The Tennessee Supreme Court this week rejected without comment a petition from the Tennessee Bar Association and the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility to amend the Court’s rule governing professional conduct of attorneys. The proposed amendment added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of things about which a lawyer could not comment, whether in his or her professional capacity as an attorney or in his or her private life, without risk of disciplinary action.
More than 400 pages of comments were received from attorneys and other interested individuals and organizations concerning the proposed change. Among the concerns raised were that it expanded the groups deemed as “protected classes” beyond that currently set out in both Tennessee and federal law, as well as concern that “discrimination” was not adequately defined.
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