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Civility

MCLE CREDIT
Total General: .50 Total Professional Responsibility: .50
Civility impacts the practice of law in a number of ways.

The Rules of Professional Conduct support the proposition that civility is required in the practice of law. The Preamble to the Rules notes that, while a lawyer has a duty to zealously protect and pursue a client’s legitimate interests, the lawyer must do so within the bounds of the law, while maintaining a professional, courteous and civil attitude toward all persons involved in the legal system. A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. Despite the directives found in the Rules, incivility is prevalent in the legal community.

In this program, you will:
  • Learn about different types of uncivil behavior and the relevant Rules of Professional Conduct, how the ARDC approaches uncivil behavior, and strategies for dealing with uncivil behavior;
  • Apply strategies for dealing with uncivil behavior in different scenarios; and
  • Reflect on how to apply these strategies to promote civility and respond to situations that might arise.
Important MCLE Notice: This Program was originally released as a PMBR (2020-2021) module. If you have previously viewed this Program as a PMBR (2020-2021) module and received a Certificate of Completion, you may only claim MCLE credit once for this Program within a 12-month period. The ARDC reports individual attorney attendance to the MCLE Board by the 15th of the month subsequent to the date of completion of the MCLE program (for example, September events will be reported by October 15).
Credits:
Narrator: Blair Barbour, Senior Adjudication Counsel, ARDC
Video Presenters: Lynette S. Hoag, Owner/Managing Partner, Hoag Law Group, LLC Joelle Spiegel, JD, LSW, Balanced Life Counseling
Springfield, Illinois photographs provided by: Jim Burton, Senior Invetigator, ARDC
Special thanks to ARDC employees, Dan Malato and Randy Evans for narrating the parts of Dale Dasterdly and Randy Real, respectively.
Resources:
Surveys/Articles
Disciplinary Cases ARDC Website, Case Research
  • In re Michael Jerome Moore , 2015PR00076, M.R. 28896 (Sept. 22, 2017)–Used offensive and derogatory language in voice mail messages he left for third parties in connection with his representation of clients in two matters.
  • In re Richard L. Hoffman , 08 SH 65, M.R. 24030 (Sept. 22, 2010)–Made baseless attacks on the qualification and integrity of a circuit court judge, directed unfounded accusations at an administrative law judge, and made a disparaging remark to another attorney regarding that attorney’s religion.
  • In re Marin Ira Gerstein , 99 SH 1, M.R. 18377 (Nov. 26, 2002)–Used derogatory and insulting language in correspondence with opposing counsel and others.
  • In re Robert A. Ras , 01 CH 18, M.R. 18605 (March 19, 2003)–Sent letters containing ethnic slurs to a law firm and used vulgar language in a court pleading.
  • In re Kenneth Paul Zurek,  99 CH 45, M.R. 18164 (Sept. 19, 2002)–Made inflammatory statements about a judge and opposing counsel and made lewd and offensive remarks to a deponent.