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204 Pa. Code § 99.3. The Lawyer’s Duties to the Court and to Other Lawyers.

§ 99.3. The Lawyer’s Duties to the Court and to Other Lawyers.

 1.  A lawyer should act in a manner consistent with the fair, efficient and humane system of justice and treat all participants in the legal process in a civil, professional and courteous manner at all times. These principles apply to the lawyer’s conduct in the courtroom, in office practice and in the course of litigation.

 2.  A lawyer should speak and write in a civil and respectful manner in all communications with the court, court personnel, and other lawyers.

 3.  A lawyer should not engage in any conduct that diminishes the dignity or decorum of the courtroom.

 4.  A lawyer should advise clients and witnesses of the proper dress and conduct expected of them when appearing in court and should, to the best of his or her ability, prevent clients and witnesses from creating disorder and disruption in the courtroom.

 5.  A lawyer should abstain from making disparaging personal remarks or engaging in acrimonious speech or conduct toward opposing counsel or any participants in the legal process and shall treat everyone involved with fair consideration.

 6.  A lawyer should not bring the profession into disrepute by making unfounded accusations of impropriety or personal attacks upon counsel and, absent good cause, should not attribute improper motive or conduct to other counsel.

 7.  A lawyer should refrain from acting upon or manifesting racial, gender or other bias or prejudice toward any participant in the legal process.

 8.  A lawyer should not misrepresent, mischaracterize, misquote or miscite facts or authorities in any oral or written communication to the court.

 9.  A lawyer should be punctual and prepared for all court appearances.

 10.  A lawyer should avoid ex parte communications with the court, including the judge’s staff, on pending matters in person, by telephone or in letters and other forms of written communication unless authorized. Communication with the judge on any matter pending before the judge, without notice to opposing counsel, is strictly prohibited.

 11.  A lawyer should be considerate of the time constraints and pressures on the court in the court’s effort to administer justice and make every effort to comply with schedules set by the court.

 12.  A lawyer, when in the courtroom, should make all remarks only to the judge and never to opposing counsel. When in the courtroom a lawyer should refer to opposing counsel by surname preceded by the preferred title (Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss) or the professional title of attorney or counselor.

 13.  A lawyer should show respect for the court by proper demeanor and decorum. In the courtroom a lawyer should address the judge as ‘‘Your Honor’’ or ‘‘the Court’’ or by other formal designation. A lawyer should begin an argument by saying ‘‘May it please the court’’ and identify himself/herself, the firm and the client.

 14.  A lawyer should deliver to all counsel involved in a proceeding any written communication that a lawyer sends to the court. Said copies should be delivered at substantially the same time and by the same means as the written communication to the court.

 15.  A lawyer should attempt to verify the availability of necessary participants and witnesses before hearing and trial dates are set or, if that is not feasible, immediately after such dates have been set and promptly notify the court of any anticipated problems.

 16.  A lawyer should understand that court personnel are an integral part of the justice system and should treat them with courtesy and respect at all times.

 17.  A lawyer should demonstrate respect for other lawyers, which requires that counsel be punctual in meeting appointments with other lawyers and considerate of the schedules of other participants in the legal process; adhere to commitments, whether made orally or in writing; and respond promptly to communications from other lawyers.

 18.  A lawyer should strive to protect the dignity and independence of the judiciary, particularly from unjust criticism and attack.

 19.  A lawyer should be cognizant of the standing of the legal profession and should bring these principles to the attention of other lawyers when appropriate.

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