Rule 14-301. Standards of Professionalism and Civility.
A lawyer's conduct should becharacterized at all times by personal courtesy and professional integrity inthe fullest sense of those terms. In fulfilling a duty to represent a clientvigorously as lawyers, we must be mindful of our obligations to theadministration of justice, which is a truth-seeking process designed to resolvehuman and societal problems in a rational, peaceful, and efficient manner. Wemust remain committed to the rule of law as the foundation for a just andpeaceful society.
Conduct that may be characterizedas uncivil, abrasive, abusive, hostile, or obstructive impedes the fundamentalgoal of resolving disputes rationally, peacefully, and efficiently. Suchconduct tends to delay and often to deny justice.
Lawyers should exhibit courtesy,candor and cooperation in dealing with the public and participating in thelegal system. The following standards are designed to encourage lawyers to meettheir obligations to each other, to litigants and to the system of justice, andthereby achieve the twin goals of civility and professionalism, both of whichare hallmarks of a learned profession dedicated to public service.
Lawyers should educate themselveson the potential impact of using digital communications and social media,including the possibility that communications intended to be private may berepublished or misused. Lawyers should understand that digital communicationsin some circumstances may have a widespread and lasting impact on theirclients, themselves, other lawyers, and the judicial system.
We expect judges and lawyers willmake mutual and firm commitments to these standards. Adherence is expected aspart of a commitment by all participants to improve the administration ofjustice throughout this State. We further expect lawyers to educate theirclients regarding these standards and judges to reinforce this whenever clientsare present in the courtroom by making it clear that such tactics may hurt theclient?s case.
Although for ease of usage theterm ?court? is used throughout, these standards should be followed by alljudges and lawyers in all interactions with each other and in any proceedingsin this State. Copies may be made available to clients to reinforce ourobligation to maintain and foster these standards. Nothing in these standardssupersedes or detracts from existing disciplinary codes or standards ofconduct.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.Preamble , ; R. Civ. P. 1; R. Civ. P. 65B(b)(5);R. Crim. P. 1(b); R. Juv. P. 1(b); R. Third District Court 10-1-306; Fed. R.Civ. P. 1; DUCivR 83-1.1(g).
1. Lawyers shall advance thelegitimate interests of their clients, without reflecting any ill-will thatclients may have for their adversaries, even if called upon to do so byanother. Instead, lawyers shall treat all other counsel, parties, judges,witnesses, and other participants in all proceedings in a courteous anddignified manner.
Comment: Lawyers should maintainthe dignity and decorum of judicial and administrative proceedings, as well asthe esteem of the legal profession. Respect for the court includes lawyers?dress and conduct. When appearing in court, lawyers should dressprofessionally, use appropriate language, and maintain a professional demeanor.In addition, lawyers should advise clients and witnesses about proper courtroomdecorum, including proper dress and language, and should, to the best of theirability, prevent clients and witnesses from creating distractions or disruptionin the courtroom.
The need for dignity andprofessionalism extends beyond the courtroom. Lawyers are expected to refrainfrom inappropriate language, maliciousness, or insulting behavior indepositions, meetings with opposing counsel and clients, telephone calls,email, and other exchanges. They should use their best efforts to instructtheir clients and witnesses to do the same.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.1.4; R. Prof. Cond. 1.16(a)(1); R. Prof. Cond. 2.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.1; R.Prof. Cond. 3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.3(a)(1); R. Prof. Cond. 3.4; R. Prof. Cond.3.5(d); R. Prof. Cond. 3.8; R. Prof. Cond. 3.9; R. Prof. Cond. 4.1(a); R. Prof.Cond. 4.4(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d); R. Civ. P. 10(h); R. Civ. P. 12(f); R.App. P. 24(k); R. Crim. P. 33(a); Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f).
2. Lawyers shall advise theirclients that civility, courtesy, and fair dealing are expected. They are toolsfor effective advocacy and not signs of weakness. Clients have no right todemand that lawyers abuse anyone or engage in any offensive or improperconduct.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.Preamble ; R. Prof. Cond. 1.2(a); R. Prof. Cond. 1.2(d); R. Prof. Cond. 1.4(a)(5).
3. Lawyers shall not, without anadequate factual basis, attribute to other counsel or the court impropermotives, purpose, or conduct. Lawyers should avoid hostile, demeaning, orhumiliating words in written and oral communications with adversaries. Neitherwritten submissions nor oral presentations should disparage the integrity,intelligence, morals, ethics, or personal behavior of an adversary unless suchmatters are directly relevant under controlling substantive law.
