“Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.” – D.H. Lawrence
Contributed by Associate Attorney, Alicia Canfield.
For most people, they only catch a glimpse of the legal profession and behavior of attorneys from the short time they witness them in the courtroom or watch a television courtroom drama. These displays are not the whole story; there is more to the practice of law and the ethics required of those that do so, such as the ethics of diligence and communication. Each state has its own Rules of Professional Conduct that guides attorneys admitted to the bar in that state to safeguard the principles of the profession.
For example, in Arkansas, the Rule of Professional Conduct 1.3 requires attorneys act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing clients. See ARCP 1.3. However, while attorneys should diligently and zealously advocate for their client, they should exercise discretion in their approaches and treatment of others inside and outside of the courtroom.
Rule 1.4 provides that reasonable communication between an attorney and their client is necessary for effective representation. See ARCP 1.4. Attorneys should be mindful that clients want to remain informed so they can participate in their case and make informed decisions. Providing a client with reasonable and prompt communication about the status of their case can help avoid causing the client unnecessary anxiety.
Regardless of the type of case or how long the attorney has been practicing, every attorney should remain mindful of their ethical duties to clients and other members of the legal profession. At Miller | Butler, regardless of the state they practice in, our attorneys are dedicated to remaining ethical whether inside or outside the courtroom and providing each client with the zealous advocacy and communication they deserve.