a response from a colleague in an unreasonable time frame, unleashing an
expletive-laden tirade at legal professionals or engaging in other uncivil acts
is no longer acceptable behavior for New York attorneys, according to the
Updated Standards of Civility that were recently approved by the Judicial
Departments of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.
Updated Standards of Civility were developed by the New York State Bar
Association (NYSBA) and revise standards first approved over 20 years ago. The
approval by the Judicial Departments makes them the official guidelines for New
latest update of the standards addresses the ways in which lawyers should deal
with new technology while also stating that lawyers should be civil outside the
courtroom as well as inside.
updates are asking, ‘What more can you do to be the best and most professional
you can be?’” Andrew Oringer (Dechert LLP), chair of the Committee on Attorney
must serve as models for how society can debate difficult issues with the
appropriate respect and courtesy,” NYSBA Immediate Past President Michael
Miller, said at a program on the updated civility standards that was a
part of NYSBA’s recent 2020 Annual Meeting.
updated standards are guidelines for attorney behavior, not rules that could
lead to punishment if broken. Nevertheless, they position New York as a leader
in the legal community by urging lawyers to practice civility in their everyday
President Hank Greenberg made a similar point in a recent opinion article,
writing: “The practice of law is about knowing how to disagree without being
disagreeable. This is a lesson we could all stand to learn.”
About the New York State Bar
New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association
in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law,
educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the
rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Brendan Kennedy