Professionalism in the Courts

Professionalism in the Courts


General Administrative Rules, Supreme Court of Louisiana Section 11. The Code of Professionalism in the Courts Current with amendments through October 26, 1999

Preamble
The following standards are designed to encourage us, the judges and lawyers, to meet our obligations to each other, to litigants and to the system of justice, and thereby achieve the twin goals of professionalism and civility, both of which are hallmarks of a learned profession dedicated to public service.

These standards shall not be used as a basis for litigation or sanctions or penalties. Nothing in these standards alters or detracts from existing disciplinary codes or alters the existing standards of conduct against which judicial or lawyer negligence may be determined.

However, these standards should be reviewed and followed by all judges of the State of Louisiana. Copies may be made available to clients to reinforce our obligation to maintain and foster these standards.

Judges' Duties To The Court
We will be courteous, respectful, and civil to lawyers, parties, and witnesses. We will maintain control of the proceedings, recognizing that judges have both the obligation and authority to insure that all litigation proceedings are conducted in a civil manner.

We will not employ hostile, demeaning, or humiliating words in opinions or in written or oral communications with lawyers, parties, or witnesses.

We will be punctual in convening all hearings, meetings, and conferences; if delayed, we will notify counsel, if possible.

We will be considerate of time schedules of lawyers, parties, and witnesses in scheduling all hearings, meetings and conferences.

We will make all reasonable efforts to decide promptly all matters presented to us for decision.

We will give the issues in controversy deliberate, impartial, and studied analysis and consideration.

While endeavoring to resolve disputes efficiently, we will be considerate of the time constraints and pressures imposed on lawyers by the exigencies of litigation practice.

We recognize that a lawyer has a right and a duty to present a cause fully and properly, and that a litigant has a right to a fair and impartial hearing. Within the practical limits of time, we will allow lawyers to present proper arguments and to make a complete and accurate record.

We will not impugn the integrity or professionalism of any lawyer on the basis of clients whom or the causes which a lawyer represents.

We will do our best to insure that court personnel act civilly toward lawyers, parties, and witnesses.

We will not adopt procedures that needlessly increase litigation expense.

We will bring to lawyers' attention uncivil conduct which we observe.

We will be courteous, respectful, and civil in opinions, ever mindful that a position articulated by another judge is the result of that judge's earnest effort to interpret the law and the facts correctly.

We will abstain from disparaging personal remarks or criticisms, or sarcastic or demeaning comments about another judge in all written and oral communications.

We will endeavor to work with other judges in an effort to foster a spirit of cooperation in our mutual goal of enhancing the administration of justice.

Lawyers' Duties To The Courts
We will speak and write civilly and respectfully in all communications with the court.

We will be punctual and prepared for all court appearances so that all hearings, conferences, and trials may commence on time; if delayed, we will notify the court and counsel, if possible.

We will be considerate of the time constraints and pressures on the court and court staff inherent in their efforts to administer justice.

We will not engage in any conduct that brings disorder or disruption to the courtroom. We will advise our clients and witnesses appearing in court of the proper conduct expected and required there and, to the best of our ability, prevent our clients and witnesses from creating disorder or disruption.

We will not knowingly misrepresent, mischaracterize, misquote, or miscite facts or authorities in any oral or written communication to the court.

We will not engage in ex parte communication on any pending action.

We will attempt to verify the availability of necessary participants and witnesses before dates for hearings or trials are set, or if that is not feasible, immediately after such date has been set, so we can promptly notify the court of any likely problems.

We will act and speak civilly to court marshals, clerks, court reporters, secretaries, and law clerks with an awareness that they too, are an integral part of the judicial system. Adopted Aug. 5, 1997.


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