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Joint Resolution of South Florida Voluntary Bar Associations Regarding Lawyer Civility

WHEREAS, on September 12, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court amended the oath of admission to the Florida Bar to include a pledge of “fairness, integrity, and civility” to the court and opponents “in all written and oral communications” (the “Oath of Civility”);

WHEREAS, voluntary bar associations throughout South Florida, including those listed in the attached Addendum1 (the “South Florida VBAs”), recognize that many attorneys maintain inter-county practices where they appear before state and federal courts, government agencies, arbitrators, and other quasi-judicial forums throughout South Florida;

WHEREAS, the South Florida VBAs acknowledge that a joint effort to promote the Oath of Civility on a regional level will help promote a more uniform standard of civility and consistent application of standards of professional courtesy across the South Florida counties;

WHEREAS, the South Florida VBAs recognize that their effort to promote the Oath of Civility within their respective counties should attempt to reach members and non-members of the South Florida VBAs to ensure that the message of civility is disseminated to all attorneys practicing within the VBA's counties and not just to active members of the VBAs;

WHEREAS, the successful promotion of the Oath of Civility requires the active participation of, and communication from, the South Florida VBAs to the attorneys in their respective communities; and

WHEREAS, the South Florida VBAs recognize that it is important to have the South Florida courts, through their respective Chief Judges, affirm and agree to support this resolution together with the South Florida VBAs.

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:

The South Florida VBAs jointly resolve that they shall work together to actively promote the Oath of Civility and adherence to accepted standards of professional courtesy across the South Florida VBAs’ respective counties;

The South Florida VBAs hereby resolve to jointly promote the above through a series of articles, seminars, membership lunches, press releases, and correspondence directed to members and non-members of the South Florida VBAs’ respective counties; and The South Florida VBAs, through their respective Officers, Boards of Directors, and Professionalism Committees, shall work with the Chief Judges of South Florida’s courts to promote the above in a manner most likely to improve civility awareness and adherence to accepted standards of professional courtesy.

The South Florida VBAs resolve to promote the Oath of Civility and adherence to accepted standards of professional courtesy to attorneys appearing before the state and federal courts, government agencies, arbitrators and other quasi-judicial forums throughout South Florida.

For a list of persons who Accepted and approved click here.