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Professionalism Dos and Don'ts released

Large gavelThe Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism has released the first of a series of best practices publications titled Professionalism Dos and Don’ts. The sets of Dos and Don’ts, scheduled to be published on a quarterly basis, will include suggested guidelines on attorney conduct. Today the commission released the Dos and Don’ts of depositions, which recommends guidelines for scheduling, conducting or attending depositions.

The commission hopes to promote professionalism among the Buckeye state’s lawyers with this series but does not regulate attorney conduct or affect attorney discipline. Commission on Professionalism Secretary Lori Keating said the publications will help practicing attorneys, judges, and law school students.

“Depositions, which are adversarial in nature and conducted outside the presence of a judge or jury, sometimes can bring out the worst behavior in lawyers.  Newer lawyers and even experienced practitioners may not be aware of what the best practices are,” said Keating. “The guidelines are intended to show attorneys how to  advance the legitimate interests of lawyers and their clients, while, at the same time treat all participants in the process, including opposing counsel, with courtesy, civility, and respect.”

Some of the Dos at depositions include reviewing local jurisdiction rules beforehand, setting a reasonable time limit for the deposition, and providing documents to a deponent if asked.

Some of the Don’ts at depositions include making rude and degrading comments to a deponent or opposing counsel, taking depositions for the purpose of harassing a witness, and providing answers, overtly or covertly, to questions asked of a witness.

Keating said the series of practices will be incorporated into professionalism CLEs, distributed by judges to practitioners who come before them, and taught to law school students.

View the complete list of Professionalism Dos and Don’ts: Depositions.

Content courtesy of Court News Ohio.

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