PREAMBLE: As a lawyer I must strive to make our system of justice work fairly and efficiently. In order to carry out that responsibility, not only will I comply with the letter and spirit of the Rules of Professional Responsibility applicable to all lawyers, but I will also conduct myself in accordance with the following Creed of Professionalism when dealing with my client, opposing parties, their counsel, the Courts and the general public.
Civility: (A) I will remember at all times that I am a member of a truly noble profession, which is the glue that binds the very fiber of our society. In all aspects of my life I will endeavor to conduct myself in a manner that befits membership in this profession. (B) I will strive to exemplify at all times the highest ideals of the legal profession. (C) I recognize that my professional obligation requires me to be courteous and civil in all my professional relations. (D) I will remember at all times that while we are members of an adversarial profession, I can be an advocate without being hostile, rude or discourteous.
Competency/Preparation: I will not undertake to represent a client if I do not have the experience, time, resources and personnel to adequately prepare and pursue the client's case. I will be prepared to present my client's case before any judicial or administrative tribunal.
Zeal, Commitment: I will be loyal and committed to my client's cause but shall not permit excessive loyalty, zeal or commitment to interfere with my ability to provide my client with objective and independent advice, or serve to the detriment of the proper functioning of the system of justice. I will not allow my zeal for my client's cause to result in antagonistic, unprofessional or obnoxious behavior.
Punctuality: I will be punctual in attending court hearings, conferences, meetings and depositions, and other professional commitments. I recognize that neglect and tardiness are demeaning to me and to the profession.
Conduct: I will be mindful that my personal conduct, style and attitude may be the sole example of the public perception of a lawyer and his or her credibility. I will act professionally at all times and encourage professionalism in my colleagues.
Communication: At all times I will be accessible and communicate, formally and informally, with candor, honesty and the whole truth. I will be candid with the court in all factual and legal representations.
Referral: I will refer to, or seek assistance from, other counsel if I do not have the time, resources, or personnel to adequately pursue my client's case.
Stipulations: I will not unnecessarily require proof of a matter which is uncontested and does not go to the merits of the case. I will be ever mindful that vigorous advocacy is not inconsistent with professional courtesy.
Deadlines: 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.
Communications with the Court: (1) I will be respectful of and patient in my contacts with court personnel. (2) I will not permit non-lawyers to appear on my behalf in court nor in communicating with a judge. (3) I will promptly notify the court when cases have been settled. (4) I will promptly return telephone calls from court personnel. (5) I will return court files promptly. (6) I will refrain from complaining to a judge's secretary or clerk when I am displeased with that judge's action. (7) I will, as an officer of the court, be punctual, appropriately dressed, and observant of quiet and respectful courtroom decorum, and will instruct my client to do likewise. (8) I will refrain from ex parte communications with any judge except where authorized. (9) I will be mindful that the resources of the court are finite, so that my presentations will be succinct and relevant. (10) I will refrain from exploiting my personal friendships with judges.
Discovery Matters/Negotiations: (1) I will seek sanctions against opposing counsel only as a last resort when the delay in responding to my request for discovery prejudices my ability to prepare my client's case. (2) I will cooperate in scheduling of discovery. I will not schedule depositions until all reasonable efforts have been made to accommodate the calendars of all counsel. (3) I will conduct discovery in a courteous and respectful manner without intimidating or harassing either the witness or opposing counsel. (4) I will not make frivolous objections nor coach my witness during depositions. (5) I will not conduct excessive discovery. (6) I will be ever mindful that any motion, trial, court appearance, deposition, or pleading costs someone time and money. (7) Whenever discovery reveals sufficient information to evaluate a case, I will make a good faith effort to negotiate a settlement without involving the court. During settlement negotiations, I will conduct myself with dignity and will not misrepresent facts or law to other counsel.