Welcome

In an era too often marked by acts of incivility, Robert’s Fund aims to elevate the way we treat one another in the legal profession and to inspire acts of courtesy, kindness, and compassion among members of the profession. Increased civility demonstrably improves outcomes for legal professionals and the people that they serve. And because legal professionals profoundly influence society, even outside their formal work, their behavior often sets the tenor of corporate, political, and social interactions. View information about who we are and what we do

Past Programs

Robert’s Fund is committed to developing innovative CLE/CJE seminars, as well as custom presentations and other programs, to integrate civility more fully into the legal profession. In addition to our other distinguished staff and consultants, presenters at our seminars have included Washington Supreme Court Justices Mary Fairhurst and Steven González, as well as internationally renowned negotiation and mediation expert Professor Guiseppe de Palo.

Read more about Robert's Fund's previous events, including continuing legal and judicial education seminars, judicial roundtables, consulting and custom programs, and Civility Promise alumni activities.

Continuing Legal and Judicial Education

Intensive CLE/CJE seminars created for legal professionals offered in the United States and Italy.
View past CLE/CJE seminars

Consulting and Custom Programs

Custom presentations and strategies designed to increase civility in law firms and other organizations of legal professionals.
View past consulting and custom programs

 


Monday
May112015

Fostering Civility in the Legal Profession

May 13, 2015

Mason County Bar Association CLE
Shelton, WA

Tim Jaasko-Fisher, Robert’s Fund Senior Director of Curriculum and Program Development, gave a presentation on fostering civility in the legal profession to the Mason County Bar Association.

View the readings and resources for this seminar.

Wednesday
Apr222015

Fostering Civility in the Legal Profession

April 24, 2015

Washington State Society of Health Care Attorneys
Seattle, WA

Mary E. Fairhurst, Justice, Washington State Supreme Court; Consultant for Robert’s Fund gave a presentation on fostering civility in the legal profession to the Washington State Society of Health Care Attorneys.

View the readings and resources for this seminar.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Fostering Civility in the Legal Profession

April 10, 2015

Pacific County Bar Association CLE
Pacific County, WA

Tim Jaasko-Fisher, Robert’s Fund Senior Director of Curriculum and Program Development, gave a presentation on fostering civility in the legal profession to the Pacific County Bar Association.

View the readings and resources for this seminar.

Download the seminar handout and Powerpoint.

Tuesday
Mar172015

Fostering Civility in the Legal Profession

March 19, 2015

East King County Bar Association CLE
Bellevue, WA

Paula Lustbader, Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law; President of Robert’s Fund, gave a presentation on fostering civility in the legal profession to the East King County Bar Association.

View the readings and resources for this seminar.

Download the seminar handout and Powerpoint.

Friday
Mar132015

Civility Skills: The Art of Listening CLE/CJE in Seattle

March 13, 2015 

Seattle University School of Law
Seattle, Washington

Presenters Lisa Brodoff, J.D., Director, Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic, and Associate Professor, Seattle University School of Law; Tim Jaasko-Fisher, J.D., M.A., Director of Programming and Curriculum, Robert's Fund; Paula Lustbader, J.D., President, Robert’s Fund; and Director of the Academic Resource Center and Professor, Seattle University School of Law; and Craig Sims, J.D., Chief of the Criminal Division, Seattle City Attorney’s Office facilitated this interactive and engaging CLE seminar.  During this seminar, participants' enhanced their listening skills to foster civility in the legal profession; they examined the value of listening; they explored ways in which listeners demonstrate they have heard; they identified challenges to listening; they discussed strategies to improve listening skills, and they practiced effective listening.  Click here for the Presentation PowerPoint, the handout, and a table of contents to the readings and resources.  

Based upon their experience in the seminar, participants wrote:

I was inspired by all the presenters.

I loved the participation and active learning and the opportunity to connect lawyering to the rest of my life.

This should be a mandatory CLE for every attorney.

Great dialogue and openness.  A wonderful day.

This was an awesome CLE- Thanks!

Thursday
Mar122015

Fostering Civility in the Legal Profession

March 13, 2015

State of Washington Attorney General’s Office
Tumwater, WA

Mary E. Fairhurst, Justice, Washington State Supreme Court; Consultant for Robert’s Fund gave a presentation on fostering civility in the legal profession to the Attorney General’s Office as part of their CLE-Lite series.

Sunday
Sep282014

Civility Promise CLE/CJE for Legal Professionals in Tuscany, Italy

September 28 - October 6, 2014

Friday
Aug082014

The Foundations of Civility CLE/CJE in Seattle

August 8-9, 2014

Robert’s Fund would like to thank our wonderful participants and presenters Judge Paul Bastine, Dr. G. Andrew H. Benjamin, Professor Dave Boerner, Professor Lisa Brodoff, Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, Judge Eric Z. Lucas, Professor Paula Lustbader, Division Chief Craig Sims, Sumeer Singla, Susan Shulenberger, and Justice Mary I. Yu, M.A., J.D., Washington State Supreme Court.

