The Creed of Professionalism


The Fairfax Bar Association

I recognize that the practice of law is a profession and the essence of professionalism is personal integrity. I owe a duty to my clients, the courts, the legal community and the public to conduct myself as a professional. Professionalism extends beyond the code of professional responsibility. The responsibilities of professionalism demand truthfulness and honesty in all dealings and demand that I treat others with respect and diginity. I will conduct myself according to the following creed.

1. I owe the duty of utmost faith and loyalty to my clients and I will perform that duty to the best of my ability, but I will not permit zealousness in the representation of my clients to interfere with my ability to provide objective, realistic and independent advice.

2. I will pursue the lawful objectives of my client as expeditiously and economically as possible. I will advise my client against pursuing litigation that is without merit.

3. I will advise my client not to pursue tactics which are intended to delay resolution of a dispute or to unduly burden the financial resources of the opposing party.

4. I will counsel my client that a willingness to initiate and engage in settlement discussions is consistent with zealous and effective representation.

5. I will be candid with the court with respect to both facts and the law.

6. I will be courteous and civil in all communications with opposing counsel recognizing that the disputes are those of the clients. Moreover, I will advise my client that civility and courtesy are not signs of weakness.

7. I will endeavor not to serve pleadings, motions or briefs on opposing counsel at a time or in a manner which will unfairly restrict an opportunity to respond. I will also attempt to accommodate opposing counsel's schedule when scheduling depositions or other matters.

8. I will agree to reasonable extensions of time when the legitimate interests of my client will not be affected.

9. In arguments to the court, I will not attack the integrity or professionalism of opposing counsel unless the matter before the Court specifically addresses these issues.

10. I recognize that discovery is an essential part of litigation, but I also recognize that discovery can be time consuming and costly for all parties. Therefore, with respect to discovery:

11. I will not make changes to written documents under negotiation in a manner which is calculated to cause the opposing party or counsel to overlook the change.

12. I will strongly urge an inrepresented party to seek counsel when engaged in litigation or transactions on behalf of my client(s) or for my own account.

13. I will refrain from filing frivilous motions or pleadings and will withdraw claims or motions upon discovering that the claim or motion lacks merit.

14. I will refrain from taking unfair advantage of clear and obvious mistakes made by opposing counsel in administering matters which are already clearly agreed upon.

15. I will act to keep the legal system free from all forms of wrongful discrimination.

16. I recognize that professionalism mandates a commitment to community service and to assuring that leagl services are made available to persons unable to afford legal representation.