May 01, 2018

The Code of Civility in Pennsylvania: Judges Collaborating with Lawyers to Ensure Dignity of the Legal Profession

By Judge Stephanie Domitrovich

I can still recall the “twinkle” of excitement in the eyes of our then Pennsylvania Chief Justice John P. Flaherty as he reviewed the final draft of the Code of Civility with us as officers of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. Chief Justice Flaherty was so delighted to have directed the development and completion of the Code of Civility for Pennsylvania judges and lawyers in 2001. “The ideals of fairness, civility and justice should guide our actions,” he said. “It is absolutely critical for judges and lawyers to work collaboratively to ensure the successful implementation of this code to enhance the dignity of the profession of law, thus furthering public trust and confidence in the system. I would like to express appreciation to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges for its assistance in developing these guidelines.”1 Indeed, this Code of Civility was one of Chief Justice Flaherty’s most rewarding accomplishments during his impressive tenure as chief justice.

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