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meetings may be voted on by letter, and that a failure of any member to attend three successive meetings shall cause his membership in the committee to become vacant. The rules adopted by one committee shall govern the succeeding committees until altered.
Sec. 38. Such other committees may be appointed or elected from time to time as shall be deemed expedient; but, except by a vote of the association, no matter shall be referred to a special committee which is within the province of any of the standing committees.
Sec. 39. A majority of any committee shall constitute a quorum. In case of necessity, the annual report of the standing committees may be prepared and adopted by less than a quorum (the necessity therefor being shown, however, by the report).
Sec. 40. The current year of the association shall commence on the first day of July, and the annual dues shall be payable on that date. Active members shall pay five dollars per year. The admission fee shall be five dollars, and shall include the first year's dues. Honorary members shall pay no admission fee or dues. Active members who become non-resident of Colorado shall thereafter pay no dues.
Sec. 41. The Treasurer shall, after diligently seeking to collect the same, and with notice to the member of this By-Law, report to the Executive Committee the names of all members who are one year in arrears for their dues, and that committee may, by rule or direct vote on that report, declare that, by reason thereof, such persons have ceased to be members of the associa tion.
Sec. 42. Any member may be suspended or expelled for misconduct in matters connected with the association, or in his personal or professional relations, after conviction thereof by the Committee on Grievances, and the approval of such conviction by this association.
Sec. 43. If any member is disbarred from practice in the Supreme Court, such disbarment shall work a forfeiture of his membership until the disbarment be set aside or reversed. Reinstatement to practice shall not reinstate to membership, unless
by a vote of the association upon recommendation of the Committee on Admissions.
Sec. 44. A member's interest in the property of the association shall cease with his membership.
Sec. 45. Amendments may be made to these By-Laws only at an annual meeting, and by a vote of two-thirds of the members present; and no amendment shall be considered (except by unanimous consent of those present) unless a copy of the same shall have been sent to the Secretary, and notice of the intention to offer the same shall have been included in the call for the annual meeting.
CODE OF ETHICS.
The purity and efficiency of judicial administration which, under our system, is largely government itself, depend as much upon the character, conduct and demeanor of attorneys in this 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 ministry, 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 lines of strict integrity; in which so many delicate and difficult questions of duty are constantly arising. There are pitfalls and man-traps at every step, and the mere youth, at the very outset of his career, needs often the prudence and 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 the statute, and the rules of good neighborhood.
The following general rules are adopted by the Colorado Bar Association for the guidance of its members:
DUTY 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, can not excuse the withholding of the respect due 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 a 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 attorneys 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 their 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 treating a repealed statute as in existence; knowingly misquoting the language of a decision or text-book; knowingly misquoting the contents of a paper, the testimony of a witness, or the language or argument of opposite counsel; offering evidence which it is known the court must reject as illegal, to get it before the jury, under guise of arguing its admissibility, and all kindred practices, are deceits and evasions unworthy of attorneys.
Purposely concealing or withholding in the opening argument positions intended finally to be relied upon, 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 bystanders. 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 adverse ruling.
DUTY OF ATTORNEYS TO EACH OTHER, TO CLIENTS AND TO 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 fellowmen.
9. An attorney should not speak slightingly or disparagingly of his profession, or pander in any way to 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 defense 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 interest of his client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense 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 this 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 lessen 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 of a crime of which he believes the accused innocent, forswears himself. The state's attorney is criminal if 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 pros., 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 can not reject the defense of a person accused of a criminal offense because he knows or believes him guilty. It is his duty by all fair and honorable means to present such defenses 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.