India's new crop of law school graduates are the first in the country to be subject to a new requirement that they pass a national 100-question multiple choice test before being allowed to practice. Previously, law school grads in India needed only to be admitted to a local bar. Several of the new grads are practicing their legal skills in the six-month interval before the exam by challenging the authority of the Bar Council of India to impose the exam requirement. See New Bar Exam Riles India's Law Grads in the American Lawyer.
Contrary to the popular stereotype, Canadian lawyers, like their American counterparts, have some civility issues. Here are some examples from a story in the Toronto Globe and Mail:
A Toronto lawyer was suspended in 2008 for punching her own client in the face. An Ontario lawyer was sanctioned in 2007 for threatening to be “10 times a bigger asshole than you” in a letter to a mediator. Fiery native-rights lawyer Bruce Clark was disbarred in 1999 after contempt-of-court convictions for accusing judges of genocide and threatening to arrest them.
But a civility initiative from the Law Society of Upper Canada that includes a new protocol for judges to complain about lawyers, a mentorship program to influence new lawyers’ behaviorr, training courses, and more frequent disciplinary hearings, is nevertheless running into some resistance. The Globe and Mail story, Will making lawyers civil make them soft?, says that some are suggesting that the initiative could actually harm the justice system by influencing lawyers, especially defense attorneys, to shy away from making the strongest possible arguments on behalf of their clients for fear of being disbarred for incivil behavior.