THE LAWYER'S CREED

TO WHICH
JOHN RAYMOND DUNHAM, III
ASPIRES TO CONDUCT THE PRACTICE OF LAW


TO MYSELF

I promise to keep myself informed about the latest dispute resolution processes.... I will improve the administration of justice and examine ways of making the system of justice more accessible to the public. I will model for others the respect due to our courts. I will act with complete honesty, know court rules and procedures, give appropriate deference to court rulings, avoid undue familiarity with members of the judiciary, avoid unfounded, unsubstantiated, or unjust public criticism of members of the judiciary, show respect by my attire and demeanor, assist the judiciary in determining the applicable law, and seek to understand the judiciary's obligations of informed and impartial decision-making.


TO MY CLIENTS

I will provide expeditious, economical and ethical achievement of all your objectives. I will put fidelity ahead of my own interests. I will be your voice to the public in advocacy while being the moral voice of the public to you through my counsel. Good lawyering should be a moral achievement for both the lawyer and the client. I will communicate promptly and clearly with you and reach clear agreements concerning the nature of your representation. I will arrange fair and equitable fee agreements for you. I will discuss alternative methods of charging fees and offer fee arrangements that reflect the true value of the services rendered. I will reach agreements as early in the relationship as possible, determine the amount of fees by consideration of many factors and not just hours, provide written agreements as to all fee arrangements, and resolve all fee disputes through the arbitration methods provided by the State Bar of Florida.


TO THE OPPOSING PARTIES AND THEIR COUNSEL

I offer you fairness, integrity, and civility. I will seek reconciliation, and if we fail, I will make our dispute a dignified one. I will cooperate with you in a manner consistent with the competent representation of all parties. I will notify you in a timely fashion of any canceled appearance, grant reasonable requests for extensions or scheduling changes, and consult with you in the scheduling of appearances, meetings, and depositions. I will not serve motions or pleadings in such a manner or at such a time as to preclude opportunity for a competent response. I will be courteous and civil in all communications. I will respond promptly to all of your requests. I will avoid rudeness and other acts of disrespect in all meetings including depositions and negotiations. I will prepare documents that accurately reflect the agreement of all parties and clearly identify all changes made in documents submitted by you for review.


TO THE COURTS, AND OTHER TRIBUNALS, AND TO THOSE WHO ASSIST THEM

I offer respect, candor, and courtesy. I will do honor to the search for justice. I will model for others the respect due to those we call upon to resolve our disputes and the regard due to all participants in our dispute resolution processes.


TO MY COLLEAGUES IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW

I offer concern for your welfare. I will make our association a professional friendship. I will recognize and develop interdependence with you in the practice of law, respect your needs -- especially the need to develop as a whole person -- to assist you in the practice of law and to accept the assistance you offer to me.


TO THE PROFESSION

I will keep our business a profession and our profession a calling in the spirit of public service. I will preserve the dignity and integrity of our profession by my conduct -- it is an inheritance that must be maintained by each successive generation of lawyers. I will represent my clients in a manner consistent with the proper functioning of a fair, efficient, and humane system of justice. I will improve the practice of law by continuing legal education efforts, assisting in organized bar activities, and assist law schools in the education of our future lawyers.


TO THE PUBLIC

I will seek the common good through the representation of my clients. I will avoid all forms of wrongful discrimination in all of my activities including discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, handicap, veteran status, or national origin. The social goals of equality and fairness will be personal goals for me.


Provided as an educational service by John Raymond Dunham, III, Esq..

This publication is intended to serve you. If you would like certain topics covered, or have any questions or comments, you are invited to contact Mr. Dunham at: 941.951.1800, Ext. 250, Facsimile: 941.366.1603, E-Mail: jrd@jrdlaw.com, Web site: www.jrdlaw.com or write him at LUTZ, BOBO, TELFAIR, DUNHAM & GABEL, Two North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered and report on issues and developments in the law. It is not intended as legal advice, and should not be relied upon without consulting an attorney.