Lawyers take an oath when we are sworn in to the practice of law, an oath to uphold the laws and to conduct ourselves accordingly, and to abide by the law. We could give you the technical terms of the oath, and reprint some of the Ethics Rules that lawyers are to abide by, but really, Ethics and Professionalism in the practice of law boils down to an easy statement, one that we all know, and have repeated many times, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” What this means in the practice of law is that we treat our clients the way we would like to be treated. This means telling our clients the truth about their case, not embellishing the facts or the law. This means communicating regularly with our clients, the way we would want to be treated if we were the client and not the lawyer. This means dealing with our clients like we would want to be dealt with if we were the client.
Ethics and Professionalism carry over into our dealings with other lawyers and personnel of the Court, including Judges, Courthouse staff and everyone that we deal with in our profession. We have an obligation to deal with others fairly, honestly and with integrity. We have an obligation to tell the truth about your case to a jury. What this means is that if your case is tried in front of a jury, you can be assured that we will present your case strongly, vigorously, zealously, and putting forth the facts of your case in the best light possible. If your case is tried in front of a jury, you will get the best representation this firm can give you, all within the bounds of the law. Many cases are not tried in front of a jury, and many are resolved before a lawsuit is ever filed, so don’t be concerned if you do not want to try your case in front of jury. Some people are naturally nervous about the thought of having to testify in front of a jury. This is normal. Most cases are resolved without a trial, but if your case does go to trial, you would want to talk to the jury about your case just as you were talking to your friends about what happened to you. You know what happened to you better than anyone in the courtroom, including how serious your injuries are and how they have affected your life.
Ethics and Professionalism are not only principles that guide us in the practice of law, but are principles that guide us in our everyday life. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” This principle will never steer you wrong.