Be Just to One Another: Preliminary Thoughts on Civility, Moral Character, and Professionalism
8 St. Thomas L. Rev. 113 (1995)
45 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016
Date Written: November 9, 2016
The premise of this Article is that the inability of lawyers to conduct themselves in a reasonable fashion has less to do with a lack of good manners or ignorance about what conduct is expected, but has more to do with not having the strength of character needed to exercise self-discipline when making practical or ethical choices. I focus on civility because it speaks to both the profession's present distress over an apparent deterioration in lawyer behavior and its ongoing interest in lawyers of high moral character. My main agenda is to reintroduce certain ancient, classical ideas about civility as a way to begin thinking about some fundamental aspects of the relationship between moral character and legal professionalism. My objective is to change the terms and level of analysis for discussing civility as a core professional concern.
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