Florida Supreme Court Changes Oath of Admission to Include Pledge of Civility

by
September 16, 2011

According to a September 14th prnewswire.com press release, the Florida Supreme Court  changed the Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar to also include a pledge of “fairness, integrity, and civility” to opponents, in court, as well as “in all written and oral communications.” The change comes following the result of studies by the Supreme Court, The Florida Bar, and other committees focusing on civility and professionalism in litigation matters.

The Supreme Court underscored the efforts of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in placing importance on civility in the practice of law – a cornerstone of the profession.

According to the press release, the Supreme Court emphasized practicing law is an honor that comes with responsibilities, to all Florida attorneys.

If an attorney violates the Oath of Admission, it can result in disciplinary measures.

National ABOTA Vice President Mick Callahan supported the revision to the Oath to include a civility pledge during a recent civility seminar in Tampa, at which Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady was the keynote speaker.

Justice Canady served three terms in the Florida House of Representatives, from 1984 to 1990. From 1993 to 2001, he served four terms in the United States House of Representatives.  Justice Canady was a member of the House Judiciary Committee all the while during his sercice in Congress. For three terms, from 1995 to 2001, he was also the Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

Justice Canady served as General Counsel to Governor Jeb Bush after leaving Congress. Governor Bush appointed him to the Second District Court of Appeal for a term beginning November 20, 2002. Governor Charlie Crist appointed Justice Canady to the Florida Supreme Court in 2008.

Founded in 1958 by a group of attorneys who wished to preserve the right to trial by jury as guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) is extended by invitation only to both plaintiff and defense trial attorneys who have demonstrated exceptional trial skills while maintaining the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, honor, and courtesy, according to information at the organization’s website.

Eleven ABOTA chapters comprise Florida Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates, or FLABOTA, formed in 1992; many hold annual seminars focusing on trial ethics, civility and professionalism. The chapters in Florida include those in Central Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, North Florida, Northwest Florida, Palm Beach, Sarasota/Bradenton, Southwest Florida, Tallahassee, and Tampa Bay.

 

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