While the level of professionalism in Virginia is high, every so often I am reminded that there are lawyers who do not act with honor, courage or professionalism. In their very first professional act, all Virginia lawyers pledge to demean themselves "professionally and courteously." Lawyers help their clients, the institutions with which they deal and themselves when they treat everyone with respect and courtesy. These Principles of Professionalism serve as a reminder of how Virginia lawyers have acted in the past and should act in the future.
When a lawyer knows that an individual or company is represented by counsel, the lawyer is supposed to send a "courtesy copy" of correspondence or pleadings to the other lawyer when communicating with them. At ABRAMS LANDAU, we send copies of letters, lawsuit papers and other important documents to insurance companies when we sue their insureds, the defendant’s personal legal counsel, and even corporate counsel. At the Landau Law Shop, we take this "professional courtesy" very seriously. That is why we were taken aback by the actions of a local law firm. Aware that an injured woman was being helped by a Fairfax law firm, this local firm nevertheless filed suit against her, did not send a "courtesy copy" to her counsel in related litigation, or even give the courtesy of a phone call. Then, when asked about the matter, the managing partner of the "local firm" denied that any action had been taken against the injured victim. In fact, the "local firm" sued a woman who had been taken advantage of by their client. The local firm failed to give her legal counsel the courtesy of copy of the lawsuit papers. What the local firm acted in a cowardly fashion; they knew that attacking a woman without counsel is a lot easier than taking on a real opponent. It is cowardly actions like this that give local lawyers a bad name. We hope that local lawyers in the Herndon and Reston area will not forget the Principles of Professionalism, and remember professional courtesy.