Judges Civility Code

Duties to Lawyers

  • We will be courteous, respectful and civil to lawyers, parties and witnesses. We will maintain control of the proceedings, recognizing that judges have both the obligation and the authority to ensure that judicial proceedings are conducted with dignity, decorum and courtesy.
  • We will not employ hostile, demeaning or humiliating words in opinions or in written or oral communications with lawyers, parties or witnesses.
  • In scheduling hearings, meetings and conferences, we will be considerate of time schedules of lawyers, parties and witness and of other courts and tribunals. We will inform counsel promptly of any rescheduling, postponement or cancellation of hearings, meetings or conferences. 
  • We will make all reasonable efforts to promptly decide matters presented to us for decision. 
  • We recognize that a lawyer has a right and duty to present a cause fully and properly , and that a litigant has a right to a fair and impartial hearing. Within the practical limits of time, we will allow lawyers to present proper arguments, to make a complete and accurate record and to present a case free from unreasonable or unnecessary judicial interruption. 
  • We will not impugn the integrity or professionalism of any lawyer on the basis of the clients whom or the causes which a lawyer represents. 
  • We will do our best to ensure that court personnel act civilly toward lawyers, parties and witnesses. 
  • At an appropriate time and in an appropriate manner, we will bring to a lawyer's attention conduct which we observe that is inconsistent with these standards. 


Judges Duties to Each Other

  • We will treat other judges with courtesy and respect. 
  • In written opinions and oral remarks, we will refrain from personally attacking, disparaging or demeaning other judges. 
  • We will endeavor to work cooperatively with other judges with respect to the availability of lawyers, witnesses, parties and court resources. 



Judges Civility Pledge

As a judge, I declare that I will endeavor to abide by the code of conduct. Additionally, I recognize that overly aggressive litigation tactics and incivility among lawyers bring disrespect to the legal system and the role of the lawyer, increase the cost of resolving disputes, and do not advance legitimate interests. 


Proposed by the Cincinnati Bar Association Civility Task Force. Approved by the Cincinnati Bar Association Board of Trustees August 23, 2000


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