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2. TO THE COURT
(1) His conduct should at all times be characterized by candor and fairness. He should maintain towards the Judges of the Courts a courteous and respectful attitude and insist on similar conduct on the part of his client, at the same time maintaining a self-respecting independence in the discharge of his professional duties to his client.
(2) Judges, not being free to defend themselves, are entitled to receive the support of the Bar against unjust criticism and complaint. Whenever there is proper ground for serious complaint of a judicial officer, it is a right and duty of the lawyer to submit the grievance to the proper authorities.
(3) He should not offer evidence which he knows the Court should not admit. He should not, either in argument to the Court or in address to the jury, assert his personal belief in his client's innocence, or in the justice of his cause, or as to any of the facts involved in the matter under investigation.
(4) He should never seek to privately influence, directly or indirectly, the judges of the Court in his favor, or in that of his client, nor should he attempt to curry favor with juries by fawning, flattery or pretended solicitude for their personal comfort.
3. TO THE CLIENT
(1) He should obtain full knowledge of his client's cause before advising thereon and give a candid opinion of the merits and probable results of pending or contemplated litigation. He should beware of bold and confident assurances to clients especially where the employment may depend on such assurances. He should bear in mind that seldom are all the law and facts on the side of his client and that "audi alteram partem" is safe rule to follow.
(2) He should at the time of retainer disclose to the client all the circumstances of his relations to the parties and his interest in or connection with the controversy, if any, which might influence the client in selection of counsel. He should avoid representing conflicting interests.
(3) Whenever the controversy will admit of fair adjustment the client should be advised to avoid or to end the litigation.
(4) He should treat adverse witness, litigants, and counsel with fairness, refraining from all offensive personalities. He must avoid imparting to professional duties the client's personal feelings and prejudices. At the same time he should discharge his duty to his client with firmness and without fear of judicial disfavor or public unpopularity.
(5) He should endeavour by all fair and honorable means to obtain for his client the benefit of any and every remedy and defence which is authorized by law. He must, however, steadfastly bear in mind that the great trust of the lawyer is to be
performed within and not without the bounds of the law. The office of the lawyer does not permit, much less does it demand of him, for any client, violation of law or any manner of fraud or chicanery.
(6) It is his right to undertake the defence of a person accused of crime, regardless of his own personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused. Having undertaken such defence, he is bound by all fair and honorable means to present every defence that the law of the land permits to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty but by due process of law.
(7) He should not, except as by law expressly sanctioned, acquire by purchase or otherwise any interest in the subject matter of the litigation being conducted by him. He should act for his client only and having once acted for him he should not act against him in the same matter or in any other matter related thereto, and he should scrupulously guard and not divulge his client's secrets or confidences.
(8) He should report promptly to his client the receipt of any monies or other trust property and avoid the co-mingling with his own, or use of trust money or property.
(9) He is entitled to reasonable compensation for his services but he should avoid charges which either over-estimate or under-value the service rendered. When possible he should adhere to established tariffs. The client's ability to pay cannot justify a charge in excess of the value of the service, though his poverty may require a less charge or even none at all.
(10) He should avoid controversies with clients regarding compensation so far as is compatible with self-respect and with the right to receive reasonable recompense for services. He should always bear in mind that the profession is a branch of the administration of justice and not a mere money getting trade.
(11) He should not appear as witness for his own client except as to merely formal matters, such as the attestation or custody of an instrument, or the like, or when it is essential to the ends of justice. If he is a necessary witness with respect to other matters, the conducting of the case should be entrusted to other counsel.
4. TO HIS FELLOW LAWYER
(1) His conduct towards his fellow lawyer should be characterized by courtesy and good faith. Whatever may be the ill feeling existing between clients it should not be allowed to influence counsel in their conduct and demeanour towards each other or towards suitors in the case. All personalities between counsel which cause delay and promote unseemly wrangling.
(2) He should endeavour as far as possible to suit the convenience of the opposing counsel when the interests of his client or the cause of justice will not be injured by so doing.
(3) He should give no undertaking he cannot fulfil and he should fulfil every undertaking he gives. He should never in
any way communicate upon the subject in controversy, or attempt to negotiate or compromise the matter directly with any party represented by a lawyer, except through such lawyer.
(4) He should avoid all sharp practice and he should take no paltry advantage when his opponent has made a slip or overlooked some technical matter. No client has a right to demand that his counsel shall be illiberal or that he shall do anything repugnant to his own sense of honor and propriety.
5. TO HIMSELF
(1) It is his duty to maintain the honor and integrity of his profession and to expose without fear or favor before the proper tribunals unprofessional or dishonest conduct by any other member of the profession, and to accept without hesitation a retainer against any member of the profession who is alleged to have wronged his client.
(2) It is the duty of every lawyer to guard the Bar against the admission to the profession of any candidate whose moral character or education unfits him for admission thereto.
