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Is Civility Dead?

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: March 30, 2022
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  • Identify behaviors that may constitute incivility or bullying
  • Employ tools to defuse incivility or bullying
  • Identify problems which may arise regarding respect for opposing counsel, the Court and court staff
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: March 30, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys (non-transitional)


Many lawyers feel that zealous advocacy on behalf of their clients requires aggressiveness. Others may characterize this behavior as uncivil, or even bullying. Traditionally, incivility has not been prosecuted by bar counsel as a disciplinary matter-but some jurisdictions are starting to do so.

This panel will examine the current state of civility in the profession, especially in litigation, from the perspective of practicing lawyers and judges. It will also explore means to restore professionalism to the practice.

This program was recorded on March 30th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Hon. Ndidi Moses

Connecticut Superior Court

Ndidi Moses is a Connecticut Superior Court Judge. She was appointed by Governor Ned Lamont in 2021. Before becoming a judge she was an assistant United States attorney for the District of Connecticut, where she worked since 2008. In 2010, she became the office’s civil rights coordinator. Prior to joining that office, she worked as an associate at Robinson & Cole, LLP, and served as a law clerk in the Connecticut Appellate Court for Judge Thomas A. Bishop.

Moses also previously served as president of the Connecticut Bar Association and the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame and Connecticut Bar Foundation. She also serves as a board member on the National Council of Bar Presidents.

From 2012-2015 she served as a member and chair of the Connecticut Judicial Selection Commission. She also served on the Connecticut Appleseed Foundation, where she helped create a legal clinic for the homeless, the Homeless Experience Legal Protection Project (HELP).

In 2020, the Black Law Students at Quinnipiac University School of Law honored her with the Thurgood Marshall Award, which recognizes an outstanding person in law, education or politics who exemplifies Marshall's dedication to improving society through the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights. In 2009, the Connecticut State Conference of the NAACP recognized Moses as among 100 of the most influential blacks in Connecticut.

Moses is the 2005 recipient of the University of Connecticut School of Law's Joseph F. Noonan Award for Outstanding Legal Scholarship and Commitment to Public Service and she received a 2005 proclamation from Gov. M. Jodi Rell recognizing her dedication to public service and naming May 22, 2005, Ndidi Moses Day in Connecticut. Moses holds a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was a John C. Brittain Scholar. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University, where she was a Bunton-Waller and McNair Scholar.

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Hon. Margaret H. Downie

Presiding Disciplinary Judge
Arizona Supreme Court

Margaret H. Downie was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, by Governor Janet Napolitano in 2008 where she served until 2017. Previously, Judge Downie spent 11 years on the Maricopa County Superior Court, where she served as Associate Presiding Judge and Civil Presiding Judge. She also served as chair of the superior court’s Commissioner Selection Committee, Judge Pro Tem Committee, Jury Committee, and Judicial Education and Training Committee.

Judge Downie graduated with a B.A. degree in Radio, TV, and Film, magna cum laude, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1984—graduating in the top 10% of her class. At Georgetown, she served on the staff of the American Criminal Law Review.

After graduation, Judge Downie worked in the civil litigation department of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix. Thereafter, she spent almost ten years in the discipline department of the State Bar of Arizona, ultimately serving as Chief Bar Counsel. Before her appointment to the superior court by Governor Jane Dee Hull, Judge Downie served as a court commissioner.

In 2006, Judge Downie was named “Judge of the Year” by the American Board of Trial Advocates, Phoenix Chapter. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel in 2008. Judge Downie has served on numerous Arizona Supreme Court Committees, including the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, the Court Leadership Institute of Arizona (CLIA), the New Judge Orientation Committee, the Arizona Achievement Award Selection Committee, and the Committee on Superior Court. Judge Downie has served as adjunct faculty at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and is a frequent speaker at State Bar of Arizona CLE programs and New Judge Orientation for both limited and general jurisdiction judges. She volunteers as a reading tutor for elementary school children and, in her spare time, shoots skeet competitively.

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Marc Matheny

Marc Matheny Law Office

Indiana native Marc Matheny grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University School of Law. For more than 30 years, Mr. Matheny has been providing dedicated personal representation to individuals in divorce, custody, estate planning and administration, personal injury, and other legal areas.

As the Firm’s principal attorney, all clients can be assured that Mr. Matheny will be attending to all aspects of representation. Clients benefit from this approach as legal bills do not reflect multiple attorneys and paralegals working on matters or time billed to “interoffice conferences.” Clients also benefit from Mr. Matheny being aware of every aspect of their case or matter.

Mr. Matheny is admitted to practice before Indiana state and Federal Courts. He is also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court for the United States of America.

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Jayne R. Reardon

Executive Director
Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Jayne Reardon is the Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. A tireless advocate for professionalism, Jayne oversees programs and initiatives to increase the civility and professionalism of attorneys and judges, create inclusiveness in the profession, and promote increased service to the public.

Jayne developed the Commission’s successful statewide Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program which focuses on activities designed to explore ethics, professionalism, civility, diversity, and wellness in practice settings. She spearheaded development of an interactive digital and social media platform that connects constituencies through blogs, social networking sites and discussion groups.

A frequent writer and speaker on topics involving the changing practice of law, Jayne asserts that embracing inclusiveness and innovation will ensure that the profession remains relevant and impactful in the future.

Jayne’s prior experience includes many successful years of practice as a trial lawyer, committee work on diversity and recruiting issues, and handling attorney discipline cases as counsel to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Review Board.

Jayne is a member of the Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers Future of Lawyering Committee and the steering committee of the National Lawyer Mentoring Consortium. She’s active in the ABA Consortium of Professionalism Initiatives, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, Illinois State Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association. Jayne was past-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professionalism.

Jayne holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame. She lives in Park Ridge, Illinois, with her husband and those of her four children who are not otherwise living in college towns and beyond.

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