Unfortunately, too many attorneys mistakenly believe that they have to take zealous advocacy to the extreme by engaging in bullying, hostile, abusive and unprofessional conduct. This conduct often is directed against junior attorneys, women, minorities and LGBYQ+ persons. It may include comments that are sexist, racist or otherwise offensive. In addition, it is not limited to dealing with outsiders or opposing counsel. Surveys show that the extent of bullying and harassment within a firm, legal department, government entity or other legal workplace by lawyers against their own colleagues and even their clients is troubling. Recent events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread closures, stay at home orders and protests due to racism and injustice, have raised our awareness for the need for civility in the profession. Having a good understanding of the ethical prohibitions against bullying in the practice of law and the proper and permissible ways to respond to this misconduct, can make a difference is how effectively you represent your client and protect yourself. This program will review the ABA Model Rules, codes of civility and proven strategies for countering conduct that crosses the ethical line. It will also address how law firm leaders and in house counsel clients can set the tone, promulgate meaningful policies and impact real change to combat these issues. It will also address the role of the courts in tackling systemic bullying and bias.
August 4, 2020
Francine Friedman Griesing, Esq., Melissa Hazell Davis, Esq.
Francine Friedman Griesing and Melissa Hazell Davis