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he presses for a conviction, when upon the evidence he believes the prisoner innocent. If the evidence is not plain enough to justify a nolle prosequi, a public prosecutor should submit the case, with such comments as are pertinent, accompanied by a candid statement of his own doubts.
13. An attorney cannot reject the defence of a person accused of a criminal offence because he knows or believes him guilty. It is his duty, by all fair and lawful means, to present such defences as the law of the land permits, to the end that no one. may be deprived of life or liberty but by due process of law.
14. An attorney must decline in a civil cause to conduct a prosecution, when satisfied that the purpose is merely to harass or injure the opposite party, or to work oppression and wrong.
15. It is a bad practice for an attorney to communicate or argue privately with the judge as to the merits of his cause.
16. Newspaper advertisements, circulars and business cards, tendering professional services to the general public, are proper; but special solicitation of particular individuals to become clients is disreputable. Indirect advertisements for business, by furnishing or inspiring editorials or press notices regarding causes in which the attorney takes part, the manner in which they were conducted, the importance of his positions, the magnitude of the interests involved, and all other like self-laudation, is of evil tendency and wholly unprofessional.
17. Newspaper publications by an attorney as to the merits of pending or anticipated litigation, call for the discussion and reply from the opposite party, tend to prevent a fair trial in the courts, and otherwise prejudice the due administration of justice. It requires a strong case to justify such publications; and, when proper, it is unprofessional to make them anonymously.
18. When an attorney is witness for his client, except as to formal matters, such as the attestation or custody of an instrument and the like, he should leave the trial of the cause to other counsel. Except when essential to the ends of justice, an attorney should scrupulously avoid testifying in court in behalf of his client as to any matter.
19. Assertions, sometimes made by counsel in argument, of a personal belief of the client's innocence, or the justice of his cause, are to be discouraged.
20. It is indecent to hunt up defects in titles, and the like, and inform thereof, in order to be employed to bring suit; or to seek out a person supposed to have a cause of action, and endeavor to get a fee to litigate about it. Except where ties of blood, relationship or trust make it an attorney's duty, it is unprofessional to volunteer advice to bring a law suit. Stirring up strife and litigation is forbidden by law, and disreputable in morals.
21. Communications and confidence between client and attorney are the property and secrets of the client, and cannot be divulged except at his instance; even the death of the client does not absolve the attorney from obligation of secrecy.
22. The duty not to divulge the secrets of clients extends further than mere silence by the attorney, and forbids accepting retainers or employment afterwards from others, involving the client's interest in the matters about which the confidence was reposed. When the secrets or confidence of a former client may be availed of or be material in a subsequent suit, as the basis of any judgment which may injuriously affect his rights, the attorney cannot appear in such cause without the consent of his former client.
23. An attorney can never attack an instrument or paper drawn by him for any infirmity apparent on its face; nor for any other cause where confidence has been reposed as to the facts concerning it. Where the attorney acted as a mere scrivener, and was not consulted as to the facts, and, unknown to him, the transaction amounted to a violation of the laws, he may assail it on that ground in suits between third persons, or between parties to the instrument and strangers.
24. An attorney openly, and in his true character, may render purely professional services before committees regarding proposed legislation, and in advocacy of claims before departments
of the government, upon the same principles of ethics which justify his appearance before the courts; but it is immoral and illegal for an attorney so engaged to conceal his attorneyship, or to employ secret personal solicitations, or to use means other than those addressed to the reason or understanding, to influen, action.
25. An attorney can never represent conflicting interests in the same suit or transaction, except by express co.isent of all so concerned, with full knowledge of the facts. Even then such a position is embarrassing and ought to be avoided. An attorney represents conflicting interests, within the meaning of this rule, when it is his duty, in behalf of one of his clients, to contend for that which duty to other clients in the transaction requires him to oppose.
26. "It is not a desirable professional reputation to live and die with that of a rough tongue, which makes a man to be sought out and retained to gratify the malevolent feeling of a suitor, in hearing the other side well lashed and vilified."