Comment: Hostile, demeaning, andhumiliating communications include all expressions of discrimination on thebasis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, handicap, veteranstatus, or national origin, or casting aspersions on physical traits orappearance. Lawyers should refrain from acting upon or manifesting bigotry,discrimination, or prejudice toward any participant in the legal process, evenif a client requests it.
Lawyers should refrain fromexpressing scorn, superiority, or disrespect. Legal process should not beissued merely to annoy, humiliate, intimidate, or harass. Special care shouldbe taken to protect witnesses, especially those who are disabled or under theage of 18, from harassment or undue contention.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.Preamble ; R. Prof. Cond. 3.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.5; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4; R.Civ. P. 10(h); R. Civ. P. 12(f); R. App. P. 24(k); R. Crim. P. 33(a); Fed. R.Civ. P. 12(f).
4. Lawyers shall never knowinglyattribute to other counsel a position or claim that counsel has not taken orseek to create such an unjustified inference or otherwise seek to create a?record? that has not occurred.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.3(a)(1); R. Prof. Cond. 3.5(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(c); R.Prof. Cond. 8.4(d).
5. Lawyers shall not lightly seeksanctions and will never seek sanctions against or disqualification of anotherlawyer for any improper purpose.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(c); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d); R. Civ.P. 11(c); R. Civ. P. 16(d); R. Civ. P. 37(a); Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(c)(2).
6. Lawyers shall adhere to theirexpress promises and agreements, oral or written, and to all commitmentsreasonably implied by the circumstances or by local custom.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.1.1; R. Prof. Cond. 1.3; R. Prof. Cond. 1.4(a), (b); R. Prof. Cond. 1.6(a); R.Prof. Cond. 1.9; R. Prof. Cond. 1.13(a), (b); R. Prof. Cond. 1.14; R. Prof.Cond. 1.15; R. Prof. Cond. 1.16(d); R. Prof. Cond. 1.18(b), (c); R. Prof. Cond.2.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.3; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4(c); R. Prof.Cond. 3.8; R. Prof. Cond. 5.1; R. Prof. Cond. 5.3; R. Prof. Cond. 8.3(a), (b);R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(c); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d).
7. When committing oralunderstandings to writing, lawyers shall do so accurately and completely. Theyshall provide other counsel a copy for review, and never include substantivematters upon which there has been no agreement, without explicitly advisingother counsel. As drafts are exchanged, lawyers shall bring to the attention ofother counsel changes from prior drafts.
Comment: When providing othercounsel with a copy of any negotiated document for review, a lawyer should notmake changes to the written document in a manner calculated to cause theopposing party or counsel to overlook or fail to appreciate the changes.Changes should be clearly and accurately identified in the draft or otherwiseexplicitly brought to the attention of other counsel. Lawyers should besensitive to, and accommodating of, other lawyers? inability to make full useof technology and should provide hard copy drafts when requested and a redlinecopy, if available.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.4(a); R. Prof. Cond. 4.1(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(c); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d); R.App. P. 11(f).
8. When permitted or required bycourt rule or otherwise, lawyers shall draft orders that accurately andcompletely reflect the court?s ruling. Lawyers shall promptly prepare andsubmit proposed orders to other counsel and attempt to reconcile any differencesbefore the proposed orders and any objections are presented to the court.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4; R. Civ. P. 7(f); R. Third District Court 10-1-306(6).
9. Lawyers shall not hold out thepotential of settlement for the purpose of foreclosing discovery, delayingtrial, or obtaining other unfair advantage, and lawyers shall timely respond toany offer of settlement or inform opposing counsel that a response has not beenauthorized by the client.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4(a); R. Prof. Cond. 4.1(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(c); R.Prof. Cond. 8.4(d).
10. Lawyers shall make good faithefforts to resolve by stipulation undisputed relevant matters, particularlywhen it is obvious such matters can be proven, unless there is a sound advocacybasis for not doing so.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4(d); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d); R. ThirdDistrict Court 10-1-306 (1)(A); Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(2)(C).
11. Lawyers shall avoid impermissibleex parte communications.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.1.2; R. Prof. Cond. 2.2; R. Prof. Cond. 2.9; R. Prof. Cond. 3.5; R. Prof. Cond.5.1; R. Prof. Cond. 5.3; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d); R. Civ.P. 77(b); R. Juv. P. 2.9(A); Fed. R. Civ. P. 77(b).
12. Lawyers shall not send thecourt or its staff correspondence between counsel, unless such correspondenceis relevant to an issue currently pending before the court and the properevidentiary foundations are met or as such correspondence is specificallyinvited by the court.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.5(a); R. Prof. Cond. 3.5(b); R. Prof. Cond. 5.1; R. Prof. Cond. 5.3; R. Prof.Cond. 8.4(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(d).
