Incentivizing Lawyers to Play Nice: A National Survey of Civility Standards and Options for Enforcement

In the last decade, most commentators assume that lawyers’ behavior is now diving to new lows, notwithstanding a flurry of professionalism and civility creeds adopted in the 1980s and 1990s. Proponents of making such creeds enforceable argue that a return to professionalism may improve lawyers’ well-being, restore the public’s confidence in lawyers, and raise the expectations of behavior, not only with respect to civility but also with respect to violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct (hereinafter, as adapted in various jurisdictions, the Rules of Professional Conduct or the Model Rules)