Originally published September 10, 2014 in The Indiana Lawyer
Civility. Courtesy. Respect. Professionalism.
These are words that should be synonymous with “Advocate” but in a world of high stakes, strong opinions, and a general, societal decline in basic manners, how can attorneys fight the good fight while living up to these ideals – especially if the other side doesn’t? We set out to find examples of lawyers who model the way while providing excellent representation.
Getting Along is Not Wrong, an initiative of the IndyBar Standing Committee on Professionalism, is the impressive collection of such positive and compelling behavior.
By The Hon. Gerald S. Zore, Marion Superior Court
How often have you filed an emergency Motion for Continuance only to have an opposing counsel file an “Objection for the Record?” Frankly, I am amazed at how often attorneys file these coded objections to let the court know that while the attorney has no real objection, he or she is filing it only on behalf of the client. I assume the attorney then advises the client that that court granted the Motion for Continuance over his or her objection.
Why not be up front and tell your client that the opposing counsel or party had a legitimate emergency and the court granted the motion? I have had situations where a Motion for Continuance was filed due to emergency surgery for the client or the client’s spouse and the opposing counsel filed an “Objection for the Record.” Give me a break. Make it your practice to always consider the reasons stated in a Motion for Continuance and only file an objection if the reasons appear to be frivolous or without merit.
Attorneys should always apply the Golden Rule. Treat opposing counsel as you would like to be treated and you should have no problem in maintaining their respect for your professionalism.
If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Professionalism Committee, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.