Code of Professionalism
The Camden County Bar Association has an extensive and proud history of service to the public, to the American justice system and to its members. The lawyers who have the privilege of being accepted as Association members continue a tradition of treating fellow members and the judiciary before whom they practice in a professional and courteous manner. While this professionalism includes demonstrating the utmost of integrity and compliance with the ethical standards mandated by the Rules of Professional Conduct, it goes beyond those fundamental obligations. It represents the higher standard of conduct that makes the profession of law more than a competitive service industry. The legal profession stands at the crossroads of becoming such a large, impersonal and technologically-oriented business that some members lose sight of the traditional values and virtues to which lawyers of the past subscribed.
At a time when the complexities of the law make practicing our noble art increasingly difficult, the Camden County Bar Association and its membership reaffirm their commitment to the standards of professional courtesy. To advance the standards of professionalism and civility, the Camden County Bar Association has adopted the following Code of Professionalism.
- I will provide my client with objective advice and will endeavor to represent my client’s lawful 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 a 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 during the course of client representation are not a display of weakness, but are virtues upon which our system of justice was founded.
- I will treat opposing counsel, other lawyers and their staffs, parties, witnesses, the courts and members of the court staff with civility and courtesy. Professional courtesy is a necessity entirely compatible with vigorous advocacy and zealous representation.
- I will never knowingly misstate facts or law, and will consistently act in such a manner that other lawyers and judges can trust in and rely upon my oral or written word.
- I will agree to reasonable extensions of time or for waiver of procedural formalities when the legitimate interest of my client is not adversely affected.
- I will endeavor to consult with opposing counsel prior to scheduling depositions, meetings, or rescheduling hearings, and I will cooperate with opposing counsel when scheduling changes are requested. I will be punctual in honoring scheduled appearances and in providing the earliest possible notice of cancellation of appointments, depositions, or hearings to all concerned parties.
- In the conduct of litigation or negotiation, I will conduct myself with fairness and dignity, refraining from any course of conduct meant to harass the opposing party. I will not engage in excessive or abusive discovery, and will refrain from advancing groundless objections or committing other acts of rudeness or disrespect.
- I will be considerate in my communications with others, promptly returning telephone calls and responding to correspondence from clients and other lawyers in a timely manner.
- While I will be a vigorous advocate on behalf of my client, I always will be mindful that I am an officer of the court, and of the obligation to conduct myself with respect for the court and for my adversaries.
- 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 as to which there is no genuine dispute. I will cooperate with other lawyers towards the goal of having matters resolved in a prompt and fair fashion.
- I will not quarrel needlessly over matters of form or style, but will concentrate on matters of substance and content.
- I will strive to remain current in the areas in which I practice. I will familiarize myself with the Rules of Professional Conduct and adhere to these rules in the everyday practice of my profession.
- I will be mindful of my obligation to enhance the image of the legal profession in all of my professional actions. I will be so guided in my comments about the judiciary, opposing counsel or the members of any other profession, and in the methods and contents of any advertising I may pursue.
- I recognize that the law is a learned profession. Among its desirable goals are devotion to public service, improvement of the administration of justice, and the contribution of uncompensated time towards the administration of justice on behalf of those persons unable to afford legal assistance.
As a condition of membership in the Camden County Bar Association, I agree to abide by and conduct the practice of law in a manner consistent with this Code.
Adopted November 1993