LACBA Ethics Panel Urges State Bar to Junk Civility Standards

By TINA BAY, Staff Writer

The State Bar’s Attorney Civility Task Force should not issue its proposed “standards of civility and professionalism” at all, a spokesperson for a Los Angeles County Bar Association committee told the task force yesterday.

Speaking on behalf of LACBA’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee at a public hearing yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, local malpractice defense attorney JoAnne Earls Robbins said the standards “will be inevitably be considered standards that will lead to disciplinary sanctions.”

Robbins, a former State Bar Court hearing judge and State Bar prosecutor, explained that the “should” language used in the standards—for example, “A lawyer should not engage in offensive conduct or otherwise disparage the intelligence, integrity, ethics, morals or behavior of other counsel…”—would be confusing to the average practitioner.

Details here from the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.