by Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson, American Thinker
Now through August 9th, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) is holding its annual meeting in San Francisco. Among the scheduled events is the business meeting of the House of Delegates, the ABA’s governing body. The Delegates will consider a number of policy recommendations presented as reports from its standing committees. One of these proposals comes from the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and, if adopted, would undermine many of the rights of lawyers, including the historic and absolute right of each lawyer to decide whom he will choose to represent.
The proposal would add a new, vague, and expansive list of prohibitions to Rule 8.4 in the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct governing “Misconduct.” The purpose of the “Misconduct” rule is supposedly to achieve the objective of “Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession,” but this new proposal is all about social engineering, having nothing at all to do with ethics.
The proposal would create a “new Rule 8.4(g) that would make it professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in 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.” High sounding words indeed — but words that, if adopted by state bar associations, would empower those who run state bar associations — largely establishment lawyers — to selectively discipline and even disbar individual lawyers whose values are traditional rather than progressive.
In justification for creating new favored classes, the proposed Comment blithely asserts: “Conduct that violates paragraph (g) undermines confidence in the legal profession and our legal system and is contrary to the fundamental principle that all people are created equal.” Remarkably, the Committee found only one of the 11 itemized preferred classes — “socioeconomic” — to be even worth debating. As for the other 10 categories, the Committee simply presumed that no one could possibly object, for they are supposedly based on the “fundamental principle” of equality.
© 2016 American Thinker