Posts tagged bar association
Publicity in civil cases according to the Rules of Professional Conduct

(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter. (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

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Why "Honey I did great in trial today" may violate ethics rules - and what to do about it.

Lawyers love rules.  Lawyers also tend to be OCD.  Rules + OCD = an intricate, layered, never ending monstrous pile of rules that becomes increasingly difficult to navigate.  The legal profession calls this - job security.

We are equal opportunity OCD rule creators.  We even create rules to govern ourselves.  Some of them are breathtakenly overbroad and impossible to humanly adhere to.

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Civility discussion postscript

The WSBA declined to publish the emails between Sims and I saying they were not newsworthy.  But today these email blogs generated a firestorm of intelligent discussion on my primary email listserv.

Tomorrow  I am being dragged to Snohomish County Superior Court by the particularly undelightful defense attorney W.P.  He is moving for sanctions against me under CR 37.  The reason - because my client's answers to interrogatories were four (4, quatro, 四, quatre) days late.

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WSBA challenges me to be civil - but can It be? part 3 (the end)

Dear Karen,

It doesn’t matter to me what a lawyer is wearing, I just think we ought to show more respect to one another.

I did answer your question, just not as you phrased it because: (1) as phrased it didn’t make sense to me; and (2) it posed a false choice.  Is your point that, on the rarest of occasions—indeed one I have never seen—where the lawyer is faced with a choice between pursuing the client’s best interest on the one hand, and acting civilly on the other, the lawyer should act uncivilly?  If so, I suppose I would agree.  I just don’t think that happens very often, if ever.  I do, however, think that lawyers use that claim as an excuse for uncivilized conduct all the time; I just don’t buy it.

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WSBA challenges me to be civil - but can It be? part 2

Dear Karen,

Sarcasm is a good example.  Your email is laced with it, but it does not advance your cause.   It does, though, increase the friction of the dialogue, unnecessarily so.   That is part of my point.  As soon as we inject sarcasm, condescension or the like, the discussion gets heated when it really doesn’t need to.  If I didn’t know you were just trying to prove a point, I may respond emotionally and attack you on a personal level, and so the downward spiral would begin.

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WSBA challenges me to be civil - but can It be? part 1

Dear Sims:

What right does the WSBA have to tell us we need to smile when dealing with opponents.    If we aren’t violating the rules for professional conduct by doing something dastardly – like lying – why can’t we be stern.  Or down right grumpy.  Since when has society wanted attorneys to be nice and friendly  as we go off to fight for our clients’ rights.    As you can tell, I don’t think much of the WSBA’s new “civility” initiative.    I’m a trial attorney.  That means I’m a warrior.  As long as I behave professionally, it shouldn’t matter if I’m being sweet or not.

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Turning off the blog during trial

For the past two and a half weeks, I was in trial.  Just in case a juror might have found this website, for the most part I stopped blogging.   Instead, I wrote daily trial diaries.  Those were sent to my family, friends and colleagues.  They were not posted publicly on the internet.

I think that's the safest way for a trial lawyer to deal with their blog.

Now that trial is over (and yes we did well), I thought you might like to see a few pictures.   This was Steve Hay's case.  He graciously invited me to try it with him.  We had a great time.  It is always a pleasure to try a case with a good lawyer.  Plus see all those papers.  He took care of all that.

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Dear Bar Association. My number one goal isn't to be civil.

The front cover of our bar association journal announces a new series:  “Raising the Bar:  The promise of Civility in Our Profession.”

My skin is crawling and not because I’m a total beast.

I am all in favor of being civil whenever possible.  But sometimes it isn’t.  At least not for trial lawyers.  Our duty is to help our clients get a fair shake.  Rules require that we behave.  But since when did I need to focus on being kind and gracious to the other side.  Especially when they are trying to do bad things.

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