Voluntary Standards for Civility

D.C. Bar Voluntary Standards of Civility: Principles Applicable to Representations

Principles Particularly Applicable to Representations Involving Business Transactions and Other Negotiations
  1. We will not knowingly misrepresent or mischaracterize facts or authorities or affirmatively mislead another party or its counsel in negotiations.
  2. We will not engage in personal vilification or other abusive or discourteous conduct in negotiations. We will not engage in acrimonious exchanges with opposing counsel or parties at the negotiating table. We will encourage our clients to conduct themselves in accordance with these principles.
  3. We will honor all understandings with, and commitments we have made to, other attorneys. We will stand by proposals we have made in negotiations unless newly received information or unforeseen circumstances provide a good faith basis for rescinding them, and we will encourage our clients to conduct themselves in accordance with this principle.
  4. We will not make changes to written documents under negotiation in a manner calculated to cause the opposing party or counsel to overlook or fail to appreciate the changes. We will clearly and accurately identify for other counsel and parties all changes that we have made in documents submitted to us for review.
  5. In memorializing oral agreements the parties have reached, we will do so without making changes in substance and will strive in good faith to state the oral understandings accurately and completely. In drafting proposed agreements based on letters of intent, we will strive to draft documents that fairly reflect the agreements of the parties.