Friday, April 6, 2012
A lawyer's incivility may be an ethics violation
In an article titled Be Nice in the April 2012 ABA Journal, G.M. Filisko pointed out that a lawyer's incivility may be an ethics violation. Uncivil conduct may violate ABA Model Rule 8.4(d), which proscribes conduct “prejudicial to the administration of justice.” Moreover, civility is covered by various state rules, such as Michigan’s Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5(a), which states, “A lawyer shall treat with courtesy and respect all persons involved in the legal process.”
Be Nice contains examples of lawyers’ incivility outside the courtroom, including one lawyer’s attempt to run around a deposition table to threaten his opposing counsel. For a discussion of incivility in lawyers' written documents, see my article on that topic.