The WSBA Civility Survey: Promoting the Civil Practice of Law

Lisa E. Brodoff and Timothy M. Jaasko-Fisher, The WSBA Civility Survey: Promoting the Civil Practice of Law, NWLawyer (December 2016).
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How might we promote a practice of law that is both exceptionally effective and highly civil?  As members of the WSBA, we should all care about this question.  The effective practice of law is a cornerstone of our democracy and key to a thriving market economy.  Civility promotes justice and reduces transaction costs.  Incivility is expensive.  Nationally, it is well documented that incivility costs us in terms of our business, our health, and our ability to deliver on our legal system’s promise of “justice for all”.  But is it really a problem in our state?  And even if it is a problem, what can we do about it?  These were some of the fundamental questions we set out to answer when Robert’s Fund’s Civility Center for the Law, Seattle University School of Law, and the WSBA joined together in May of 2016 to survey WSBA member’s about civility in the profession.