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June 15, 2012

Lawyers' Duties to Other Counsel

Lawyers’ Duties to Other Counsel

  1. We will practice our profession with a continuing awareness that our role is to zealously advance the legitimate interests of our clients. In our dealings with others we will not reflect the ill feelings of our clients. We will treat all other counsel, parties, and witnesses in a civil and courteous manner, not only in court, but also in all other written and oral communications. We will refrain from acting upon or manifesting bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status toward any participant in the legal process.
  2. We will not, even when called upon by a client to do so, abuse or indulgein offensive conduct directed to other counsel, parties, or witnesses. We willabstain from disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward other counsel, parties,or witnesses. We will treat adverse witnesses and parties with fair consideration.
  3. We will not encourage or knowingly authorize any person under our controlto engage in conduct that would be improper if we were to engage in such conduct.
  4. We will not, absent good cause, attribute bad motives or improper conductto other counsel.
  5. We will not lightly seek court sanctions.
  6. We will in good faith adhere to all express promises and to agreements withother counsel, whether oral or in writing, and to all agreements implied by thecircumstances or local customs.
  7. When we reach an oral understanding on a proposed agreement or a stipulationand decide to commit it to writing, the drafter will endeavor in good faith tostate the oral understanding accurately and completely. The drafter will provideother counsel the opportunity to review the writing. As drafts are exchangedbetween or among counsel, changes from prior drafts will be identified in thedraft or otherwise explicitly brought to other counsel's attention. We will notinclude in a draft matters to which there has been no agreement without explicitlyadvising other counsel in writing of the addition.
  8. We will endeavor to confer early with other counsel to assess settlementpossibilities. We will not falsely hold out the possibility of settlement toobtain unfair advantage.
  9. In civil actions, we will stipulate to relevant matters if they are undisputedand if no good faith advocacy basis exists for not stipulating.
  10. We will not use any form of discovery or discovery scheduling as a meansof harassment.
  11. Whenever circumstances allow, we will make good faith efforts to resolveby agreement objections before presenting them to the court.
  12. We will not time the filing or service of motions or pleadings in any waythat unfairly limits another party's opportunity to respond.
  13. We will not request an extension of time solely for the purpose of unjustifieddelay or to obtain unfair advantage.
  14. We will consult other counsel regarding scheduling matters in a good faitheffort to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  15. We will endeavor to accommodate previously scheduled dates for hearings,depositions, meetings, conferences, vacations, seminars, or other functions thatproduce good faith calendar conflicts on the part of other counsel.
  16. We will promptly notify other counsel and, if appropriate, the court or otherpersons, when hearings, depositions, meetings, or conferences are to be canceledor postponed.
  17. We will agree to reasonable requests for extensions of time and for waiverof procedural formalities, provided our clients' legitimate rights will not bematerially or adversely affected.
  18. We will not cause any default or dismissal to be entered without first notifyingopposing counsel, when we know his or her identity, unless the rules provideotherwise.
  19. We will take depositions only when actually needed. We will not take depositionsfor the purposes of harassment or other improper purpose.
  20. We will not engage in any conduct during a deposition that would not be appropriatein the presence of a judge.
  21. We will not obstruct questioning during a deposition or object to depositionquestions unless permitted under applicable law.
  22. During depositions we will ask only those questions we reasonably believeare necessary, and appropriate, for the prosecution or defense of an action.
  23. We will carefully craft document production requests so they are limitedto those documents we reasonably believe are necessary, and appropriate, forthe prosecution or defense of an action. We will not design production requeststo place an undue burden or expense on a party, or for any other improper purpose.
  24. We will respond to document requests reasonably and not strain to interpretrequests in an artificially restrictive manner to avoid disclosure of relevantand nonprivileged documents. We will not produce documents in a manner designedto hide or obscure the existence of particular documents, or to accomplish anyother improper purpose.
  25. We will careftilly craft interrogatories so they are limited to those matterswe reasonably believe are necessary, and appropriate, for the prosecution ordefense of an action, and we will not design them to place an undue burden orexpense on a party, or for any other improper purpose.
  26. We will respond to interrogatories reasonably and will not strain to interpretthem in an artificially restrictive manner to avoid disclosure of relevant andnon-privileged information, or for any other improper purpose.
  27. We will base our discovery objections on a good faith belief in their meritand will not object solely for the purpose of withholding or delaying the disclosureof relevant information, or for any other improper purpose.
  28. When a draft orderis to be prepared by counsel to reflect a court ruling, we will draft an orderthat accurately and completely reflects the court's ruling. We will promptlyprepare and submit aproposed order to other counsel and attempt to reconcileany differences before the draft order is presented to the court.
  29. We will not ascribe a position to another counsel that counsel has not taken.
  30. Unless permitted or invited by the court, we will not send copies of correspondencebetween counsel to the court.
  31. Nothing contained in these Guidelines is intended or shall be construed toinhibit vigorous advocacy, including vigorous cross-examination.