Supreme Court Amends Code of Civility

By order dated April 21, 2005, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania adopted changes to the Code of Civility, which is published at 204 Pa.Code Chapter 99.

The changes expand a lawyer's duty to conduct the lawyer's dealings with other lawyers in a civil manner. A new Clause 17 is added, which states:

A lawyer should demonstrate respect for other lawyers, which requires that counsel be punctual in meeting appointments with other lawyers and considerate of the schedules of other participants in the legal process; adhere to commitments, whether made orally or in writing; and respond promptly to communications from other lawyers.

Also added is a new Clause 19:

A lawyer should be cognizant of the standing of the legal profession and should bring these principles to the attention of other lawyers when appropriate.

The amendments are published here, and the order adopting them is available here.

The Code of Civility is not part of the Rules of Professional Conduct and thus is not a basis for professional discipline, but it outlines the expectations the Supreme Court has established for lawyers' conduct in the practice of law.