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ATTORNEY’S CREED OF PROFESSIONALISM
As a lawyer I have a specific responsibility to strive for a prompt, ethical, fair and just disposition of the matters entrusted to me. In order to carry out that responsibility; not only will I comply with the letter and spirit of the disciplinary standards applicable to all lawyers; but, I will also be mindful of the following Creed of Professionalism when dealing with my client, opposing parties, their counsel, the Courts and the general public.
WITH RESPECT TO MY CLIENT
* I will always remember that I owe undivided allegiance, the utmost application of my learning, skill and industry, and the employment of all appropriate legal means within the law to protect and enforce legitimate interests of my client. In the discharge of this duty, I should not be deterred by any real or fancied fear of judicial disfavor, or public unpopularity, nor should I be influenced directly or indirectly by any considerations of self-interest; but, I will not allow these obligations to interfere with my ability to provide my client with objective and independent advice in a manner consistent with my professional responsibilities.
* I will endeavor to achieve my client’s lawful objectives in business transactions and in litigation as expeditiously and economically as possible;* I will remember that the client has no right to demand that I engage in abusive conduct and I will advise my client against pursuing litigation (or any other course of action) that is without merit and against insisting on tactics which are intended to delay resolution of the matter or to harass or drain the financial resources of the opposing party;
* I will advise my client that Civility and Courtesy are not be equated with weakness;
WITH RESPECT TO OPPOSING PARTIES AND THEIR COUNSEL
* I will be mindful that in adversary proceeding, clients are litigants and though ill feeling may exist between clients, such ill feeling should not influence my attitude, or demeanor towards opposing lawyers.
* I will conduct myself with respect to opposing counsel in a manner that displays Courtesy and Candor in the pursuit of the truth and I will endeavour to cooperate in all respects not inconsistent with my client’s interests.
* I will not knowingly make statements of fact or of law that are untrue.
* In litigation proceedings, I will agree to reasonable requests for extensions of time or for waiver of procedural formalities when the legitimate interests of my client will not be adversely affected.
* Where consistent with my client’s interests, I will communicate with opposing counsel in an effort to avoid litigation and to simplify and resolve litigation that has actually commenced.
* I will refrain from filing or pursuing frivolous motions, claims, causes of action or defenses.
* I will make every effort to agree with other counsel, as early as possible, on a voluntary exchange of information and on a plan for discovery.* When scheduling or canceling meetings, hearings or deposition, I will attempt to first arrive at mutually convenient times and dates and will notify opposing counsel, and, if appropriate, the Court (or other tribunal) as early as possible.
* In depositions, trials and other proceedings, and in negotiations, I will conduct myself with dignity, avoid making groundless objections and refrain from engaging in acts or rudeness or disrespect.
* I will not serve motions and pleadings on other party, or his counsel, at such a time or in such a manner as will unfairly limit the other party’s opportunity to respond.
* I will clearly identify, for other counsel or parties, all changes that I have made in documents submitted to me for review.
* I will strive to be punctual in communications with others and in honoring scheduled appearances, and I recognize that neglect and tardiness are demeaning to me and to the Profession.
* In my dealings with the Court and fellow counsel, I will be guided by a fundamental sense of integrity and fair play and will always be mindful that my word is my bond.
WITH RESPECT TO THE COURTS AND OTHER TRIBUNALS
* I recognize that to the office of Judge, I owe respect, diligence, candor and punctuality and I acknowledge the importance of the maintenance of the dignity and independence of the judiciary, and protections against unjust and improper criticism and attack.
* I recognize that a Judge should be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom he deals in his official capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of his staff, court officials, and others subject to his direction and control.
* I adhere to the principle that a Judge should be punctual and maintain order and decorum in all proceedings before him.* I will at all times be candid with the Court.
* I will not engage in discourtesies or offensive conduct.
* In all contacts with the Courts and court personnel, I will treat the Court and its staff with courtesy and respect and without regard to whether I agree or disagree with rulings of the Court in any specific case.
* I will not denigrate the Court in private conversations with my client.
WITH RESPECT TO THE PUBLIC AND TO OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE
* I will remember that, in addition to commitment to my client’s cause, my responsibilities as a lawyer include a devotion to the public good.* I will be mindful of the fact that, as a member of a self-regulating profession, it is incumbent on me to report violations by fellow lawyers of any disciplinary rule.
* I will be mindful of the need to protect the image of the legal profession in the eyes of the public and will be so guided when considering methods and contents of advertising.
* I will be mindful that the law is a learned profession and that among its desirable goals are devotion to public service, improvement of administration of justice, and the contribution of uncompensated time and civic influence on behalf of those persons who cannot afford adequate legal assistance. * I recognize that my conduct is not governed solely by the Code of Professional Responsibility, but also by standards of fundamental decency and courtesy.
Adopted April 4, 1990 by the Baton Rouge Bar Association
These are the marks of of a real attorney. Read it, know it, own it. If you have to defend expectations on any of these against a defensive and hostile lawyer, you have the wrong one.
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