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Getting Along is Not Wrong: Protect Your Reputation - IndyBar Blog

IndyBar Blog


Posted on: Oct 29, 2014
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. Check out the entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

Susanne A. Heckler, U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana -

As a law student, my legal writing professor instilled an important lesson to me: protect your reputation. As she explained, there are so many aspects of being an attorney that you cannot control—for instance, your clients, your witnesses, and the outcome of a case— however, your reputation as an attorney is within your control. Acting with integrity, being professional to opposing counsel and maintaining composure during contentious proceedings will not only protect you from ridicule or reprimand, but you will also earn the respect of your colleagues and local judges. She would encourage us to consider how certain actions would affect our reputation down the road. Now whenever I send an email, draft a court document or interact with counsel, I think to myself, how does my conduct affect my reputation? It certainly makes me think twice about my conduct and I hope I am a better attorney because of it.

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