At Harbinger eDiscovery, we recognize the importance of protecting the confidentiality of our clients in all respects. This policy applies to employees, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at Harbinger eDiscovery, including anyone who has access to or knowledge of any proprietary, confidential, or sensitive information about Harbinger eDiscovery or any of our clients.
Harbinger eDiscovery has established a culture of openness, trust, and integrity in our business practices. Effective ethics involves a team effort in both the participation and the support of every Harbinger eDiscovery employee. Harbinger eDiscovery is committed to protecting employees, clients, partners, vendors, and itself from unethical actions by individuals, either knowingly or unknowingly. Harbinger eDiscovery ethics are continually above reproach, and this has set us apart from our competitors.
Harbinger eDiscovery promotes a trustworthy and honest atmosphere to reinforce the vision of ethics within our company. Harbinger eDiscovery avoids the intent, appearance, and conduct of unethical or compromising practice in relationships, actions, and communications. Harbinger eDiscovery does not permit impropriety at any time and will always act ethically, responsibly, and in accordance with laws. Harbinger eDiscovery therefore will take the appropriate measures and act quickly to address any violations discovered to this code of ethics.
The information that follows is primarily derived from more substantial work completed at the Josephson Institute of Ethics:
Ethics are standards for thought, word, and deed that constrain a person to do what is right and good rather than simply what is easy, comfortable, or self-serving. We use the word “ethics” to refer primarily to an individual’s inner standards based upon orientation, intention, and motivation. In order to apply this definition to practical decision making, it is necessary to specify the nature of the moral obligations considered intrinsic to ethical behavior.
There are two aspects to ethics: the first involves the ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil, and propriety from impropriety; the second involves the commitment to do what is right, good, and proper. Ethics is an action concept; it is not simply an idea to think and argue about.
The terms “values” and “ethics” are not interchangeable. Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave, whereas values simply concern the various beliefs and attitudes that determine how a person actually behaves. Some values concern ethics when they pertain to beliefs as to what is right or wrong; most values do not.
It is likely that personal conscience will embrace a wider range of values and beliefs than core, universal ethical norms. When these “extra” values simply supplement ethical norms with personal moral convictions that are compatible with the dictates of normative ethics, there is no conflict between universal ethics and personal ethics. Unfortunately, some people are “moral imperialists” who seek to impose their personal moral judgments on others as if they were universal ethical norms. A bigger, sometimes related problem is that some people adopt personal codes of conduct that are inconsistent with universal ethical norms. Clearly, not all choices and value systems, however dearly held, are equally “ethical.”
A person who believes that certain races are inferior to others and therefore that it is “right” to oppress or persecute those races has adopted a personal value system that is inherently “unethical” according to the universal and consensus values associated with normative ethics. Similarly, an individual who has decided that lying is proper if it is necessary to achieve an important personal goal cannot assert personal ethics as a shield against impropriety.
Simply put, all individuals are morally autonomous beings with the power and right to choose their values, but it does not follow that all choices and all value systems have an equal claim to be called ethical.
Ethical commitment refers to a strong desire to do the right thing, especially when ethical behavior imposes financial, social, or emotional costs. It has been proven that almost all people believe that they are, or should be, ethical. While most are not satisfied with the ethical quality of society as a whole, they believe that their profession is more ethical than others and that they are at least as ethical as others in their profession. Unfortunately, behavior does not consistently conform to self-image and moral ambitions. As a result, a substantial number of decent people, committed to ethical values, regularly compromise these values – often because they lack the fortitude to follow their conscience.
People need to understand that ethical principles are ground rules of decision making – not just factors to consider. It is “ok” to lose; in fact, it is preferable to lose than to lie, steal, or cheat in order to win. People who are unwilling to lose often are willing to do whatever it takes to win. Ethics has a price, and sometimes people must choose between what they want and what they want to be. But ethics also has a value, which makes self-restraint and sacrifice, service, and charity worthwhile.
Examples of ethical values include the Six Pillars of Character as defined by the Josephson Institute:
- Trustworthiness: honesty, integrity, promise-keeping, loyalty;
- Respect: autonomy, privacy, dignity, courtesy, tolerance, acceptance;
- Responsibility: accountability, pursuit of excellence;
- Caring: compassion, consideration, giving, sharing, kindness, loving;
- Justice and fairness: procedural fairness, impartiality, consistency, equity, equality, due process;
- Civic virtue and citizenship: law abiding, community service, protection of environment.
Harbinger eDiscovery is committed to serving our clients with the utmost respect for the Six Pillars of Character, evidenced by having established a culture of openness, trust, and integrity in our business practices.