As a lawyer, I recognize my first duty is to ardently and conscientiously represent my client. Yet, each lawyer also has the responsibility for making our system of justice work honorably, fairly and efficiently. To accomplish this end, I will comply with my profession’s disciplinary standards, and be guided by the following creed when dealing with clients, opposing counsel, the courts and general public.
A. My Client:
I will be loyal and sensitive to my client’s needs, but I will not permit that commitment to block my ability to provide objective and candid advice.
I will try to achieve my clients lawful objectives as quickly and economically as possible.
I will advise my client that civility and courtesy are not to be equated with weakness.
I will abide by my clients ethical decisions regarding the client’s goals, but nevertheless will advise that a willingness to engage in settlement negotiations is consistent with ardent, conscientious and effective representation.
B. Opposing Parties and their Counsel:
- I will try to act with dignity, integrity, and courtesy in oral and written communications.
- My word is my bond, not only with opposing counsel, but in all my dealings.
- In litigation, I will agree with responsible requests for extensions of time, stipulate to undisputed facts to avoid needless costs or inconvenience, and waive procedural formalities when the interest of my client will not adversely be affected.
- I will facilitate the processing of all reasonable discovery requests.
- I will not ask colleagues for rescheduling of court settings or discovery proceedings unless a legitimate need exists; nor will I unreasonably withhold consent for scheduling accommodations. I will try to consult with opposing counsel before scheduling depositions, hearings, and other proceedings or meetings.
- I will promptly respond to oral and written communications.
- I will avoid condemning my adversary or the opposing party.
C. The Courts and Other Tribunals:
- I will be candid with and courteous to the Court and its staff.
- I will be punctual in attending court hearings, conferences and depositions; I recognize that tardiness is demeaning to me and to the profession.
- I will stand to address the Court, and dress appropriately to show my respect for the Court and the law.
- I will refrain from condemnation of the Court.
D. The Public and our System of Justice:
I will remember that my responsibilities as a lawyer include a devotion to the public good and the improvement of the administration of justice, including the contribution of uncompensated time for those persons who cannot afford adequate legal assistance.
I will remember the need to promote the image of the profession in the eyes of the Public and be guided accordingly when considering advertising methods and content.
*The Board of Trustees of the Spokane County Bar Associations continues to endorse this resolution and provides a copy to all attorneys when they are sworn in to the practice of law in Spokane County.
Revised Code of Professional Courtesy adopted by SCBA Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on April 20, 2016, in accordance with ABA Preamble revisions adopted by Washington State and effective on April 27, 2007.
It is the policy of the Spokane County Bar Association that any personal information protected by RCW 19.255.010 shall be held confidential. Such information shall include the cardholder’s first name or first initial and last name in combination with: a social security number, driver’s license number; Washington identification number; or account number or credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual’s financial account. RCW 19.255.010(5).