Ethics CLE: ABA Model Rule 8.4 on Discrimination and Harassment by Lawyers

San Diego Lawyers Chapter

Speaker: 

  • Ronald Rotunda, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Speaker: 

  • Ronald Rotunda, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

The American Bar Association has introduced and passed an amendment to its Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The resolution deems it professional misconduct to "engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law". Perhaps anticipating a challenge, the new rule's comment states that the new rule does not apply to non-lawyer conduct or activities protected by the first amendment and also exempts times when references to such protected groups and facts are needed to effectively represent a client. However, this new rule would apply to all conduct at a primarily firm and legal events, including firm related social events. 

What is discrimination or harassment over socioeconomic status? Since this rule applies to social settings, where is the line to be drawn and what chilling effect might be created? What about free speech and free association?

RSVP by emailing fedsocsd@gmail.com.

Please check in at the front desk. 

Complimentary refreshments and one hour of ethics CLE credit will be provided with RSVP.

Space is limited and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Please provide your RSVP as soon as possilbe because space is already filling up fast.