In September 2007, the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County Bar Association approved the revised Standards of Professional Courtesy. These revised standards were endorsed in October 2007 by the judges of the 15th Judicial Circuit, who expect professional conduct by all attorneys who appear and practice before them. These standards were published originally in 1990, at the same time the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar adopted the Ideals and Goals of Professionalism.
On September 12, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court amended the oath of admission to The Florida Bar to include a pledge of “fairness, integrity, and civility” to the court and opponents “in all written and oral communications” (the “Oath of Civility”). Thereafter, the voluntary bar associations in South Florida, including the Palm Beach County Bar Association, adopted a Joint Resolution of South Florida Voluntary Bar Associations Regarding Lawyer Civility, the “Joint Resolution”. In 2014, the PBCBA Standards of Professionalism courtesy was updated and approved by the Board of Directors and endorsed by the judges of the 15th Judicial Circuit. Click here to view the standards. In 2015, the Florida Bar Board of Governors approved the Florida Bar Professionalism Expectations that replaced the Ideals and Goals of Professionalism.
The Professionalism Committee of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, which is made up of lawyers and judges, seeks to actively promote the Oath of Civility; addresses ways to instill a sense of professionalism in Bar members; responds to negative publicity concerning the legal profession; reviews complaints referred to the Professionalism Panel and conducts CLE programs on ethics and professionalism throughout the year.
The Professionalism Committee encourages attorneys of all levels and practice areas to frequently review the Oath of Civility and the standards of professionalism and the Florida Bar Professionalism Expectations. Below is a list of helpful links and resources for attorneys in Palm Beach County practicing in both state and federal court.
Fifteenth Judicial Circuit & The Palm Beach County Bar Association
- Palm Beach County Bar Association Standards of Professional Courtesy and Civility
- Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court: Administrative Orders and Local Rules
- Administrative Order No. 2.105-11/16: In Re: Fifteenth Circuit Professionalism Panel
- Professionalism Panel Referral Form
Sidney A. Stubbs Professionalism Award
- Nomination form available here
Florida State Courts & The Florida Bar
- Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism & Civility (updated 5/28/19)
- Florida Bar Professionalism Expectations
- Rules Regulating The Florida Bar (including Chapter 4. Rules of Professional Conduct)
- Lawyer Regulation
- Ethics Opinions and Articles on Ethics Issues
- The Florida Bar Ethics Hotline: (800) 235-8619
- Rule 20 – Florida Registered Paralegal Program