In order to encourage the highest ethical and professional standards of attorneys and judges, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association adopted its “Principles of Civility” in March 2013. The Principles, which were drafted as an update to the 1987 “Tenets of Professional Courtesy,” grew out of KCMBA’s Civility Summit, which was held in October 2012. At the Summit, over 200 lawyers and judges met in small groups to discuss standards of civility in the profession and suggest amendments to the 1987 Tenets. Comments were compiled and presented to a special Blue Ribbon Committee, appointed by former KCMBA president Nancy Kenner and chaired by Fritz Riesmeyer, who then drafted the new “Principles of Civility”. After a brief comment period and final revisions, the Principles were approved by the KCMBA Board of Directors on March 16, 2013.  Lawyers in the KCMBA service territory are encouraged to incorporate the Principles into their practice of the law. To read the full press release, click here.

To see a full PDF version of the Principles of Civility, including comments from the Blue Ribbon Committee, click here.


  1. Civility and professionalism among all lawyers is essential to the operation of our legal system.
  2. Communicate professionally and respectfully in all forms, including electronic media. Unless specifically permitted or invited by the court, communications between lawyers should not be sent to the court.
  3. Never knowingly deceive another while engaged in the practice of law.
  4. Honor promises and commitments made while engaged in the practice of law.
  5. Respect the time and schedule of others and work cooperatively in scheduling all matters.
  6. Seek sanctions only when supported by the facts and law and such action is necessary for the protection of the client.
  7. Avoid unfounded and unreasonable attacks on other lawyers and the judiciary and educate others so that such attacks are minimized or eliminated.
  8. When circulating documents, explicitly highlight all changes proposed.