Tag Archives: shakespeare

‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the language lawyers.’ —Henry VI, part II

Literally sincerely…

Compare and contrast the Federal and one state’s Oath sworn upon assumption of office. Interesting for many reasons: I find especially humorous no mention in the federal oath of abiding by the federal statutes nor even those of any U.S. commonwealth or state in which the attorney resides or practices.


Federal Oath of Attorney:

I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Washington State’s Oath of Attorney:

I do solemnly declare:

  1. I am fully subject to the laws of the State of Washington and the laws of the United States and will abide by the same.
  2. I will support the constitution of the State of Washington and the constitution of the United States.
  3. I will abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct approved by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington.
  4. I will maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers.
  5. I will not counsel, or maintain any suit, or proceeding, which shall appear to me to be unjust, or any defense except as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law, unless it is in defense of a person charged with a public offense. I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me only those means consistent with truth and honor. I will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement.
  6. I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my client, and will accept no compensation in connection with the business of my client unless this compensation is from or with the knowledge and approval of the client or with the approval of the court.
  7. I will abstain from all offensive personalities, and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged.
  8. I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay unjustly the cause of any person.
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