Ethics & Civility: Justice Christine M. Durham and A Passion for Public Good

Contact: Keith A. Call  

Originally appeared in the Utah State Bar Journal, Nov/Dec 2017.

Work hard, be professional and civil, take pride and joy in what you do.”
Advice by Justice Christine M. Durham to Newly Admitted Female Members of the Utah State Bar.

I do not know Justice Durham well. But her mark on my life as a lawyer in Utah is profound. To me, Justice Durham will always stand as a model of someone who uses her legal training for the betterment of the law and society. Among many other things, the Utah State Bar is far better off because of Justice Durham’s immense work in the areas of civility, training, and education. In 2006, while Justice Durham was serving as Chief Justice, the Utah Supreme Court adopted the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility. Those standards have had a major impact on my own practice of law, and probably yours too. At the time of adoption, Justice Durham wrote:

“Our profession has by tradition been a learned and respected one, but respect must be constantly earned and deserved. Public trust and confidence in the American system of justice depend in significant part on the integrity and high standards of professional behavior to which every lawyer (and judge) should aspire.”
Advice by Christine M. Durham (the lawyer), Promoting the Standards of Professionalism and Civility, 19 Utah B.J. 8, 8 (Nov/Dec. 2006). 

These are words to live by. And by all accounts, Justice Durham has lived by them. In 2007, the National Center for State Courts gave Justice Durham its William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. Read full article >>>

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