The Constitution of Civility

September 17 is Constitution Day in the United States of America. This day should give us all reason to revel in the relative security and predictability of our daily lives, especially when compared to the lawlessness and brutality that characterize…
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Umpires Crew

3 Strikes You’re Out

Last month, the Boston Red Sox set a Major League Baseball (MLB) record they’d probably rather forget. They became the first team in baseball history to use four baseball managers in a single game.  Why?  Umpires ejected two of the…
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Online Trolls

Don’t Feed The Trolls

Last September, the online version of Popular Science magazine made a startling announcement: it was shutting down its comments section. Not redesigning it, not moderating it, simply shutting it down. Why? Because online “trollish” comments were doing more than distracting…
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Technology Serves the Commission

We here at the Commission frequently discuss technology and how it has transformed the practice of law. For our own organization, technology has allowed us to more effectively promote our mission of increased civility, professionalism and inclusion. It’s therefore no…
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model civility

Courtside Civility

I’m disappointed. My March Madness bracket, probably like yours, was way off the mark this year.  But there were some really close games. Great exhibitions of competitiveness and athleticism. I was excited for the women’s national title game on Tuesday…
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Harmony is Possible

I enjoyed meeting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg yesterday and hearing her speak at the invitation of the Lawyers’ Club of Chicago. (Thanks, Erin Kelly.) She epitomized professionalism. I was surprised to see this United States Supreme Court Justice walk in…
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Numbers Do Not Equal Success

Several months ago, I was asked to write a chapter on civility as a core value of our profession.  My chapter is included in the newly-released book Essential Qualities of the Professional Lawyer (published by the ABA Standing Committee on…
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Givers

Take Givers

The single question I most often have been asked is whether civility is really possible in the world of litigation where zealous advocacy tends to be the norm.  My affirmative answer has been reinforced by my read of Give and…
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My 25 Lawyers

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty … that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of…
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Civil Disagreement

When I tell people that promoting civility is the seminal idea behind the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, I often get a response like, “You know, ‘playing nice’ just isn’t a real option when we have to zealously advocate…
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Civil Actions

Over the past month, I have had the privilege of attending professionalism ceremonies at various law schools across the state.  At these ceremonies, every 1L student in the class stands before an Illinois judge or justice and recites the law…
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Professionalism Trumps Politics

An editorial in the Chicago Tribune a few weeks back criticized a reporter for interrupting the president at a press conference,  pointing out that such behavior is not only rude, but it debases the office of the Presidency.  The office…
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