speaking ill of others

Nathan Finn posted some great advice from Charles Simeon regarding what to do when hearing someone tell you a bad report about another person:

This sage advice comes from Charles Simeon, the great 19th century Anglican evangelical:

1st – To hear as little as possible what is to the prejudice of others.

2nd – To believe nothing of the kind till I am absolutely forced to it.

3rd – Never to drink into the spirit of one who circulates an ill report.

4th – Always to moderate, as far as I can, the unkindness which is expressed towards others.

5th – Always to believe, that if the other side were heard, a very different account would be given of the matter.

From Hugh Evan Hopkins, Charles Simeon of Cambridge (Eerdmans, 1977), p. 134.

It reminded me of the Texas Lawyers Creed which is the aspirational goal for how lawyers are to deal with one another, their clients and courts. It especially reminded me of this part of the Creed that seems to be ignored by so many lawyers (and people):

I will not, without good cause, attribute bad motives or unethical conduct to opposing counsel nor bring the profession into disrepute by unfounded accusations of impropriety. I will avoid disparaging personal remarks or acrimony towards opposing counsel, parties and witnesses. I will not be influenced by any ill feeling between clients. I will abstain from any allusion to personal peculiarities or idiosyncrasies of opposing counsel.


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