State chief justice says world needs 'healthy dose of civility,' seeks comment on lawyer oath change
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Evan H. Jenkins. Photo from the West Virginia Judiciary.
The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has tentatively added a civility pledge to the state's lawyer oath.
The court announced Monday in a press release that it is releasing the oath for public comment. All five justices on the top state court then took the oath, along with the president of the West Virginia State Bar and the president of the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners.
Less than half of the states have updated their oath with civility language, according to the press release. Those states include South Carolina, California and Texas, the ABA Journal reported in September 2019.
The proposed new wording in West Virginia requires lawyers to affirm that they will conduct themselves “with integrity, dignity and civility and show respect toward judges, court staff, clients, fellow professionals and all other persons.”
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Evan H. Jenkins signed an order releasing the oath for comment at a ceremony with his colleagues, according to the West Virginia MetroNews.
“You can look across the country and around the world” and see that “we need a very healthy dose of civility today,” Jenkins said.