(3) The publication or circulation of ordinary simple business cards is not per se improper but solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements or by personal communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations, is unprofessional. It is equally unprofessional to seek retainers through agents of any kind. Indirect advertisement for business by furnishing or inspiring newspaper comment concerning causes in which the lawyer has been or is connected, or concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interests involved, the importance of the lawyer's position, and like self-laudations defy the traditions and lower the tone of the lawyer's high calling, should not be tolerated. The best advertisement for a lawyer is the establishment of a well merited reputation for personal capacity and fidelity to trust.
(4) No lawyer is obliged to act either as adviser or advocate for every person who may wish to become his client; he has a right to decline employment.
(5) No client is entitled to receive, nor should any lawyer render, any service or advice involving disloyalty to the State, or disrespect for the judicial office, or the corruption of any persons exercising a public or private trust, or deception or betrayal of the public.
(6) Every lawyer should bear in mind that the oath of office taken on his admission to the Bar is not a mere form but is a solemn undertaking and on his part should be strictly observed. (7) He should also bear in mind that he can only maintain the high traditions of his profession by being in fact as well as in name a gentleman.
ADDRESS BY HON. WILLIAM H. TAFT
Fifth Annual Meeting, Ottawa
September 2nd, 1920
Gentlemen of the Bar of Canada:
There is a play or used to be a play-I do not know that it is acted now-entitled "Too Much Johnson." I do not want to have that offered as a text.
I have not had the pleasure of attending your business meetings, where you do work, until this afternoon, but seeing such is a tempting programme-the discussion of the Code of Quebec and the usefulness of uniting some of its provisions, or extending the effect of some of its provisions, to the law of the other Provinces,—it attracted me much; and also the announcement that you were to take up the matter of canons of legal ethics. Personally it gives me great pleasure to note that you have approved, not a full exposition of all legal ethics, but a short, comprehensive and what I am sure will be for many a very useful statement. I can say from my own experience that, having left office with the full consent of the people of the United States (laughter) I have found myself called on to try my hand on the next generation in teaching and lectures on the subject in respect to which they thought I was least defective, I was invited. to deliver a series of lectures on legal ethics to the Law School of the University of Boston. For those who are called upon to perform that duty I speak with earnestness on the necessity of each Bar attempting to state its ideal of the ethics of the profession. I, with great deference, differ with the learned justice who ventured to think that those ethics should be kept, if I may so without disrespect, in nunibus. I have found that one of the great difficulties in reform, in moving on, is the difficulty of formulating and stating definitely what you have in your mind. (Hear, Hear.) Therefore, when you speak of the spirit of the profession you speak of something which you ought to be able to describe, when called upon and challenged in a definite statement of what you mean. You need not make it all-inclusive. You cannot do that, doubtless. I could suggest some additions here, perhaps only because of particular instances that come to my mind.
One of the departures—perhaps it is included in general words here but one of the departures from a rule that should
guide the profession in the representation of clients is the allowing of one's self to acquire such a personal interest in one's own appearances as counsel as to forget that you are serving someone else. I have known a distinguished counsel to feel that it is a personal matter between him and the court. (Laughter). That it is very much more important that he should vindicate his personality and his knowledge than it is that he should win his case. We have had two or three noted instances in our profession within a very few years.
Now, of course that is a detail that I speak of only as something that has occurred to me that you could not probably cover in a general statement like this, but that would be included by inference should the question arise. But what I wished to emphasize was that every time a Bar like this, with high ideals, adopts a canon, such a series of canons as these, you furnish precedent and authority that are useful for all who come to the Bar. You in Canada probably are not exposed as much to the dangers of departures from legal ethics as we are. No one can speak in higher terms, or more sincerely from the heart, than I of that wonderful body that has been constituted for a century, or goes back two or three centuries, of the English Bar. One must consider, with respect to that Bar in the matter of its ethics, that it was a very limited body and selected by the circumstances, so that it was easy, as in a club of a few members, to maintain the spirit to which the Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario so feelingly referred. But you in Canada have departed from that. You unite now your duty as solicitors with your duty as barristers. The solicitors were duly and highly regarded, doubtless, and they probably made more money than the barristers, but the office of solicitor had more of a trade character than had the profession of the barrister. Now they are united. The barrister had little to do with the collection of moneys or the use or the commingling of his client's moneys with his own. Now you have to go further and you have to define the duties of the trustee, pointing out the sacred trustee that the solicitor must be. And I was delighted when you struck out the words: "except with the consent of the client" for the reason that what that amendment is directed to is not so much well, perhaps, I ought to say that-is not more, I will say, is not more the temptation that comes, first to neglect, then to indifference and then to embezzlement, from the practice of co-mingling; than it is a warning to the solicitor that he must not take advantage of his relation to his client to invite a consent that he ought not to ask the client to give. (Applause). The most distressing cases that you have of that kind are those where the client who comes to you to consult you, is afterwards obliged to admit that SHE and I say "she" because it is ordinarily that sex-is obliged to admit that she knew what her representative was doing and consented to it. And you