Having been a trail rider and around horses the better part of 18 years, on more than one occasion, I’ve seen versions of a cowboy’s code hanging on the wall in someone’s barn or tack room. Gene Autry had one, see GeneAutry.com – Gene Autry: Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code and John Wayne had another, TV ACRES: Oaths & Pledges > Western > John Wayne – The Code of the ..
Still one of my favorite versions, though, was the one attributed to famous comic sage, Will Rogers. You’ve probably seen it. Will’s list includes such gems, as “Don’t kick a cow chip on a hot day” and “If you’re riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.”See Cowboy Code Of Ethics.
Wyoming’s official state code.
Along these lines, today’s newspapers have a noteworthy item, Wyoming gov. signs law adopting ‘cowboy ethics’. The Wyoming State Legislature overwhelmingly adopted SB51 as its “Official State Code,” as set forth below:
FILE NO. 0051
ENROLLED ACT NO. 7, SENATE
SIXTIETH LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WYOMING
2010 BUDGET SESSION
AN ACT relating to state symbols; adopting the code of the
west as the official state code as specified; and providing
for an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming:
Section 1. W.S. 8-3-123 is created to read:
8-3-123. State code.
(a) The code of the west, as derived from the book,
Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen, and summarized as follows,
is the official state code of Wyoming.
The code includes:
(i) Live each day with courage;
(ii) Take pride in your work;
(iii) Always finish what you start;
(iv) Do what has to be done;
(v) Be tough, but fair;
(vi) When you make a promise, keep it;
(vii) Ride for the brand;
(viii) Talk less, say more;
(ix) Remember that some things are not for sale;
(x) Know where to draw the line.
Lawyers have their own Canons of Professional Responsibility and ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct governing their conduct across 8 rather lengthy, detailed parts, including preambles, comments and the like. But on reviewing the 10 rules just promulgated by “The Cowboy State” of Wyoming, I have to say their list is also worthy short-hand for lawyers to model, too.