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Originally Adopted June 24, 1992
Revised December 2022

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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. While these duties are understood to be essential to any licensed attorney in the state of California, Santa Clara County’s Code
of Professionalism seeks to set a higher standard, an aspirational level that distinguishes our members from other jurisdictions.

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. Attorneys who do not comport
themselves in the manner prescribed in this Code compromise the integrity and the reputation of the Bench and the Bar.