In this 2-day intensive seminar, we explored and discussed characteristics of civility, the costs of incivility, the benefits of civility, the foundations of civility, and strategies to foster civility. Our group of engaging participants enriched the experience for all as they reflected upon the ideals of our profession, revitalized their commitment to their practice, and addressed relevant areas in their personal and professional lives to enable them to foster civility in their practice and promote justice for their clients. 

Based upon their experience in the seminar, participants wrote that:

I realized that we need to show respect and courtesy to others even if we can’t reach agreement.”

“This seminar confirmed that I need to listen and fill less space in the room as a leader.”

I plan to create a habit of focusing on the issue behind the uncivil behavior than the than the behavior itself.”

“If I have to choose between the cleverest response and the kindest response, I will go with kindness.”

Robert’s Fund offers CLE/CJE seminars in Seattle every spring and summer. Learn more about upcoming seminars in Seattle

Tuesday
Jul012014

Exploring Civility in the Legal Profession

July 2014

Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Convention CLE

Justices Mary Fairhurst, Susan Owens, and Debra Stephens from the Washington State Supreme Court gave a presentation on civility in the legal profession.

Tuesday
Jul012014

Fostering Civility and Professionalism in the Law

July 2014

Washington State Office of the Attorney General
Tumwater, Washington

Robert’s Fund Assistant Director of Programming and Curriculum, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, and Division Chief at the State of Washington Attorney General’s Office, Gretchen Leanderson, presented a 90-minute workshop that focused on the overlap of professionalism and civility in the legal profession. Participants examined the nature of civility, the price we all pay for uncivil behavior, and the precursors that lead to incivility. They reviewed the Washington State Bar Association’s model for professionalism as well as Robert’s Fund’s model for promoting civility and opportunities to promote civility both personally and within the profession.

Monday
Jun022014

Rules, Robes, and Reception

June 2014

Spokane County Bar Association
Gonzaga University Law School

Justices Mary Fairhurst, Debra Stephens, and Mary Yu from the Washington State Supreme Court gave a presentation on civility in the legal profession.

Thursday
May012014

Fostering Civility in the Child Welfare Legal System

May 2014

Children’s Justice Conference
Spokane, Washington

Robert’s Fund Assistant Director of Programming and Curriculum, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, presented a 90-minute workshop designed to engage a multi-disciplinary group of professionals in an exploration of civility in the child welfare legal system. Participants examined the relationship of civility to various standards of professional conduct. Through facilitated discussions, participants considered how, at times, core principles of legal ethics sometimes seem incompatible with social-work ethics and how focusing attention on civility may help begin to resolve such issues. In addition, participants were also encouraged to consider the costs of incivility and the benefits of civility with a focus on how civility helps judges, lawyers, and other professionals not only to avoid misconduct, but also to better serve the interests of justice.

Tuesday
Apr012014

Exploring Civility in the Legal Profession

April 2014

Gonzaga University in Florence CLE Program
Florence, Italy

Robert’s Fund consultant, Justice Mary Fairhurst, gave a 60-minute presentation on the value of civility in the legal profession. She engaged participants to consider the cost of incivility, the benefits of civility, and the attitudes and behaviors that foster civility.

Tuesday
Apr012014

Listening from the Bench Fosters Civility and Promotes Justice

April 2014

Superior Court Judges’ Association
Skomania, Washington

Robert’s Fund consultants, Dr. G. Andrew H. Benjamin and Justice Mary Yu, gave a 2-hour workshop to help judges become better listeners. Judges are the symbolic heart and face of our justice system. When judges listen well, both civility and justice flourish. Often, judges can avoid protracted litigation and other potential problems by intervening early in cases when they suspect potential or actual incivilities between lawyers will escalate. Moreover, research has shown that a critical factor in our justice system is for litigants to feel heard. When people feel heard, they perceive that equitable process has occurred, even if the outcome of the litigation does not favor them. Such litigants are still much more satisfied with the Justice system than those who have felt unheard. Listening requires more than simply hearing spoken words. It requires us to approach the communication with openness, respect, and curiosity; to observe non-verbal communication and carefully read between the lines of written communication; and to consider the context of the situation and the speaker. In this interactive presentation, participants reviewed the value of listening, articulated ways in which listeners demonstrate that they have been heard, identified personal challenges they face as a listener, and discussed strategies to improve their listening skills.

