State Adoption of Model Rule 8.4(g) – Should It Be So Difficult?
After extensive analysis and debate, the ABA House of Delegates adopted Rule 8.4(g) in August 2016 at the ABA Annual Meeting. The rule is designed to prohibit discrimination and harassment not only in the practice of law but also in conduct “related to the practice of law.” Comment 4 to the Model Rule explains that “conduct related to the practice of law” includes not just representing clients and courtroom activity but also “participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law.” Although some states already had anti-discrimination rules in their rules of professional conduct, other states are now considering adoption of Model Rule 8.4(g). Many states, however, are experiencing resistance from lawyers who argue that the rule will chill the constitutionally protected expression of disfavored points of view. Panelists will explore the history and goals behind the proposed rule and discuss their experiences working to adopt and implement the rule in various Western States.
- Brad Furlong, President Washington State Bar Association
- Diane Minnich, Executive Director Idaho State Bar
- Richard Pocker, President-elect State Bar of Nevada
Moderator: Myles Lynk, Professor of Law, Arizona State University, past President of the DC Bar and former Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the ABA Standing Committee on Discipline.