New ABA Rule Limits Lawyer Speech

The American Bar Association (ABA) has a new rule that would subject attorneys to professional discipline for speech that another might find “derogatory,” “demeaning,” or “harmful.”

It applies not just to comments made while representing a client, but to communications made within the attorney’s law firm, and while at bar association activities, business functions, and social activities. That’s basically everywhere! It would only apply in states whose Supreme Court adopts the ABA’s rule.

Thankfully, no state Supreme Court has done so yet. But the American Bar Association model rules are what are used to teach students in law school. So give it another generation, and it will become the law.

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