Court order: Nevada attorneys now must swear to be civil

CARSON CITY — Nevada attorneys will now have to swear, pardon the pun, to be civil to each other, to judges and to the public as a result of an order issued this week by the Supreme Court.

The court, in an order dated Wednesday, amended the attorney’s oath that is administered when new lawyers are admitted to the state bar.

The new language states: “I will conduct myself in a civil and professional manner, whether dealing with clients, opposing parties and counsel, judicial officers or the general public, and will promote the administration of justice.”

The new language was requested by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Nevada, which has established a civility task force to consider ideas on how to ensure that lawyers operate with the proper decorum both within and outside the courtroom.

Las Vegas attorney Richard Scotti, a member of the State Bar Board of Governors, was named chairman of the task force by Bar President Alan Lefebvre.

Scotti said in a recent interview that the task force will first determine whether there is a problem and if so, define the nature of the problem so that appropriate education is provided to address it.

There is some difference of opinion on what is needed to address the civility issue, he said. But adding the language to the oath and expanding continuing legal education on the issue do have support, he said.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.