cantankerous, undignified, and uncivil. Matthew Arnold, one of England’s great- est poets, said “The power of conduct, the power of intellect and knowledge, the power of beauty, the power of social life and manners these are the means towards our end, which is civilization.” In addition to our longstanding and general programs and CLE courses on this topic, I am proud to announce that we will be offering two substantive programs that will focus directly on civility in the legal profession: this Fall, the CBA will partner with the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to offer a professional responsibility training course on civility; and this Spring, the CBA will partner with the American Board of Trial Advocates to present a program on civility and professionalism for lawyers. Be on the lookout for materials and information on both programs. I urge you to join me this year as the CBA makes civility the cornerstone of Chicago’s legal profession.
The issue of Civility is further highlighted by a specially concurring opinion by Illinois Supreme Court Justices Charles Freeman and Anne M. Burke in Maksym v. The Board of Election Commissioners (2011). Most will recall this case as disposing of the issue of whether then mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel satisfied the residency requirement that qualified him to serve as mayor of Chicago. However, while the Court agreed that candidate Emanuel was indeed a resident, the majority and concurring opinions offer a fascinating read on the issue of civility. In the concurrence Justices Freeman and Burke noted the majority’s“tone”as“unfortunate.”They went on, “Spirited debate plays an essential role in legal discourse. But the majority opinion here and the appellate dissent cross the line. Inflammatory accusations serve only to damage the integrity of the judiciary and lessen the trust which the public places in judicial opinions.” Justices Freeman and Burke also offered a timeless quote about civility from retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Ben Miller:“Judges often disagree about what result the law requires in a particular case. The existence of these disagreements, and the ability of our legal system to thrive on them, are virtues of the judicial process and of our system of government. The terms of the debate, however, must be framed by civility and respect, and not by suspicion and untruths. When rancor eclipses reason, the quality of the debate is diminished, the bonds of collegiality are strained, and the judicial process is demeaned. We cannot prescribe civility to members of the bar when our own opinions are disfigured by comments as offensive as those we have admonished lawyers for making. We should receive no less from our colleagues than we expect from lawyers who appear in our courts.”
Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC) Invites you to a
The Edward J. Lewis II Lawyers in the Classroom Program Recruitment Information Session Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 4pm-5pm Hosted by Holland & Knight 131 S. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60603
CRFC matches teams of volunteer attorneys with 2nd -8 th grade school children; providing students with content-rich, interactive lessons to better understand the U.S. Constitution, legal system, and rule of law. Join CBA President and CRFC Board member Steve Elrod and CRFC’s Education Director Tiffani Watson to learn more about a volunteer experience that makes a difference in the lives of children. R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tiffani Watson at 312.663.9057 x205