April 03, 2019 Top Story

First Amendment Ruling May Affect Model Rules of Professional Conduct

Is Model Rule 8.4(g) constitutional?

By C. Thea Pitzen

A U.S. Supreme Court case that made headlines regarding free speech rights in the context of abortion may also have far-reaching implications for ethical rules governing lawyers.


Copyright © 2019, American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association, the Section of Litigation, this committee, or the employer(s) of the author(s).

iStockphoto by Getty Images

ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g) prohibits lawyers from engaging in harassment or discrimination “in conduct related to the practice of law.” Opponents of the rule have argued that it may violate the First Amendment. ABA Section of Litigation leaders caution that the recent ruling may strengthen such arguments.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now