Civility between Lawyers in the Age of Donald Trump

The Law Society of Upper Canada has been working very hard to improve the civility between lawyers. This is something most of us practicing law always strive towards, yet occasionally, fail to achieve.

One of the interesting things of living in the age of the Donald Trump campaign for President is how running that type of campaign is “mainstreaming” the inappropriate behaviour he frequently displays. For eg, in Toronto, one of the local Councillors proudly displayed a photo flipping the bird on his home page: this has become “o.k.” int ath Councillor’s mind.

Similarly, I recently found myself in the lawyers lounge at Court House. I was the only female lawyer and the male lawyers thought it was great to toss around Donald’s “grab them by the p” comment. Wow. That was a new Courthouse low for me.

As lawyers in Ontario, we need to strive towards civility and avoid name calling and inappropriate outbursts. Of course, every now and then a Bad Hombre may bring out the Nasty Woman in a lawyer and when that happens, the only proper result is clearly to deny it ever happened, or claim that the Court decision was rigged, if it happened in the Court Room.

Or maybe, just maybe, we can all take a look at the behaviour of The Donald and decide we are better than that. We are more civil than that and we can argue opposite sides of an issue without taking it personally and without personal attacks.

Now, if you’re a Trump fan, then I know your reaction to this blog is “wrong”. I’m o.k. with that: you do you and I’ll be civil.

Inga B. Andriessen JD