Friday
Mar072014

The Ethics of Civility CLE/CJE

March 2014

We'd like to thank our presenters David Boerner, Lisa Brodoff, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, Patricia Lally, Gretchen Leanderson, Paula Lustbader, Judge Richard R. McDermott, Craig Sims, and Catherine Walker as well as all the participants who engaged in this interesting and thought provoking seminar that explored the differences and similarities between ethics, professionalism, and civility; examine the relevant portions of the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct; and identify strategies to increase ethical, professional, and civil behavior within the profession.

“This CLE should be a required course for all Washington lawyers.”

Comments about the presenters included: “Great energy, [their] passion for [the] subject is contagious;” “excellent and very powerful; sparked a great conversation; and very creative.”

Based upon the seminar respondents said they plan to do the following: “To be a better example of a professional lawyer–represent integrity, ethics, and professionalism in dealing with people – [emulate] the golden rule.”

“Be grounded in [my]self and practice humility.”

“Mindfulness and self-care makes me a better attorney.”

Robert’s Fund offers CLE/CJE seminars in Seattle every spring and summer. Learn more about upcoming seminars in Seattle

Wednesday
Jan012014

Fostering Civility in the Child Welfare Legal System

January 2014

Children’s Law Institute
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Robert’s Fund Assistant Director of Programming and Curriculum, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, presented two 90-minute workshops designed to engage a multi-disciplinary group of professionals in an exploration of civility in the child-welfare legal system. Participants examined the relationship of civility to various standards of professional conduct. Through facilitated discussions, participants considered how, at times, core principles of legal ethics sometimes seem incompatible with social-work ethics and how focusing attention on civility may help begin to resolve such issues. In addition, participants were also encouraged to consider the costs of incivility and the benefits of civility with a focus on how civility helps judges, lawyers, and other professionals not only to avoid misconduct, but also to better serve the interests of justice.

Wednesday
Jan012014

Teaching Civility: Manners, Mindfulness, and a Modicum of Respect

January 2014

University of New Mexico, School of Law
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Robert’s Fund Assistant Director of Programming and Curriculum, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, presented to the UNM Law faculty a 90-minute program that featured an exploration of the nature of civility and the personal, economic, and societal costs associated with uncivil behavior, as well as a guided discussion about what can be done to promote civility on an individual and institutional level.

Sunday
Dec012013

Civility: An Ethical and Effective Approach to Advocacy

December 2013

Washington State Bar Association-NLE Personal Injury Section
Seattle, Washington

Robert’s Fund President, Professor Paula Lustbader, presented a 60-minute program focused on the costs of incivility, the benefits of civility, and the ethics of civility. Participants discussed ways to encourage clients to take a civil approach in order to reduce transaction costs and obtain more just and satisfying results.

Saturday
Oct052013

Civility Promise CLE/CJE for Legal Professionals in Tuscany, Italy

October 2013

Robert’s Fund would like to thank all who came to historic and beautiful Sovana for this 8-day seminar on civility in the legal profession.

The seminar included lectures, discussions, and interactive exercises designed to foster civility, complemented by guided excursions through the nearby villages and beautiful countryside.

“Most useful was the realization that civility issues (or incivility) are like the tip of the iceberg for much broader and larger personal issues.”

“In terms of fostering civility in the profession, I now feel I have the tools to improve my interactions with negotiations and people in general.”

“The program helped me to feel more whole. I feel satisfied and I feel like I have a path to my life’s purpose.”

“It was most useful that the CLE was held far away from home/practice/everyday life.”

“The best thing about the seminar is the opportunity to connect with other lawyers in a setting away from home and responsibility. The interactive exercises allow that.”

“I never expected to develop the deep and meaningful connections to the others in the seminar. This has never happened to me before, and I will always value it.”

Robert’s Fund offers these intensive seminars in Italy every spring and fall. Learn more about upcoming seminars in Italy

Thursday
Aug152013

Civility and Cross-Cultural Communication CLE/CJE

August 2013

Robert's Fund would like to thank all who joined us for this seminar.

A key component of civility is increasing our awareness of how our culturally based assumptions and biases influence our interactions with others. Extensive research, especially in the field of anthropology, has facilitated a better understanding of how cultural differences impact our interactions. This seminar introduced the fundamentals of civility and key research about cross-cultural understandings. It also suggested practical approaches to achieve more effective cross-cultural encounters. A key part of the presentation was devoted to building the participants’ own cultural profile and familiarizing them with the fundamental societal values that shape how people think and act. This nuanced understanding will empower them to interact more effectively with people from other cultural groups, well beyond what anecdotes and stereotypes offer.

“Excellent speakers and a good use of my time.”

“Very informative seminar, lively and creative presenters.”

“One of the best presentations I have heard in my life.”

“Opened my eyes.”

Robert’s Fund offers CLE/CJE seminars in Seattle every spring and summer. Learn more about upcoming seminars in Seattle