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Civility Mentorship Program

The San Francisco Chapter of ABOTA is introducing this new program. Experienced ABOTA members can act as Mentors if you are a lawyer who is encountering a problem with civility in dealing with another lawyer. The Mentors will not provide legal or ethical advice, but will discuss potential solutions and approaches to uncivil behavior. The goal is to help lawyers resolve civility disputes quickly and inexpensively. ABOTA wants to be part of the solution!

For a full set of rules, please click below.

Additional Links

Current Program Mentors

San Francisco County
San Francisco County
North Bay
(Marin County and Sonoma County)
San Mateo County
Kathleen Lucas

(415) 402-0200

Craig Needham

(408) 261-4200

Robert Cartwright

(415) 433-0444

Gary Gwilliam

(510) 832-5411

Richard Freeman

(707) 481-4004

Niall McCarthy

(650) 697-6000

East Bay
(Alameda County and Contra Costa County)
San Jose & South to Monterey
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this program?

We are providing a resource to all lawyers to consult with experienced ABOTA trial lawyers about how to deal with uncivil behavior.  There is no other resource or entity in existence, so it is a unique opportunity to help fellow lawyers deal with this problem.


What is the scope of this program?

We have Civility Mentors in every region of the Bay Area.  They are available to any lawyer and in court.  This program will be mentioned to Bar Associations and to Courts.  This is the first program of its kind in the country.


Are there any rules that need to be followed to participate in this program?

Yes.  They will be made available to those who use this resource.


Is there any cost to participating in this program?

None whatsoever.  The mentors are volunteer members of the San Francisco Chapter of ABOTA.


How much time will it take to participate?

There are no limitations, but participants should be as specific as possible to respect the time of the volunteer mentors.


How to contact a mentor?

Go to the website for San Francisco ABOTA,, and click on “Mentorship Program.”  You will then open a screen with the identity and contact information of the consultant near you or with expertise in your problem area.


Should the mentor be concerned about dispensing legal advice?

No, because the rules are clear that consultation is not legal advice and is only a discussion of the particular civility problem and what course might be taken to deal with it.  Oftentimes, there will be several options discussed by the mentor and it will be up to the person contacting the mentor to select the option that is most appropriate. 

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