The ABA Has Hurried To Amend The Proposed Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4

Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4:

The ABA in response to criticism has proposed amendments to its new rule against harassment and discrimination. The language of the rule is too broad and will create pointless discipline cases. It also will, inevitably, restrict free speech.

The State of Illinois will, inevitably, adopt some version of this dreadful rule, which can make any office argument into a professional discipline matter.

Ed Clinton, Jr.

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Legal Ethics Forum: Backlash to MR. 8.4(g)

Legal Ethics Forum: Backlash to MR. 8.4(g):

There is a new proposal in the ABA to modify Rule 8.4(g) as follows:

It shall be professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law. This paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.

As one might imagine, the Rule has unleashed a firestorm of criticism on the ground that it mandates political correctness and that it represses free speech.

I’m not a fan of this Rule and would encourage everyone to read the excellent criticisms on the Volokh Conspiracy Blog.

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