ABA President on Model Rule 8.4(g): “In No Way Infringes on Free Speech”

December 24th, 2016

The Texas Attorney General released an advisory opinion concluding that ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) tramples on the freedom of speech and rights of free exercise. In response, Jacob Gershman asked ABA President Linda A. Klein for a statement:

“This proposed rule in no way infringes on free speech or the ability of an attorney to zealously defend any client (or choose not to defend a client) based on the client’s beliefs,” she said, saying it “exemplifies the ABA’s strong policy that there is no place in the practice of law for discrimination or harassment.”

Oh but it does “infringe on free speech.” Big league. I emailed Ms. Klein a copy of  read my forthcoming piece in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Reply: A Pause for State Courts Considering Model Rule 8.4(G) The First Amendment and ‘Conduct Related to the Practice of Law.’  I hope she reads it.