William Bauer: Staunch Proponent of Professionalism


Judge William Bauer has been a lawyer, trial judge and appellate court judge.  He has been on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals since 1975.  It is clear that Judge Bauer has an un-abiding respect and love for the legal system. In this video, Judge Bauer shares his perspectives about what he has enjoyed about his career.

Most relevant to the work of the Commission on Professionalism, Judge Bauer shares how he led the charge to develop the Standards for Professional Conduct Within the Seventh Circuit.  He is proud that these standards have been adopted by courts across America and beyond.  Judge Bauer opines that judges have a pivotal role to play in setting a civil tone for trials and in the profession generally.  And society is watching.  “If people lose faith in lawyers and judges, they’ve lost faith in America.”

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Jayne Reardon
As a prior trial lawyer, Jayne leads lawyers to embrace the transformative possibilities of future law practice. As a prior disciplinary counsel, Jayne is passionate about promoting the core values of the legal profession. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Notre Dame. Jayne lives in Park Ridge, Illinois with her husband and those of her four children who are not otherwise living in college towns and beyond.
Jayne Reardon

2 thoughts on “William Bauer: Staunch Proponent of Professionalism

  1. Until we have electronic recording in the courtrooms, or allow litigants to electronically record proceedings, we cannot expect civility in the courtroom. Knowing that the proceedings are being electronically memorialized goes a long way towards civility.

    Why do courts in most other jurisdictions, to include third world republics, have/allow electronic recording, but Illinois (and Cook County) courts specifically hinder such measurements?

    1. Michael, you make a good point regarding courtroom civility and we understand that recording proceedings, either video or audio, can help support civility. In 2014, we conducted a Survey of Lawyer. In this survey, lawyers reported that when video cameras were present in depositions incivility significantly decreased. This provides a strong argument for recording all proceedings. There was a Federal Court study on the use of video recordings that you may find interesting. In this study, 31% of the judges participating in the study thought the presence of video recording prompted attorneys to be more courteous. We are not certain why Cook County does not allow for recording. It is something for us to consider researching as part of our efforts to advance civility. Judges have the responsibility to address incivility when it happens in their courtroom and in the courthouse. This is an area where we have be doing some work through educational programs. We are committed to continued work to transform the legal profession. We appreciate your input for improving civility among lawyers.

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