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Guidelines and Principles of Civility, Professionalism and Integrity

As officers of the court with responsibilities to the administration of justice, attorneys have an obligation to be professional with clients, other parties and counsel, the courts and the public. This obligation includes civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy, and cooperation, all of which are essential to the fair administration of justice and conflict resolution.

These are guidelines for civility. The Guidelines are offered because civility in the practice of law promotes both the effectiveness and the enjoyment of the practice and economical client representation. The legal profession must strive for the highest standards of attorney behavior to elevate and enhance our service to justice. Uncivil or unprofessional conduct not only disserves the individual involved, it demeans the profession as a whole and our system of justice.

These voluntary Guidelines foster a level of civility and professionalism that exceed the minimum requirements of the mandated Rules of Professional Conduct as the best practices of civility in the practice of law in California. The Guidelines are not intended to supplant these or any other rules or laws that govern attorney conduct. Since the  Guidelines are not mandatory rules of professional conduct, nor rules of practice, nor standards of care, they are not to be used as an independent basis for disciplinary charges by the State Bar or claims of professional negligence.

1.  Principles of Civility, Integrity and Professionalism
 - American Board of Trial Advocates

2.  California Attorney Guidelines of Civility and Professionalism
- The State Bar of California

 

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