MCBA Code of Professionalism
As a member of the Middlesex County Bar Association I agree to practice law in a manner consistent with this code. It is understood that nothing in this code shall be deemed to supersede or in any way amend the Rules of Professional Conduct, or become a basis for the imposition of civil liability of any kind.
- I will provide my client with objective advice and will endeavor to represent my client's interests as expeditiously and economically as possible.
- I will advise my client against pursuing a course of action that is without merit and against tactics which are intended to delay resolution of the matter, or to harass or drain the financial resources of the opposing party.
- I will counsel my client that a willingness to initiate or engage in settlement discussions is consistent with zealous and effective representation, and that civility and courtesy to others during the course of representation are both essential to the proper functioning of our justice system, and are practices that can contribute to an acceptable outcome.
- I will treat opposing counsel, other lawyers and their staffs, parties, witnesses, the court, and members of the court's staff with civility and courtesy. I recognize and I will communicate to my client that courtesy is a professional responsibility and is entirely compatible with vigorous advocacy and zealous representation.
- I will never knowingly misstate facts or law, and I shall always act so that other lawyers and judges can trust in and rely upon my oral or written word.
- I will agree to requests for reasonable extensions of time or for waiver of procedural formalities when the interests of my client will not be adversely affected.
- I will endeavor to consult with opposing counsel before scheduling depositions or meetings, and before scheduling hearings; and I will cooperate with opposing counsel when scheduling appearances and in providing notice to all concerned parties at the earliest possible time of cancellation of appointments, depositions or hearings.
- In the conduct of litigation or negotiations I will comport myself with fairness and dignity, refraining from conduct meant to harass the opposing party; from excessive or abusive discovery and from advancing groundless objections; and from engaging in other practices designed merely to harass or delay, or which are rude or disrespectful.
- I will be considerate in my communications with others, returning telephone calls and responding to correspondence from clients and other attorneys at the earliest reasonable time.
- While I will be a vigorous advocate I will always be mindful that I am an officer of the court and that I have an obligation to conduct myself with respect for the court and for my adversary.
- In civil proceedings I will voluntarily withdraw claims or defenses if it becomes apparent that they lack merit, and I will stipulate to non-essential facts over which there is no genuine dispute. I will cooperate with other attorneys in working to resolve all matters promptly and fairly.
- I will not quarrel needlessly over matters of form or style, but will concentrate on matters of substance and content.
- I will strive to keep current in the areas of law in which I practice. I will familiarize myself with the Rules of Professional Conduct and adhere to these rules in my practice.
- I will not encourage or knowingly authorize any person under my control to engage in conduct that would be improper if I were to engage in such conduct.
- I will adhere to all express promises and to agreements with other counsel, whether oral or in writing, and will adhere in good faith to all agreements implied by the circumstances or local customs.
- I will not ascribe a position to another counsel that counsel has not taken or otherwise seek to create an unjustified inference based on counsel's statements or conduct.
- I will be mindful of my obligation to preserve and protect the public perception of the legal profession. I will be so guided in my comments about the judiciary, opposing counsel, other attorneys or the members of other professions, and in the methods and contents of any advertising, which I may pursue.
- I recognize that the law is a learned profession and that among its goals are public service, the improvement of the administration of justice and the contribution of uncompensated time toward the administration of justice on behalf of those persons who cannot afford legal assistance.