Civility Matters Articles & Documents

Civility: Setting the Tone for Respect! 
By William B. Smith
Civility is all about respect. It is the obligation of every lawyer to set the proper tone. It all comes down to you and the Golden Rule. Bill Smith is a Co-Chairman of ABOTA’s National Professionalism and Civility Committee and he discusses civility, its importance, the roots of incivility and how to deal with it when it surfaces.


Why Civility . . . And Why Now? 
By David B. Casselman
ABOTA recognizes a full-scale epidemic with toxic effects from a growing problem of serious decline in civility and collegiality in the practice of civil law.  By focusing on civility, we can protect the integrity of the judicial system and serve the best interests of the clients.    READ MORE>>


Civility in the Legal Profession — Our Common Goal  
By Justice Donald W. Lemons
American Inns of Court is devoted to promoting professionalism, civility, ethics and excellent legal skills.  This national movement of legal apprenticeship brings together lawyers, judges, academics and students for continuing education and mentoring to help lawyers become more effective advocates and counselors with a keener ethical awareness.


Making Civility Contagious  
By Jerry Spolter, JAMS
Incivility is counter productive to ADR. The JAMS Foundation supports ABOTA’s efforts to promote civility and has been a partner from the beginning. Jerry Spolter of JAMS has a short message about the importance of civility.  READ MORE>>


Why Civility Matters – It Is The Essence of Professionalism  
By the Hon. Douglas S. Lang
The core values of professionalism are honesty, integrity and civility.  The meaning and importance of these values are explored in this Article, as well as the importance of mentoring in encouraging these values.  READ MORE>>


Judges’ Top 10 Pet Peeves  
Prepared by Caroline C. Emery
Learn a popular trial judge’s Top 10 Pet Peeves regarding incivility. READ MORE>>


If Incivility Strikes…  
By the Professionalism, Ethics and Civility Committee of ABOTA
The nuts and bolts of how to respond to the challenge of incivility from the ABOTA’s National Professionalism and Civility Committee. This will help you avoid taking the bait and joining your opponent in a downward spiral of incivility. It will help you learn how to transform uncivil conduct into an upward spiral of cooperation.  READ MORE>>


Enforcing Civility in an Uncivilized World  
By Donald J. Winder and Jerald V. Hale 
As of 2012, 42 of 50 states had civility codes. However, these codes are guidelines only. 

How can we enforce civility?  Through court decisions, bar mechanisms and placing civility in attorney oaths.  Seventeen states have civility in the oath.  A common approach is to “Pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in court, but in all written and oral communications.”    READ MORE>>


Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility
To enhance the daily experience of lawyers and the reputation of the Bar as a whole, the Utah Supreme Court, by order dated October 16, 2003, approved the following Standards of Professionalism and Civility as recommended by its Advisory Committee on Professionalism.  READ MORE>>


American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Commission on the American Jury Project Judicial Division Report to the House of Delegates 
By Justice Douglas S. Lang
The ABA, joined by the Conference of Chief Justices, has adopted a Resolution recommending, among other things: civility oaths, professional boards to resolve complaints, and mentoring.