Sunday, December 04, 2005

My First Court Appearance

Some of you might have noticed there was briefly a lengthy tale of woe posted here, detailing my first court appearance as a licensed attorney and making a heartfelt call for civility in the practice of law. In the interest of civility, though, I decided as censor to yank the piece (have I violated my own First Amendment rights? Discuss.) as I couldn't be as objective as I wanted to be on the issues I was trying to raise.

I will, though, repeat some of what I wrote about civility. If you're an old pro, please don't give the rookies a hassle just because they are new. This "hazing" is something I was told to expect and something I experienced, and it really has no place in an interaction between professionals. If you're a young turk and someone's treating you poorly, don't save up the resentment to unleash on young(er) associates at a later date. I'm not trying to suggest someone shouldn't be a zealous advocate. If you're up against a rookie who makes errors damaging to the case, it's your duty as an advocate to move on those errors. It's not right, though, to argue points contrary to the law or to threaten sanctions, hoping to put fear and confusion into a new attorney merely to put him or her in a bad situation. That's the sort of incivility and poor behavior that has had a major role in damaging the profession and creating a situation where we are not regarded as learned professionals, but as pit bulls who will attack anyone when paid the proper amount. No offense to the pit bulls, of course.


Anonymous Elle Woodz said...

Nice! I know it's a delayed response, but as a greenie, I'm glad that you posted these thoughts. Hazing reeks... Civility is the hip thing to do.

4:09 PM  

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