Guidelines for Professional Conduct in Litigation

Attorneys who engage in litigation should strive for prompt, efficient, ethical, fair and just disposition of litigation. In fulfilling this obligation the lawyer should adhere to the standards of practice as set out below.

1. In fulfilling his or her primary duty to the client, a lawyer must be ever conscious of the broader duty to the judicial system that serves both attorney and client.

2. A lawyer owes to the judiciary, candor, diligence and utmost respect.

3. A lawyer owes, to opposing counsel, a duty of courtesy and cooperation, the observation of which is necessary for the efficient administration of our system of justice and the respect of the public it serves.

4. A lawyer unquestionably owes, to the administration of justice, the fundamental duties of personal dignity and professional integrity.

5. Lawyers should treat each other, the opposing party, the court, and members of the court staff with courtesy and civility and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

6. A client has no right to demand that counsel abuse the opposite party or indulge in offensive conduct. A lawyer shall always treat adverse witnesses and suitors with fairness and due consideration.

7. In adversary proceedings, clients are litigants and though ill feeling may exist between clients, such ill feeling should not influence a lawyer's conduct, attitude or demeanor towards opposing lawyers.

8. A lawyer should not use any form of discovery, or the scheduling of discovery, as a means of harassing opposing counsel or counsel's client.

9. Lawyers will be punctual in communications with others and in honoring scheduled appearances, and will recognize that negligence and tardiness are demeaning to the lawyer and to the judicial system.

10. If a fellow member of the Bar makes a just request for cooperation, or seeks scheduling accommodation, a lawyer will not arbitrarily or unreasonably withhold consent.

11. Effective advocacy does not require antagonistic or obnoxious behavior and members of the Bar will adhere to the higher standard of conduct which judges, lawyers, clients, and the public may rightfully expect.

PDF of the Guidelines for Professional Conduct