stated legal policies and factors were behind the authorities’ decision not to commute Xu Chaosheng’s sentence from banishment, even though he was 70? Why did the number of illegal lawyers continue to grow, even when inciting litigation was viewed so seriously under traditional Chinese law?

Litigators have always played an active role in the traditional Chinese legal system. However, this activity was heavily curtailed by the authorities. Deep conflicts arose from the traditional Chinese economic environment, leading to questions over legality and morality. The below nine essays demonstrate solid research and give detailed descriptions from a unique point of view. The essays cover questions such as: the legal policies of the authorities, the reason why litigation flourished, the relationship between limiting civil suits and the system for resolving disputes, conflicts of interest and rules of the game. Old habits die hard, analysing past events and the environment is extremely important for today’s lawyers.
Shen Linping: Discussing the Refusal to Allow Monetary Redemption for Someone over 70

Fan Nating: Legal Culture in the Ming and Qing Dynasty

Han Peng: Analysis of the Factors Behind the Policy of Harsh Punishment for Inciting Litigation and the Proliferation of Illegal Litigators

Li Bei: Inciting Litigation

Shi Yue: The Empire Strikes Hard whilst the People are Confused: The Existence of Litigators Under the Contradictions of the Ming and Qing

Wang Boling: Inciting Litigation in the Qing Dynasty

Wang Qi: The Government’s View of Litigators and the System of Control in Ancient China

Wang Tengyu: After the Attack on Inciting Litigation

Wu Yue: The Reason Litigators Flourished
Question 2: How do the Beijing Lawyers’ Association and the Beijing Municipal Ministry of Justice limit lawyers from other cities practising in Beijing? (Regulations and sources should be clearly cited, simply copying articles will not be accepted).

In 2012, much debate in the industry arose after the Beijing Lawyers’ Association and the Beijing Municipal Government tabled new regulations restricting non-Beijing residents applying for lawyers’ permits. The below seven essays participate in the debate from different points of view. They demonstrate the authors’ lively thoughts and sound legal knowledge. Readers should be aware, however, that although the object of debate is the same, the method of criticism is different. The proper way to analyse the standardisation of the law is also worth further analysis.
Fan Nating: The Legal Reasons Behind the Beijing Lawyers’ Association’s Limits on the Number of Lawyers in Beijing

Guan Erjia: Debating Limits on the Registration of Non-Beijing Lawyers

Han Peng: The Dispute Over the Beijing Lawyers’ Association’s and the Municipal Justice Bureau’s Limits on Non-Beijing Lawyers Practising in Beijing

Shi Yue: The Effect “Lawyers’” Scope to Practice Law of the Municipal Government’s and the Beijing Lawyers’ Association’s Controversial Policy to Limit Legal Practise Based on the Location of Employment Records

Wang Boling: Researching Regulations Tabled by the Municipal Justice Bureau and the Beijing Lawyers’ Association Limiting Non-Beijing Lawyers' from Practising in Beijing

Wang Qi: Beijing Limits Practice of Lawyers from Other Areas

Wang Tengyu: Analysis of the Advantages and Disadvantages and Obstacles Facing the Legal Industry in Beijing
Question 3: Analyse the financial structure of Beijing law firms
  • What income do Beijing law firms have?
  • What taxes can be levied on transactions?
  • How are costs shared between partners?
  • After taxes have been paid and costs split, how is individual income maximized?
  • Use legal and economic theory to analyse the financial structure of law firms.
CESL Co-dean Fang Liufang pointed out that, “If you really want to understand how an industry operates, you must first research the cash flow”. This is a realistic and effective way, yet it is one that has always been overlooked, and even covered up. The essay below shows how the author used the information available to analyse the financial structure of law firms.
Guan Erjia: Analysing of the Financial Structure of Law Firms