The Value of Civility in the Legal Profession


Excerpts from the Article

By Judge Harry McCarthy

The daily pressures of increased billings and the “bottom line” have become the paramount concerns. However, despite the unfortunate recent trend of uncivil behavior, a law office’s profitability is more likely to be enhanced by the habitual practice of civility. The civil, professional approach is not just politeness — it can be, and most often is, the best business practice.

About the Author

Judge Harry J. McCarthy has served on the King County Superior Court since 2002. As chair of the Washington State Bar Association Professionalism Committee in 2001, he was the primary author of the Creed of Professionalism. He wrote articles and traveled throughout the state to speak with lawyers and judges to obtain their input regarding civility in general, and the creed in particular. Judge McCarthy served for many years as an assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, the last four years as criminal division chief. He has served as a mentor for many young attorneys during his career.