You Be the Judge: Responding to Incivility in the Courtroom

Lawyers’ incivility during legal proceedings can cause delays, increase litigation costs and legal fees, and undermine the public’s confidence in the rule of law. Navigating such behavior without exacerbating it, while remaining a vigorous advocate for the client’s interests, can be challenging for the lawyer who is on the receiving end of this incivility.

Two circuit court judges—from different parts of the state—will provide their perspective on incivility, along with practical recommendations for how lawyers should handle incivility when it arises in a variety of contexts, including hearings, depositions, and emails. They will also provide tips for addressing incivility when it occurs during Zoom hearings or involves self-represented litigants. Finally, the judges will share how the justice system as a whole benefits from lawyers’ civility and professionalism.