Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Contempt decision worth a look

This is how it begins:
" 'As an officer of the court, I will strive to conduct myself at all times with dignity,
courtesy, and integrity.' " (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.4 (rule 9.4).) Appellant [] is a criminal defense attorney. At the trial court's recess, he instructed the prosecutor, "Try to act a little more professional this afternoon." He followed his stern admonition by addressing the prosecutor as, "little girl." It is conduct such as this that undoubtedly moved our Supreme Court to add the statement in rule 9.4 to the oath taken by every newly admitted attorney. The rule's message, however, is not a new one, though it appears to be lost on appellant. " 'An attorney has an obligation not only to protect his client's interests but also to respect the legitimate interests of fellow members of the bar, the judiciary, and the administration of justice.' [Citations.]" (Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Inc. v. Sparks (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 299, 306.)
And this is how it ends:
As we noted at the beginning, rule 9.4 of the California Rules of Court now requires attorneys taking their professional oath to swear that they will conduct themselves " 'at all times with dignity, courtesy, and integrity.' " Though this statement is required to be averred only by new attorneys, appellant would be well advised to reflect upon it in his practice of law.
Click here to read the middle of this unpub from 2/6 today...