Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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May I Remind You That You Are Under Oath?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | October 19, 2011

No. 738


As you may know, the bar results are in.  That means that a new crop of lawyers will be sworn in.  Many will take the oath en masse before the Supreme Court.  But some, perhaps with urgent business before the court, will take it in a private ceremony.  Judge Joseph Ridge, who became a good friend over the ensuing years, administered it to me in October of 1973, the year the world began.

Yes, Counsellor, it may have been a few years, so perhaps you have forgotten you took this oath.  You had to, or you would never have been admitted into that lay priesthood we call the bar. To refresh your memory, here it is, as codified in 42 Purdon’s Section 2522.

§ 2522.  Oath of office.

        Before entering upon the duties of his office, each attorney at law shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation before a person authorized to administer oaths:

            “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity, as well to the court as to the client, that I will use no falsehood, nor delay the cause of any person for lucre or malice.”

      Any person refusing to take the oath or affirmation shall forfeit his office.

So, what’s all this about lucre? [ pronounced loo’-cur; as in 1 Timothy 3:3 — “not given to filthy lucre.” ]

The illustration above says it all.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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