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Code of Professional Courtesy

Attorneys are required to strive to make the system of justice work fairly and efficiently. In carrying out that responsibility, attorneys are expected to comply with the letter and spirit of the applicable Code of Professional Responsibility adopted by the Supreme Court of Kentucky.


The Code of Professional Courtesy is intended as a guideline for lawyers in their dealings with their clients, opposing parties and their counsel, the courts and the general public. This Code is not intended as a disciplinary code nor is it to be construed as a legal standard of care in providing professional services. Rather, it has an aspirational purpose and is intended to serve as the Kentucky Bar Association's statement of principles and goals for professionalism among lawyers.

  1. A lawyer should avoid taking action adverse to the interests of a litigant known to be represented without timely notice to opposing counsel unless ex parte proceedings are allowed.
  2. A lawyer should promptly return telephone calls and correspondence from other lawyers.
  3. A lawyer should respect opposing counsel's schedule by seeking agreement on deposition dates and court appearances (other than routine motions) rather than merely serving notice.
  4. A lawyer should avoid making ill-considered accusations of unethical conduct toward an opponent.
  5. A lawyer should not engage in intentionally discourteous behavior.
  6. A lawyer should not intentionally embarrass another attorney and should avoid personal criticism of other counsel.
  7. A lawyer should not seek sanctions against or disqualification of another attorney unless necessary for the protection of a client and fully justified by the circumstances, not for the mere purpose of obtaining tactical advantage.
  8. A lawyer should strive to maintain a courteous tone in correspondence, pleadings and other written communications.
  9. A lawyer should not intentionally mislead or deceive an adversary and should honor promises or commitments made.
  10. A lawyer should recognize that the conflicts within a legal matter are professional and not personal and should endeavor to maintain a friendly and professional relationship with other attorneys in the matter. In other words, "leave the matter in the courtroom.
  11. A lawyer should express professional courtesy to the court and has the right to expect professional courtesy from the court.



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