TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Supreme Court has revised the Oath of Attorney sworn by new members of The Florida Bar to include new language emphasizing “the importance of respectful and civil conduct in the practice of law.”
The revision, announced in a unanimous decision issued Monday, became effective immediately.
In its opinion, the Court noted two trends: First, that concerns have grown in recent years about incivility among attorneys, and second, that the American Board of Trial Advocates, among others, has taken steps to raise the level of awareness about the importance of civility in the practice of law.
The Court specifically noted that ABOTA’s Code of Professionalism includes a pledge to be “respectful in my conduct toward my adversaries.” South Carolina added a civility pledge to its oath of admission in 2003. Other states, including Utah and New Mexico, have taken similar action since then.
Florida’s high court determined that Florida’s oath should also include such a pledge. The language added to Florida’s oath:
“To opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity and civility, not only in
court, but also in all written and oral communications.”
Through the years, the Florida Supreme Court traditionally has revised the oath on its own motion, though mindful of recommendations and opinions held by legal organizations around the nation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Information Office
Florida Supreme Court