27. An attorney is under no obligation to minister to the malevolence or prejudice of a client in the trial or conduct of a cause. The client cannot be made the keeper of an attorney's conscience in professional matters. He cannot demand as of right that his attorney shall abuse the opposite party, or indulge in offensive personalities. The attorney, under the solemnity of his oath, must determine for himself whether such a course is essential to the ends of justice, and therefore justifiable.
28. Clients, and not their attorneys, are the litigants; and, whatever may be the ill-feeling existing between clients, it is unprofessional for attorneys to partake of it in their conduct and demeanor to each other, or to suitors in the case.
29. In the conduct of litigation, and the trial of causes, the attorneys shall try the merits of the cause, and not try each other. It is not proper to allude to, or comment upon the personal history, or mental or physical peculiarities, or idiosyncra
sies, of opposite counsel.
Personalities should always be avoided, and the utmost courtesy always extended to an honorable opponent.
30. As to incidental matters pending the trial, not affecting the merits of the cause, or working substantial prejudice to the rights of the client, such as forcing the opposite attorney to trial when he is under affliction or bereavement; forcing the trial on a particular day, to the serious injury of the opposite attorney, when no harm will result from a trial at a different time; the time allowed for signing a bill of exceptions, crossing interrogatories, and the like, the attorney must be allowed to judge. No client has a right to demand that his attorney shall be illiberal in such matters, or that he should do anything therein repugnant to his own sense of honor and propriety; and if such a course is insisted on, the attorney should retire from the cause.
31. The miscarriage to which justice is subject, and the uncertainty of predicting results, admonish attorneys to beware of bold and confident assurances to clients, especially where the employment depends upon the assurance, and the case is not plain.
32. Prompt preparation for trial, punctuality in answering letters and keeping engagements, are due from an attorney to his client, and do much to strengthen their confidence and friendship.
33. An attorney is in honor bound to disclose to the client, at the time of retainer, all the circumstances of his relation to the parties, or interest or connection with the controversy, which mightly justly influence the client in the selection of his attorney. He must decline to appear in any cause where his obligations or relations to the opposite parties will hinder or seriously embarrass the full and fearless discharge of all his duties.
34. An attorney should endeavor to obtain full knowledge of his client's cause before advising him, and is bound to give him a candid opinion of the merits and probable result of his cause. When the controversy will admit of it, he ought to seek to adjust it without litigation, if practicable.
35. Money, or other trust property, coming into the possession of the attorney should be promptly reported, and never commingled with his private property or used by him, except with the client's knowledge and consent.
36. Attorneys should, as far as possible, avoid becoming either borrowers or creditors of their clients; and they ought scrupulously to refrain from bargaining about the subject matter of the litigation, so long as the relation of attorney and client continues.
37. Natural solicitude of clients often prompts them to offer assistance of additional counsel. This should not be met, as it sometimes is, as evidence of want of confidence; but, after advising frankly with the client, it should be left to his determination.
38. Important agreements affecting the rights of clients should, as far as possible, be reduced to writing; but it is dishonorable to avoid performance of an agreement fairly made, because not reduced to writing, as required by rules of court.
39. Attorneys should not ignore known customs of practice of the Bar of a particular court, even when the law permits, without giving opposing counsel timely notice.
40. An attorney should not attempt to compromise with the opposite party without notifying his attorney, if practicable.
41. When attorneys jointly associated in a cause cannot agree as to any matter vital to the interest of their client, the course to be pursued should be left to his determination. The client's decision should be cheerfully acquiesced in, unless the nature of the difference makes it impracticable for the attorney to co-operate heartily and effectively, in which event it is his duty to be discharged.
42. An attorney ought not to engage in discussion or argument about the merits of the case with the opposite party without notice to his attorney.
43. Satisfactory relations between attorney and client are best preserved by a frank and explicit understanding at the out