Amendments to Rule 1.8
- The ABA House of Delegates amended Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(e) at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the association. The Ethics Committee filed Revised Resolution and Report 107 proposing an amendment to Model Rule 1.8(e) to permit lawyers representing indigent clients pro bono individually or through a non-profit or public interest organization or through a law school clinical or pro bono program to provide modest assistance for living expenses. Permitted gifts include contributions for food, rent, transportation, medicine, and other basic living expenses.
Resolution 109 Adopted By ABA HOD
- On August 8, 2016 the ABA House of Delegates approved Standing Committee on Ethics resolution 109 to amend Model Rule 8.4 to bring into the blackletter of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct an anti-harassment and antidiscrimination provision. A list of co-sponsors and supporters as well as previous drafts and comments is available here.
- The Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility voted to file a resolution with the ABA House of Delegates for consideration in August 2016 recommending that Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 be amended to create new paragraph (g). This new paragraph would bring into the black letter of the Model Rules an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment provision. The resolution would also include the creation of three new Comments. A redlined version of the proposal is available here.
- The Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued a draft proposal to amend ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 and Comment  to Rule 8.4.
A public hearing was held on Sunday, February 7, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, 3rd Floor, South Tower, Balboa & Mission Hills Meeting Rooms, San Diego, CA.
After reviewing comments from the public hearing and comments submitted in writing, the Committee will resume its work with the aim of producing a final Report and Resolution for consideration by the ABA House of Delegates at the August 2016 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
Please visit the Model Rule 8.4 homepage to see the proposal, the memorandum and all comments received to date. To access the proposal directly, click here. The memorandum explaining the Ethics Committee’s drafting choices is also available here. The proposal reflects the efforts of the Ethics Committee to examine how the Model Rules of Professional Conduct address discrimination and harassment by lawyers and is meant to further focus and advance the discussion on this important issue.
- In conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility held a roundtable discussion on a working discussion draft of revisions to ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4. Under consideration was relocating the prohibition against knowingly discriminating or harassing another person in conduct relating to the practice of law or in the practice of law from current Comment  into the black letter of the Rule as new paragraph (g). Additional revisions were also made to the Rule. Interested persons were encouraged to come to the roundtable to discuss the draft and offer their recommendations and suggestions.
The Working Discussion Draft from this rountable is available here. More information about language choices the Committee made is available here.