The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is seriously considering the adoption of a rule of professional conduct modeled on ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). As Professor Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law explains in a Federalist Society video, many practitioners and scholars view ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) as a speech code for lawyers and oppose its adoption.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is also considering the adoption of a rule requiring Maine bar members annually to take one additional hour of live CLE coursework focused on the “harassment or discriminatory conduct or communication related to the practice of law” that would violate Rule 8.4(g), if it is adopted.

The brief comment period ends at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. Comments should be emailed to [email protected]. Additional instructions for submitting comments are provided.

Christian Legal Society (“CLS”) released an informational backgrounder for those who wish to comment and hosts a resource webpage where its comment letter will be posted.  

Professor Josh Blackman has an excellent article on the flaws of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). A recently published, thorough examination of the legislative history of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g), co-authored by Andrew Halaby and Brianna Long, concluded that:

[The rule] is riddled with unanswered questions, including but not limited to uncertainties as to the meaning of key terms, how it interplays with other provisions of the Model Rules, and what disciplinary sanctions should apply to a violation; as well as due process and First Amendment free expression infirmities.