Recently minted California attorneys, in addition to taking an oath to uphold the constitution, must also promise to be nice Rule 9.4 the Civility Oath Rule states “In addition to the language required by Business and Professions Code section 6067, the oath to be taken by every person on admission to practice law is to conclude with the following: ‘As an officer of the court, I will strive to conduct myself at all times with dignity, courtesy, and integrity.’ ” [I doubt that will work].
From courtroom yelling matches to insulting letters and depositions that turn into fistfights, some lawyers and judges worry that the adversarial system of justice has gotten a little too adversarial. A number of attorneys and judges say courtly conduct has collapsed over the years, particularly in the more fractious realms of the profession, like divorce proceedings. [Civil litigators are much more respectful of each other].
Unfortunately, in family law cases, clients do not want a nice attorney or an attorney that is necessarily brilliant, so in the end the mean attorneys get more business.
Family law attorneys take on the emotions of their clients and divorced people are frequently hostile. The hot shot family law attorneys in Orange County have a reputation for playing dirty. But they can be beat with tactics used against them outside the courtroom where they are most vulnerable. [Now that’s not fair].