Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Pennsylvania announces amendments to rule 8.4(g) which had been declared unconstitutional last year

 As you probably remember, back in December, a federal district court declared unconstitutional Pennsylvania's version of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) holding that it violated the First Amendment.  I wrote about the decision here and here.  

After appealing the decision, the Pennsylvania Bar voluntarily dismissed the appeal thus giving up the fight over the adopted version of the rule.  Instead, The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania set to work on finding a way to amend the rule in order to meet Constitutional scrutiny.  

Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court published the recommended changes, which will take effect on August 25.

The amended rule removes “by words” and “knowingly manifest bias or prejudice, or engage in,” provisions that were challenged in the suit. Several comments also were added defining harassment and discrimination. 

You can read the new version of the rule here.

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