Civility among the brethren

There’s been a blogversation that I’ve missed about civility among lawyers. Matlock the Republican complained about the ego-trip of a prosecutor earlier this week and followed it up with the rudeness of a fellow defense attorney. Bennett the Zen Master responded with calmness while Greenfield the Bulldog replied with a middle finger by thumbing his nose.

So which is it? I agree with Scott that if another attorney acts in a way that interferes with my ability to represent my client or does something to harm my client, “it’s on”. But I also agree with Mark (Bennett) that most of the time, you’re just wasting your own time by giving in to the anger and letting yourself get involved.

I’m not here (in the legal arena) to show off my skills or assert my presence. I’m here to represent my client and represent him effectively and zealously. Everything else is a distant last. I will try my best to do that in as civil a manner as possible, because anything else just isn’t worth my time.

16 thoughts on “Civility among the brethren

  1. Dan Schwartz

    I’ve never understand why some attorneys interpret “zealous representation” of his/her client with the right to be obnoxious and rude. In a small state like Connecticut, where there are perhaps 2 degrees of separation between attorneys, reputation is everything.

    If you end up behaving like a jerk, you’ll lose referrals and, more importantly, you’ll lose respect. The best rule is still the golden rule: “Do unto others….”

    Reply
  2. Scott Greenfield

    The middle finger was to describe your post, not your actions.

    I understand, but it remains a vulgar gesture that neither reflects the intent of my post or the nature of my conduct. It may reflect what others would view to be an appropriate description, but I take issue with it because it’s inaccurate and inappropriate as it relates to me.

    Reply
  3. Matlock

    Greenfield, you’re in New York and you don’t like middle finger? Not to stereotype, but wow. I spent a summer interning there and I learned things I can’t even repeat out loud in Texas without being charged with a misdemeanor.

    Reply
  4. Scott Greenfield

    It’s all about sensibilities, Shawn. There are ways to convey one’s thoughts, whether happy or not, that do not require vulgar conduct. I find them to be much more suited to my sensibilities, and more effective.

    I would tell you some of my secrets, but it would get me in huge trouble.

    Reply
  5. Gideon Post author

    [quote comment="6082"]It’s all about sensibilities, Shawn. There are ways to convey one’s thoughts, whether happy or not, that do not require vulgar conduct. I find them to be much more suited to my sensibilities, and more effective.

    I would tell you some of my secrets, but it would get me in huge trouble.[/quote]

    Go on….

    Reply
  6. Scott Greenfield

    No, no, no. A thousand times no. I couldn’t possibly do that in a public forum, especially one so widely read as this. If it were Bennett’s, where only about 3 Texans read it a week, then it might be possible, but certainly not here.

    Reply
  7. Gideon Post author

    [quote comment="6098"]No, no, no. A thousand times no. I couldn’t possibly do that in a public forum, especially one so widely read as this. If it were Bennett’s, where only about 3 Texans read it a week, then it might be possible, but certainly not here.[/quote]
    Hahahaha. You keep shining that light up my a$$.

    Reply

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