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officers, the judges, the General Assembly, and, over all, by the people. It is "done done," and will stay done a fact accomplished.
The Convention has become history. It fulfilled its mission. Suffrage reform and practical economies are alike established. The committee chairmen-Green, Cameron, Moore, Hunton, Brooke, McIlwaine, Fairfax, Newton (whom Fairfax succeeded by reason of his sickness), Ayers, Braxton, Anderson, Jones, Harrison, Walker, Lindsay, Withers and Stuartdevotedly and worthily discharged their tasks. The debates were up to a high standard. The decorum was almost flawless. And of the body it may justly be said it equalled its high responsibilities.
And now, invested in her new Constitutional raiment, Virginia starts the new century. Ere yet the generation that fought the Civil War has departed from the stage, and despite the loss of a third of her territory and of the unreturning brave who fell in battle, her population has so increased that it exceeds by hundreds of thousands the population with which the undivided State entered that awful struggle. Its survivors have fulfilled the Anglo-Saxon creed, that the father departing hence shall bequeath his liberties to his children. So does a kind Providence repair the ravages of man. To-day Virginia is vital in every part, and the exclamation springs to our lips as we regard her with loving pride:
'Beauty's ensign yet is red upon her cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not yet advanced there.”
Under the new regime human nature will not change. The troubles of life will not cease. The moth and rust will still corrupt, and thieves break through and steal. But our burdens will be somewhat lightened. A more wholesome atmosphere surrounds us. A gentler sky smiles down upon us. A fairer landscape of boundless vistas stretches forth before Virginia has no bound to her aspiration save what is highest in character, in thought and in endeavor. And so let us gird our loins in good hope. Let us face the future with manly hearts, and let the word be, "Forward!"
Code of Ethics
Adopted July 24, 1889-Minutes 1889, Vol. II, Page 25.
The purity and efficiency of judicial administration, which under our system is largely governmental itself, depends as much upon the character, conduct and demeanor of attorneys in their great trust as upon the fidelity and learning of courts or the honesty and intelligence of juries.
"There is, perhaps, no profession, after that of the sacred mininstry, in which a high-toned morality is more imperatively necessary than that of the law. There is certainly, without any exception, no profession in which so many temptations beset the path to swerve from the line of strict integrity; in which so many delicate and difficult questions of duty are constantly arising. There are pitfalls and mantraps at every step, and the mere youth, at the very outset of his career, needs often the prudence of self-denial, as well as the moral courage, which belong commonly to riper years. High moral principle is his only safe guide; the only torch to light his way amidst darkness and obstruction."-Sharswood.
No rule will determine an attorney's duty in the varying phases of every case. What is right and proper must, in the absence of statutory rules and an authoritative code, be ascertained in view of the peculiar facts, in the light of conscience. and the conduct of honorable and distinguished attorneys in similar cases, and by analogy to the duties enjoined by statute, and the rules of good neighborhood.
The following general rules are adopted by the Virginia State Bar Association for the guidance of its members:
Duties of Attorneys to Courts and Judicial Officers.
1. The respect enjoined by law for courts and judicial officers is exacted for the sake of the office, and not for the individual who administers it. Bad opinion of the incumbent, however well founded, cannot excuse the withholding of the respect due to the office while administering its functions.
2. The proprieties of the judicial station, in a great measure, disable the judge from defending himself against strictures upon his official conduct. For this reason, and because such criticisms tend to impair public confidence in the administration of justice, attorneys should, as a rule, refrain from published criticism of judicial conduct, especially in reference to causes in which they have been of counsel, otherwise than in courts of review, or when the conduct of the judge is necessarily involved in determining his removal from or continuance in office.
3. Marked attention and unusual hospitality to a judge, when the relations of the parties are such that they would not otherwise be extended, subject both judge and attorney to misconstruction, and should be sedulously avoided. A self-respecting independence in the discharge of the attorney's duties, which, at the same time, does not withhold the courtesy and respect due the judge's station, is the only just foundation for cordial, personal and official relations between Bench and Bar. All attempts by means beyond these to gain special personal consideration and favor of a judge are disreputable.
4. Courts and judicial officers, in the rightful exercise of their functions, should always receive the support and countenance of attorneys against unjust criticism and popular clamor; and it is an attorney's duty to give them his moral support in all proper ways, and particularly by setting a good example in his own person of obedience to law.
5. The utmost candor and fairness should characterize the dealings of attorneys with the courts and with each other.
Knowingly citing as authority an overruled case, or reading a repealed statute as in existence; knowingly misquoting the language of a decision or text-book; knowingly misstating the contents of a paper, the testimony of a witness, or the language or arguments of the opposite counsel; offering evidence which it is known the court must reject as illegal, to get it before a jury under guise of arguing its admissibility, and all kindred praçtices, are deceits and evasions unworthy of attorneys.
Purposely concealing or withholding in the opening arguments positions intended finally to be relied on, in order that opposite counsel may not discuss them, is unprofessional. Courts and juries look with disfavor on such practices, and are quick to suspect the weakness of the cause which has need to resort to them.
In the argument of demurrers, admission of evidence, and other questions of law, counsel should carefully refrain from "side-bar" remarks and sparring discourse to influence the jury or by-standers. Personal colloquies between counsel tend to delay, and promote unseemly wrangling, and ought to be discouraged.
6. Attorneys owe it to the courts, and the public whose business the courts transact, as well as to their own clients, to be punctual in attendance on their causes; and whenever an attorney is late, he should apologize, or explain his absence.
7. One side must always lose the cause; and it is not wise or respectful to the court for attorneys to display temper because of an adverse ruling.
Duty of Attorneys to Each Other, to Clients and the Public.
8. An attorney should strive, at all times, to uphold the honor, maintain the dignity and promote the usefulness of the profession; for it is so interwoven with the administration of justice, that whatever redounds to the good of one, advances the
other; and the attorney thus discharges, not merely an obligation to his brothers, but a high duty to the State and his fellow
9. An attorney should not speak slightingly or disparagingly of his profession, or pander in any way to the unjust popular prejudices against it, and he should scrupulously refrain at all times, and in all relations of life, from availing himself of any prejudice or popular misconception against lawyers, in order to carry a point against a brother attorney.
10. Nothing has been more potential in creating and pandering to popular prejudice against lawyers as a class, and in withholding from the profession the full measure of public esteem and confidence which belong to the proper discharge of its duties, than the false claim, often set up by the unscrupulous in defence of questionable transactions, that it is an attorney's duty to do everything to succeed in his client's cause.
An attorney "owes entire devotion to the interests of his client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defence of his cause, and the exertion of the utmost skill and ability," to the end that nothing may be taken or withheld from him save by the rules of law, legally applied. No sacrifice or peril, even to loss of life itself, can absolve from the fearless discharge of his duty. Nevertheless, it is steadfastly to be borne in mind that the great trust is to be performed within, and not without, the bounds of the law which creates it. The attorney's office does not destroy man's accountability to his Creator, or loosen the duty of obedience to law, and the obligation to his neighbor; and it does not permit, much less demand, violation of law, or any manner of fraud or chicanery, for the client's sake.
11. Attorneys should fearlessly expose before the proper tribunals corrupt or dishonest conduct in the profession; and there should never be any hesitancy in accepting employment against an attorney who has wronged his client.
12. An attorney appearing or continuing as private counsel in the prosecution for a crime of which he believes the accused innocent, forswears himself. The State's attorney is criminal, if