Monday, July 29, 2013

New Lawyer Civility Panels -- It Would Be So Nice if You Weren't Here!

That's of course a nod to the piercingly sharp wit of yes -- you heard correctly -- Charles Grodin, but it also applies to these new lawyer civility panels:
Attention all lawyers: Be nice to each other, or else.

Attorneys across the state will soon be called on the carpet in a new way whenever their incivility toward each other crosses the professional line.

Courthouse administrators in Broward and Palm Beach counties are establishing local professionalism panels to resolve disputes between attorneys before they escalate into formal complaints to the Florida Bar. The panels were ordered in each of the state's 20 judicial circuits by the Florida Supreme Court.

"Surveys of both lawyers and judges continue to consistently reflect that professionalism is one of the most significant adverse problems that negatively impact the practice of law in Florida today," the court's justices wrote in a June 6 order establishing the professionalism panels.

Conceivably, the disputes could involve everything from name-calling in court to communications that might be interpreted as physical threats, said Broward lawyer Kevin Tynan, who defends other attorneys accused of violating Florida Bar rules.

"The Supreme Court is very concerned about lawyer civility, as it should be," said Tynan. "In the heat of battle, sometimes people need to realize we're human too. We make mistakes."

As described by the Supreme Court, the panels will serve as a sort of filter, separating minor disagreements that can be resolved informally from serious ones that actually constitute rule violations and require formal discipline.
Hey, that's half of what we write about!

And here's Alberto Milian reporting on his 99 percent civility success rate:
Miami lawyer Alberto Milian, who also handles cases in Broward, said he has often found himself on the wrong side of accusations of incivility, usually by opposing attorneys who challenge statements he makes in front of a jury. In those cases, the judges have backed Milian 99 percent of the time, he said.
Is that like self-reporting your handicap?

(I kid of course -- don't panel me please.)

In all seriousness, this is a good thing and overdue, but it starts by looking in the mirror.

Incivility is like bad driving -- everyone thinks it's always the other guy.


Juan Ramirez, Jr. said...

Speaking of civility, do you guys know Adam Finkel?

Rumpole said...

small potatoes. Crap like this happens all the time. No big deal.

Anonymous said...


Agree with Rumpole. Yawn.

Plus, you believe the Miami beach police? Really?

Irony is, what an incivil petty act, to troll the blog comments and post about lawyers.

You have too much time on your hands, pal.

Rumpole said...

Stop the presses. Front page news: An off duty city of miami beach cop working security arrests someone for disorderly intox. The only sad thing is that the prosecutor learns the hard way about beach cops. If this was on video I still wouldn't believe it if a beach cop said it was true.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous. Poor kid.

Beach cops are the dirtiest.

Only a fool would give them credence.

And a misdemeanor? Geez. waste of time

poor judgment posting that link

Anonymous said...

I think this process is just gonna be used as a tool to gain leverage over aggressive attorneys, which may be a good thing. But I am not sure if you can actually legislate class.

Edward OCD said...

Woke up at 6 am on the dot. Feeling good about that. Oatmeal with raisins and dry wheat toast and walked through the door of work at 8am, waiting in the lobby for one and half minutes to keep my times even and satisfying. A good start to a good day. Will bill 5.0 or 6.0 or 7.0 hours. None of this odd number nonsense for me today.
(waited to 9:38 for an even number time to post)

Juan Ramirez, Jr. said...

Well, at least I post my comments using my name. I don't know the guy, so I don't know if it was out of character or what. The office suspended him, which is unfortunate if it was all trumped up.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether this particular case is trumped up, the Miami Beach police dept. has a bad reputation for this.

And now, they're tweeting about their arrests: @MiamiBeachPD: Celebrity or not #DontDrinkAndDrive @KatDahlia arrested for DUI earlier today..

Really? As Billy Corben later said, at least they didn't run over her with an SUV.

Anonymous said...

Or shoot her , then ignore court orders, then plant a gun.

Juan , welcome to the real world.

How's jams working out?

Juan Ramirez, Jr. said...

Who says the Third District isn't part of the real world? It's not as if judges at the Third live a cloistered life. Ha, ha. Now at JAMS, I'm having to deal with issues of credibility.

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