Proposed Anti-Discrimination Ethics Rule

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has proposed an amendment to Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 that would add a new paragraph (g) to make it professional misconduct for a lawyer to “in the practice of law, by words or conduct, knowingly manifest bias or prejudice, or engage in harassment or discrimination, as those terms are defined in applicable federal, state or local statutes or ordinances, including but not limited to bias, prejudice, harassment or discrimination based upon race, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status.”

Comments should be submitted on or before September 30, 2019.

“Proposed Amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct Relating to Misconduct,” 49 Pa.B. 4941 (8/31/2019).

[6/19/2020 Update: The proposed rule was adopted by order titled “Amendment of Rule 8.4 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct; No. 196 Disciplinary Rules Doc.” (6/8/2020), 50 Pa.B. 3011 (6/20/2020).]

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