Episode 3.12: Kwende Jones on The Value of Civility and Professionalism within Litigation


In this episode of The Future of Resolution Podcast, Kwende B. Jones, partner at the law firm of Burr & Forman, joins Miles Mediation & Arbitration Neutral Matt Thiry to discuss the value of civility and professionalism within litigation. Kwende practices in the firm’s Litigation section, focusing on general commercial litigation and financial services litigation and represents financial institutions, commercial lenders, telecommunications companies, and other businesses of all sizes in various business disputes in both State and Federal Courts. 


In this episode, Kwende and Matt discuss the unnecessarily combative nature of litigation and the tendency to reject compromise and common ground as a way to resolve disputes. Matt and Kwende take the listener through their origin story to help the listener identify the often unrecognized barriers to civility including:


  • The psychological advantages and disadvantages inherent in the concept of winning or losing.
  • Lawyers who are a little too personally involved in their client’s matter, becoming the client instead of being the lawyer representing the client’s interests. 
  • Client expectations on how you interact with opposing counsel.


Kwende and Matt lay bare the disadvantages of the fighting mentality including:


  • The additional costs associated with combative litigation.
  • Dealing with ancillary arguments between counsel that have nothing to do with the center focus of the case.
  • Attorney burnout after years of stressful engagement with opposing attorneys.
  • Developing a reputation of being unreasonable and the consequences associated with that impression.


During the conversation, Matt and Kwende share a way forward with the listener, making current and future litigators aware that there is hope and a positive way forward that meets the needs of the client and attorney. Matt and Kwende discuss their “Civility Club” and learn about their commitment to support civility within litigation. “Kwende Jones on The Value of Civility and Professionalism within Litigation” is available on Apple Podcasts,  Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Soundcloud. This podcast is the latest in a series of episodes that features thought leaders in Georgia’s legal community and beyond.  Click here for additional episodes of The Future of Resolution Podcast.





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