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Effective Date: 8/1/2006

A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.


[1] The public, which pays the bill for the judicial system, is entitled to have it operate efficiently. Parties in litigation should have their disputes resolved promptly for the same reasons often given in support of doctrines favoring finality and preventing relitigation. The lawyer's duties must, therefore, include the obligation to assist the court in expeditious consideration and disposal of pending cases. A lawyer should, whenever the client's interests permit, assist the court in moving matters to final disposition more quickly than might be the case without the lawyer's affirmative assistance.

[2] Dilatory practices bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Although there will be occasions when a lawyer may properly seek a postponement for personal reasons, it is not proper for a lawyer to routinely fail to expedite litigation solely for the convenience of the advocates. Nor will a failure to expedite be reasonable if done for the purpose of frustrating an opposing party's attempt to obtain rightful redress or repose. It is not a justification that similar conduct is often tolerated by the bench and bar. The question is whether a competent lawyer acting in good faith would regard the course of action as having some substantial purpose other than delay. Realizing financial or other benefit from otherwise improper delay in litigation is not a legitimate interest of the client.

Reference: Minutes of the Professional Conduct Subcommittee of the Attorney Standards Committee on 09/21/85 and 12/13/85; Minutes of the Joint Committee on Attorney Standards on 04/16/04, 03/18/05, 06/14/05.

Effective Date Obsolete Date
08/01/2006 View
09/21/1985 08/01/2006 View