13. Lawyers shall not knowinglyfile or serve motions, pleadings or other papers at a time calculated tounfairly limit other counsel?s opportunity to respond or to take other unfairadvantage of an opponent, or in a manner intended to take advantage of anotherlawyer?s unavailability.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.8.4(c); R. Juv. P. 19.
14. Lawyers shall advise theirclients that they reserve the right to determine whether to grantaccommodations to other counsel in all matters not directly affecting themerits of the cause or prejudicing the client?s rights, such as extensions oftime, continuances, adjournments, and admissions of facts. Lawyers shall agreeto reasonable requests for extension of time and waiver of proceduralformalities when doing so will not adversely affect their clients? legitimaterights. Lawyers shall never request an extension of time solely for the purposeof delay or to obtain a tactical advantage.
Comment: Lawyers should not evadecommunication with other counsel, should promptly acknowledge receipt of anycommunication, and should respond as soon as reasonably possible. Lawyersshould only use data-transmission technologies as an efficient means ofcommunication and not to obtain an unfair tactical advantage. Lawyers should bewilling to grant accommodations where the use of technology is concerned,including honoring reasonable requests to retransmit materials or to providehard copies.
Lawyers should not requestinappropriate extensions of time or serve papers at times or places calculatedto embarrass or take advantage of an adversary.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.1.2(a); R. Prof. Cond. 2.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4; R. Juv. P.54.
15. Lawyers shall endeavor toconsult with other counsel so that depositions, hearings, and conferences arescheduled at mutually convenient times. Lawyers shall never request ascheduling change for tactical or unfair purpose. If a scheduling changebecomes necessary, lawyers shall notify other counsel and the courtimmediately. If other counsel requires a scheduling change, lawyers shallcooperate in making any reasonable adjustments.
Comment: When scheduling andattending depositions, hearings, or conferences, lawyers should be respectfuland considerate of clients? and adversaries? time, schedules, and commitmentsto others. This includes arriving punctually for scheduled appointments.Lawyers should arrive sufficiently in advance of trials, hearings, meetings,depositions, and other scheduled events to be prepared to commence on time.Lawyers should also advise clients and witnesses concerning the need to bepunctual and prepared. Lawyers who will be late for a scheduled appointment orare aware that another participant will be late, should notify the court, ifapplicable, and all other participants as soon as possible.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4; R. Prof. Cond. 5.1; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4(a); R. Juv. P.20; R. Juv. P. 20A.
16. Lawyers shall not cause theentry of a default without first notifying other counsel whose identity isknown, unless their clients? legitimate rights could be adversely affected.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.8.4; R. Civ. P. 55(a); Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2).
17. Lawyers shall not use oroppose discovery for the purpose of harassment or to burden an opponent withincreased litigation expense. Lawyers shall not object to discovery orinappropriately assert a privilege for the purpose of withholding or delayingthe disclosure of relevant and non-protected information.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.1; R. Prof. Cond. 3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4; R. Prof. Cond. 4.1; R. Prof. Cond.4.4(a); R. Prof. Cond. 8.4; R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1); R. Civ. P. 26(b)(8)(A); R.Civ. P. 37(a)(1)(A), (D); R. Civ. P. 37(c); R. Crim. P. 16(b); R. Crim. P.16(c); R. Crim. P. 16(d); R. Crim. P. 16(e); R. Juv. P. 20; R. Juv. P.
18. During depositions lawyersshall not attempt to obstruct the interrogator or object to questions unlessreasonably intended to preserve an objection or protect a privilege forresolution by the court. "Speaking objections" designed to coach awitness are impermissible. During depositions or conferences, lawyers shallengage only in conduct that would be appropriate in the presence of a judge.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.3(a)(1); R. Prof. Cond. 3.4; R. Prof. Cond. 3.5; R. Prof.Cond. 8.4; R. Civ. P. 30(c)(2); R. Juv. P. 20; R. Juv. P. 20A;Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(c)(2); Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(2); Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(3)(A.
19. In responding to documentrequests and interrogatories, lawyers shall not interpret them in anartificially restrictive manner so as to avoid disclosure of relevant andnon-protected documents or information, nor shall they produce documents in amanner designed to obscure their source, create confusion, or hide theexistence of particular documents.
Cross-References: R. Prof. Cond.3.2; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4; R. Prof. Cond. 8.4; R. Prof. Cond. 3.4; R. Civ. P.26(b)(1; R. Civ. P. 37; R. Crim. P. 16(a); R. Juv. P. 20; R. Juv. P.
20. Lawyers shall not authorize orencourage their clients or anyone under their direction or supervision toengage in conduct proscribed by these Standards.
Adopted by Supreme Court orderOctober 16, 2003.