Proposal Would Add Civility Pledge To Lawyer Oath In W.Va.


Lawyers being admitted to practice in West Virginia would recite a pledge of civility under a proposal by the state Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Evan Jenkins signed an order Monday that would put the proposal out for public comment, the court said in a news release. The court will review the comments and decide on final adoption.

Jenkins said it’s another step the court is taking to improve the practice of law in the state. Among those taking the expanded oath Monday were the court’s justices, West Virginia State Bar President Tom Scarr and Jason Pizatella, president of the state Board of Law Examiners.

The expanded version of the oath recited by lawyers would include that they will conduct themselves “with integrity, dignity and civility and show respect toward judges, court staff, clients, fellow professionals and all other persons.”

“West Virginians are by nature friendly and civil, and our attorneys are courteous to each other, the judiciary, and the public,” Jenkins said. “This pledge alerts everyone in our profession and the public that being kind and respectful is not just a good idea, it is now a professional standard to practice law in our state.”

The proposed new oath is available for viewing on the Supreme Court’s website. Comments must be filed in writing with the court’s clerk in Charleston.