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Why Civility Matters

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Oct 15, 2009

Thanks to Senior Assistant Dean Hollis Kulwin for helping to organize a great lunchtime presentation yesterday at King Hall.  The Sacramento Valley Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) screened a short film titled "Civility Matters," debunking media portrayals of attorneys as mean and nasty.  The panelists - Sacramento County Superior Court Judge David Brown '74, Frank Gumpert, David Smith, and Nancy Sheehan - offered advice to students on why civility and integrity are so important in the legal profession. 

Check out what's on the blackboard behind Judge Brown:


He's written:
"Profession" to remind students that lawyering is an honorable and learned occupation.
"Sand vs. Grease" because attorneys should strive to be the grease that keeps the wheels of justice turning - not the sand in the wheels!
And finally, "Not a**hole."  Don't live up (or down!) to movie and TV portrayals of lawyers as nasty and uncivil.

The panelists summed up their presentation with some excellent advice: Don't be late to court. Be prepared. Remember that your professional reputation is the most important asset you have.

The presentation fit in nicely with the Law School's theme of professionalism and ethics.  Thanks to the panelists for sharing this great lesson at King Hall!