November 16, 2009
'Professionalism': A Lawyer-Centric Ruse?
Reprinted from a 2005 "Law Week edition" of The San Diego Daily Transcript, here's "Professionalism Revisited: What About The Client?", written by one of our spunkier U.S. trial lawyers. Note that the piece ends with "rules of professionalism"--but from the client's perspective. Excerpts from Rules 1, 5 and 6:
1. We come first. Be nice--but if in doubt, use the rules. If you feel you know the lawyers you are dealing with, we will follow your advice and instincts. If you are in doubt about the lawyers, or if it might compromise us to deviate from the formal procedural rules, please stay close to those rules.
5. If you have, or would like to have, a personal relationship with opposing counsel, that's fine, but don't let the relationship hurt us--the client. We don't care as much as you do about your maintaining or developing collegiality with other lawyers in your jurisdiction; in fact, we could not care less.
6. If opposing counsel shows animosity toward you for following the procedural rules and keeping things moving, that is tough. This is not about the lawyers. We hired you to represent us. We would like you to get this done. Again, as your client, we seldom think that aggression and persistence are "unprofessional".
Posted by JD Hull at November 16, 2009 12:31 AM