Incivility Among Attorneys

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Jun 6, 2012 Comments Off on Incivility Among Attorneys bernardo

“Clients, not lawyers, are the litigants. Whatever may be the ill-feeling existing between clients, it should not be allowed to influence counsel in their conduct and demeanor toward each other or toward suitors in the cause. All personalities between counsel should be scrupulously avoided.” ABA CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS, CANON 17.

That used to be a maxim.  For the most part I think attorneys do treat each other with civility, but it seems like the rule is that the further away attorneys are, the less civil they are toward each other.  It seems that attorneys are regular people and do not feel the need to hold back when they think they will never have to see opposing counsel at a dinner function or regularly at the courthouse.  So far the ethical rules do not necessarily make it unethical to be uncivil, but the judges see it.  The real trick is not going into the gutter with opposing counsel when they are a real jerk.  Or else the court might declare a pox on both parties.