Rule of law

Civility Inspires Confidence in the Rule of Law

Lawyers have a duty to represent their clients. At the same, they have a responsibility to the legal system and the quality of justice administered. These three sets of obligations are laid out in the Preamble to the Rules of…
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civility in government

Restoring Civility in Government

More than politeness, civility in government is the glue that holds our republic together. Discussion about civility tends to focus on good manners, or how people speak and behave. But that’s only part of being civil. That people speak and…
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workplace civility

Workplace Civility: Leaders Can Make a Difference

It’s been a tough road to hoe in the civility business.  Surveys and anecdotes about the caustic uncivil interactions in America—particularly in politics—abound. But there is a bright spot on the horizon.  A recent survey shows that in workplaces where…
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civil communication fight noise

Fight Through The Noise Using Civil Communication

Communication is crucial to a lawyer’s success. Whether you are engaging with a client, colleague, or the judiciary, it is imperative that your message is clear. However, as we are exposed to new forms of technology, we continue to complicate the traditional model of communication.  …
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civility in America

Civility in America – It Matters

It’s been a year since President Trump was elected. As expected, as an outsider to politics, he is not conducting business as usual. And his style? Decidedly “unpresidential” some would say. Others would say downright uncivil. As Executive Director of…
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Good Sportsmanship

Civility Is Good Sportsmanship

Sports separates “winners” from “losers.” And there is also the old adage that it isn’t whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.  In other words, good sportsmanship counts—and unsportsmanlike conduct can get you thrown out of…
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moral argument

How To Debate Politics And Win A Moral Argument

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me an article called, How To Win Your Next Political Argument. It had some great takeaways. It pointed out that people rely more on emotions than fact, that belittling someone’s opinion will lead…
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Civility

Has America Lost Her Civility?

On November 8, I will vote for the first time in a presidential election. And that experience, which I have waited 16 years for, will always be overshadowed by what happened to me this spring. In March, I voted in…
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judges take control

Judges, Take Control of the Courtroom

The most frequent comment we hear at the Commission about reversing the slide toward incivility in the legal profession: have the judges take control. Someone told me just last week that associates in her firm try to resist meeting incivility…
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Professional Ethics

Incivility and Professional Ethics

Can lawyers properly advocate for their clients without being aggressive toward opposing counsel? Many say no—aggressiveness is part and parcel of advocacy. And over the past few decades, anyone who is in the ring with lawyers would agree that there…
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Governor Bruce Rauner

Calling the Judiciary “Corrupt” Isn’t Civil

It was a heck of a week for the judiciary in Illinois. The least talked-about of the three co-equal branches of government came under fire by the newly-elected head of the executive branch, Governor Bruce Rauner. On April 7, as…
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