In the Matter of the Amendment of

Supreme Court Rules:  SCR chapter               ORDER

62 -- Standards of Courtesy and                 No. 96-03

Decorum for the Courts of Wisconsin



     The court held a public hearing April 16, 1996 on the petition of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of Wisconsin and the State Bar of Wisconsin seeking the adoption of standards of courtesy and decorum applicable to judges, court commissioners, attorneys, court personnel and the public in Wisconsin courts.  The court has considered the petition, the presentations made at the public hearing and the materials filed with the court in the matter. 

     IT IS ORDERED that, effective the date of this order, chapter 62 of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read: 

                        SCR CHAPTER 62




     SCR 62.01  Scope. 

     The uniform standards of courtroom courtesy and decorum in SCR 62.02, adopted to enhance the administration of justice by promoting good manners and civility among all who participate in the administration of justice in Wisconsin, are applicable to judges, court commissioners, lawyers, court personnel and the public in all Wisconsin courts.  Notwithstanding SCR 20:8.4 (f), the standards under SCR 62.02 are not enforceable by the board of attorneys professional responsibility.  Conduct by a lawyer that violates chapter 20 of the supreme court rules or SCR 40.15 is subject to the authority of the board of attorneys professional responsibility. 

     SCR 62.02  Standards. 

     (1)  Judges, court commissioners, lawyers, clerks and court personnel shall at all times do all of the following:

     (a)  Maintain a cordial and respectful demeanor and be guided by a fundamental sense of integrity and fair play in all their professional activities. 

      (b)  Be civil in their dealings with one another and with the public and conduct all court and court-related proceedings, whether written or oral, including discovery proceedings, with civility and respect for each of the participants. 

     (c)  Abstain from making disparaging, demeaning or sarcastic remarks or comments about one another. 

     (d)  Abstain from any conduct that may be characterized as uncivil, abrasive, abusive, hostile or obstructive. 

     (e)  While in court or while participating in legal proceedings, dress in a manner showing proper respect for the court, the proceedings and the law.  Judges shall wear black robes while presiding on the bench except when exceptional circumstances exist. 

     (f)  Advise clients, witnesses, jurors and others appearing in court that proper conduct and attire is expected within the

courthouse and, where possible, prevent clients, witnesses or others from creating disorder or disruption. 

     (g)  In scheduling all hearings, meetings and conferences, be considerate of the time schedules of the participants and grant reasonable extensions of time when they will not adversely affect the court calendar or clients' interests. 

     (h)  Conduct themselves in a manner which demonstrates sensitivity to the necessity of preserving decorum and the integrity of the judicial process. 


     (2)  Judges, court commissioners and lawyers shall be punctual in convening and appearing for all hearings, meetings and conferences and, if delayed, shall notify other participants, if possible. 

     (3)  Lawyers shall do all of the following: 

     (a)  Make all reasonable efforts to reach informal agreement on preliminary and procedural matters.

     (b)  Attempt expeditiously to reconcile differences through negotiation, without needless expense and waste of time. 

     (c)  Abstain from pursuing or opposing discovery arbitrarily or for the purpose of harassment or undue delay. 

     (d)  If an adversary is entitled to assistance, information or documents, provide them to the adversary without unnecessary formalities. 

     (e)  Abstain from knowingly deceiving or misleading another lawyer or the court. 

     (f)  Clearly identify for the court and other counsel changes that he or she has made in documents submitted to him or her by counsel or by the court. 

     (g)  Act in good faith and honor promises and commitments to other lawyers and to the court. 


     (4)  Adherence to standards of professionalism and courtesy, good manners and dignity is the responsibility of each judge, court commissioner, lawyer, clerk, and other personnel of the court who assist the public. 


     IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of this amendment of the Supreme Court Rules shall be given by a single publication of a copy of this order in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin. 

     Dated at Madison, Wisconsin, this 4th day of June, 1996. 

                        BY THE COURT: 



                        Marilyn L. Graves, Clerk