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Originally Adopted June 24, 1992
Revised October 2015

1 Responsibilities to the Public
2 Responsibilities to the Client
3 Scheduling
4 Continuances and Extensions of Time
5 Service of Papers
6 Punctuality
7 Writings Submitted to the Court
8 Communications with Adversaries
9 Discovery
10 Motion Practice
11 Dealing with Nonparty Witnesses
12 Ex Parte Communications with the Court
13 Settlement and Alternative Dispute Resolution
14 Trials and Hearings
15 Default
16 Social Relationships with Judicial Officers or Court Appointed Experts
17 Privacy
18 Communications about the Legal System and with Participants
19 Negotiation of Business Transactions
20 Redlining
21 Additional Provision for Family Law Practitioners
22 Additional Provision for Criminal Law Practitioners

Members of the Santa Clara County Bar Association have practiced law with a level of professionalism that goes well beyond the requirements of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.  To make that level of professionalism the standard for practice in Santa Clara County, this Code of Professionalism is adopted to apply to all lawyers who practice in Santa Clara County.  As lawyers, we owe duties of professionalism to our clients, opposing parties and their counsel, the courts and other tribunals, and the public as a whole.  Those duties include among others: civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy, cooperation, and competence.

This Code is structured to provide a general guiding principle in each area addressed followed by specific examples that are not intended to be all encompassing.

Lawyers are encouraged to maintain their competence through continuing education and professional development.  Lawyers are further encouraged to comply with both the spirit and letter of this Code.  The goals stated herein are equally applicable to all lawyers regardless of area of practice. Individual lawyers and law offices are encouraged to make this Code their personal standard for practice by signing a pledge to adhere to the Code.

This Code should be read in the context of the lawyer’s underlying duty to zealously represent the lawyer’s client.  Nothing in this Code should be read to denigrate the lawyer’s duty of zealous representation.  However, all lawyers are encouraged to zealously represent their clients within the highest bounds of professionalism.  The legal profession must strive for the highest standards of lawyer behavior to elevate and enhance the profession’s service to justice.