MENU

Professional Responsibility & Legal Education

A Nationwide Speech Code for Lawyers?

Short video featuring Eugene Volokh
Eugene Volokh May 02, 2017

Is it a violation of the first amendment for the American Bar Association to impose a nationwide speech code for lawyers? Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law discusses the newly proposed Rule 8.4(g) of the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, a set of anti-discrimination guidelines for lawyers that would bind lawyers to adhere to particular speech codes in the states that have adopted it.

ABA Model Rule 8.4 - Event Audio/Video

2017 National Student Symposium
Eugene Volokh, Robert N. Weiner, Lavenski Smith March 15, 2017

In August 2016, the American Bar Association (ABA) added new anti-discrimination guidelines for lawyers to its Model Rules of Professional Conduct through section 8.4. This section now binds lawyers to adhere to particular speech codes in the many states that have adopted it.

The provision labels engagement “in conduct that [a] 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." The ABA has defined discrimination and harassment to include “harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others. Harassment includes sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." The conduct guidelines extend to “the practice of law," including, “representing clients; interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and other while engaged in the practice of law; operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law."

Some have described this section as infringing on the rights on lawyers to speak their mind, while others have argued it is necessary to prevent discrimination within the profession. This debate will discuss the implications of Model Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4 and its impact on workplace discrimination and lawyers' rights.

This debate was presented at the 2017 National Student Symposium on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Columbia Law School in New York City, New York.

Debate: ABA Model Rule 8.4
11:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Jerome Greene Hall 104

  • Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Mr. Robert N. Weiner, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Moderator: Hon. Lavenski Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit

Columbia Law School
New York, New York

Government Ethics and Corruption - Event Audio/Video

2017 Annual Florida Chapters Conference
Nick Cox, Renee Flaherty, Todd P. Graves, Matthew Stephenson, Susan Rothstein-Youakim, Jefferson P. Knight February 10, 2017

This panel, Government Ethics & Corruption, was held on February 4, 2017, at the 2017 Florida Chapters Conference at Disney's BoardWalk Inn at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Government Ethics and Corruption
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

  • Mr. Nick Cox, Florida Statewide Prosecutor
  • Renee Flaherty, Institute for Justice
  • Todd Graves, Graves Garrett
  • Prof. Matthew Stephenson, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Moderator: Judge Susan Rothstein-Youakim, Florida Second District Court of Appeal
  • Introduction: Jefferson Knight, Owner, The Knight Law Firm

Disney's Boardwalk Inn
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Pending Litigation and the New Administration - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Steven G. Bradbury, William S. Consovoy February 09, 2017

Given the size and scope of the federal government, many agency regulations, guidance documents, and cases are left in various stages of development as the executive branch changes hands. The first episode of our Legal Options for the New Administration Teleforum Series focused on pending litigation in the executive branch. Is the administration free to dismiss or stop prosecuting cases which do not align with its policies? Can the administration stop defending actions in court? What are the constraints? What has been the past practice? These and other questions were discussed by our experts. 

Featuring:

  • Steven G. Bradbury, Partner, Dechert LLP 
  • William S. Consovoy, Partner, Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC