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.

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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.

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