Judge's Preamble

As a judge, I will strive to ensure that judicial proceedings are fair, efficient and conducive to the ascertainment of the truth.  In order to carry out that responsibility, I will comply with the letter and spirit of the Code of Judicial Conduct, and I will ensure that judicial proceedings are conducted with fitting dignity and decorum.

A. With respect to parties, lawyers, jurors  and witnesses:

•  I will be courteous, respectful and civil to parties, lawyers, jurors and witnesses. I will maintain control in the courtroom to ensure that all proceedings are conducted in a civil manner;
•  I will not employ hostile, demeaning or humiliating words in opinions or in written or oral communications;
•  I will be punctual in convening all hearings, meetings and conferences;
•  I will be mindful of time schedules of lawyers, parties and witnesses;
•  I will make all reasonable efforts to decide cases promptly;
•  I will give all cases deliberate, impartial and studied analysis and consideration;
•  I will be considerate of the time constraints and pressures imposed on lawyers by the demands of trial practice;
• Within practical time limits, I will allow lawyers to present proper arguments and to make a complete and accurate record;
•  I will not impugn the integrity or professionalism of any lawyer on the basis of the clients whom or the causes which a lawyer represents;
•  I will do my best to ensure that court personnel act civilly and professionally;
•  I will not adopt procedures that needlessly increase litigation expense;
•  I will be open to constructive criticism and make such changes as are consistent with this creed and the Code of Judicial Conduct when appropriate.

B. With respect to other judges:
•  I will be courteous, respectful and civil in my opinions;
• In all written and oral communications, I will abstain from disparaging personal remarks or criticisms, or sarcastic or demeaning comments about another judge;
• I will endeavor to work with other judges to foster a spirit of cooperation and collegiality.

Lawyer's Preamble

As a lawyer, I will strive to make our system of justice work fairly and efficiently.  In order to carry out that responsibility, I will comply with the letter and spirit of the disciplinary standards applicable to all lawyers, and 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 any other person involved in the legal system, including the general public.

A.   In all matters: “My Word is My Bond.”

B.   With respect to my clients:

• I will be loyal and committed to my client’s cause, and I will provide my client with objective and independent advice;
• I will work to achieve lawful objectives in all other matters, as expeditiously and economically as possible;
• In appropriate cases, I will counsel my client regarding options for mediation, arbitration and other alternative methods of resolving disputes;
• I will advise my client against pursuing matters that have no merit;
• I will advise my client against tactics that will delay resolution or which harass or drain the financial resources of the opposing party;
• I will advise my client that civility and courtesy are not weaknesses;
• I will counsel my client that initiating or engaging in settlement discussions is consistent with zealous and effective representation;
• I will keep my client informed about the progress of the work for which I have been engaged or retained, including the costs and fees;
• I will charge only a reasonable attorney’s fee for services rendered;
• I will be courteous to and considerate of my client at all times.

C.  With respect to opposing parties and their counsel:

• I will be courteous and civil, both in oral and in written communications;
• I will not make improper statements of fact or of law;
• I will agree to reasonable requests for extensions of time or waivers of formalities when legitimate interests of my client will not be adversely affected;
• I will consult with opposing counsel before scheduling depositions and meetings or before rescheduling hearings;
• I will cooperate with opposing counsel’s requests for scheduling changes;
• I will not use litigation, delay tactics, or other courses of conduct to harass the opposing party or their counsel;
• I will refrain from excessive and abusive discovery, and I will comply with reasonable discovery requests;
• In depositions, negotiations and other proceedings, I will conduct myself with dignity, avoiding groundless objections and other actions that are disrupting and disrespectful;
• I will not serve motions and pleadings that will unfairly limit the other party’s opportunity to respond;
• In the preparation of documents and in negotiations, I will concentrate on substance and content;
• I will clearly identify, for other counsel or parties, all changes that I have made in all documents.

D. With respect to the courts and other tribunals:

• I will be a vigorous and zealous advocate on behalf of my client, but I will remember that excessive zeal may be detrimental to my client’s interests or the proper functioning of our justice system;
• I will communicate with opposing counsel in an effort to avoid litigation or to resolve litigation;
• I will voluntarily withdraw claims or defenses when they are superfluous or do not have merit;
• I will refrain from filing frivolous motions;
• I will voluntarily exchange information and work on a plan for discovery as early as possible;
• I will attempt to resolve, by agreement, my objections to matters contained in my opponent’s pleadings  and discovery requests;
• When hearings or depositions are cancelled, I will notify opposing counsel, necessary parties,  and the court (or other tribunal) as early as possible;
• Before dates for hearings or trials are set, or immediately after dates have been set, I will verify the availability of participants and witnesses, and I will also notify the court (or other tribunal) and opposing counsel of any problems;
• In civil matters, I will stipulate to facts when there is no genuine dispute;
• I will be punctual for court hearings, conferences and depositions;
• I will be respectful toward and candid with the court;
• I will avoid the appearance of impropriety at all times.

E. With respect to the public and to other persons involved in the legal system:

• I will be mindful of my commitment to the public good;
• I will keep current in my practice areas, and, when necessary, will associate with or refer my client to other more knowledgeable or experienced counsel;
• I will willingly participate in the disciplinary process;
• I will strive to set a high standard of professional conduct for others to follow;
• I will respect and protect the image of the legal profession, and will be respectful of the content of my advertisements or other public communications;
• I will commit to the goals of the legal profession, and to my responsibilities to public service, improvement of administration of justice, civic influence, and my contribution of voluntary and uncompensated time for those persons who cannot afford adequate legal assistance.