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December 09, 2020

Chancellor’s Statement on PA Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(g)

In reaction to the U.S. District Court’s decision granting an injunction to stop enforcement of Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(g), making discrimination and harassment in the law professional misconduct, Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.), Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, issued the following statement:

“The promotion of diversity and inclusion and the elimination of bias and discrimination in the justice system are core values of the Philadelphia Bar Association. We are committed to the vision of a justice system in which all individuals – judges, lawyers, litigants, witnesses and employees – can participate free from discrimination and harassment.

“We believe that lawyers, as professionals, are responsible for demonstrating the highest standards of behavior.

“Yesterday, a judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an Order enjoining enforcement of Rule 8.4(g) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. This Rule makes discrimination and harassment in the practice of law professional misconduct. We are deeply disappointed in this decision.

“The Philadelphia Bar Association unequivocally supports a rule prohibiting a lawyer engaged in the practice of law from knowingly manifesting bias or prejudice, or discriminating against or harassing any person on the basis of race, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status.”

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