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American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4

American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4

[19] Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a rule is a ground for initiating disciplinary proceedings. The Rules of Procedure require that the disciplinary assessment of a lawyer`s conduct be based on the facts and circumstances that existed at the time of the conduct in question and in recognition of the fact that a lawyer often has to act on the basis of uncertain or incomplete evidence of the situation. In addition, the rules presuppose that whether or not to impose disciplinary measures for an offence and the severity of a sanction depend on all the circumstances, such as the intent and gravity of the offence, mitigating factors and the existence of previous offences. (f) knowingly assist a judge or bailiff in conduct that violates the applicable rules of judicial conduct or other laws; or 23 See In re Snyder, 472 U.S. 634, 644-45 (1985) (maintenance of discipline to “behave without becoming”); Bar Ass`n v Blum, 404 pp.w.3d 841, 855 (Ky. 2013) (analyzing First Amendment allegations and maintaining the accuracy of a rule prohibiting lawyers from making false or reckless statements about a member of the judiciary); Howell, State Ban of Texas, 843 F.2d 205, 208 (5th Cir. 1988) (provided that the rules of lawyers do not have to provide the same level of clarity required for laymen in the analysis of the prohibition of conduct that interferes with the administration of justice). (g) engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or ought reasonably to know is harassment or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socio-economic status, in the course of conduct related to legal practice. This paragraph shall not limit the possibility for a lawyer to accept, refuse or withdraw from representation in accordance with Article 1.16. This paragraph shall not preclude legal advice or representation of interests in accordance with these Rules. [14] The rules of ethics are rules of reason. They must be interpreted in the light of the objectives of the legal representation and the law itself. Some of the rules are imperatives set out in the words “should” or “shall not”.

These define good behaviour for the purposes of professional discipline. Others that are generally included in the term “may” are permissive and define areas according to the rules in which the lawyer may exercise professional judgment in his or her sole discretion. No disciplinary action should be taken if the lawyer decides not to act or to act within this discretion. Other rules define the nature of the relationship between the lawyer and others. The rules of procedure are therefore partly mandatory and disciplinary and partly constitutive and descriptive, since they define the professional role of a lawyer. Many of the comments use the word “should.” The comments do not add obligations to the rules, but provide guidelines for the exercise of the rules in accordance with the rules. [20] A breach of a provision should not in itself give rise to an action against a lawyer or, in such a case, should give rise to a presumption of breach of a legal obligation. Moreover, a violation of a rule does not necessarily justify another non-disciplinary remedy, such as disqualifying a lawyer in an ongoing dispute. The rules are intended to provide guidance to lawyers and a structure for the regulation of conduct by disciplinary authorities. They are not intended as a basis for civil liability. In addition, the purpose of the rules may be compromised if they are invoked by the opposing parties as procedural weapons.

The fact that a rule provides a fair basis for a lawyer`s self-assessment or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary authority does not mean that an antagonist in a parallel proceeding or settlement is entitled to request the application of the rule. However, since the rules set standards of conduct for lawyers, a lawyer`s violation of a rule may be evidence of a violation of the applicable standard of conduct. 24 In re Gerard, 548 N.E.2d to 1064; see also In re Holtzman, 577 N.E.2d30, 33 (N.Y. 1991) (stating that the rules of ethics are necessarily broad and that “the guiding principle must be whether a reasonable lawyer familiar with the Code and its ethical limits would be aware of the prohibited conduct”). (d) engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; [11] To the extent that lawyers respect the obligations of their professional vocation, there is no need for state regulation. Self-regulation also helps to preserve the independence of the legal profession from government rule. An independent legal profession is an important force in keeping the government before the law, as the abuse of legal authority is more easily challenged by a profession whose members do not depend on the government to exercise the law. The principles underlying the Code of Ethics can address these concerns.

The courts have always held that the rules of ethics are “rules of reason” that “should be interpreted by reference for the purposes of legal representation and the law itself.” 19 Thus, the rules do not define or instruct lawyers in every conceivable situation. A number of rules, including Rule 8.4(b), Rule 8.4(c), Rule 8.4(c), 21 and Rule 8.4(d)(22), have an inherent degree of vagueness. Courts have always upheld these rules in the face of claims of indeterminacy.23 And courts have cautioned that general standards should not be used as “loopholes” to evade discipline.24 [4] In all professional functions, a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client through representation. A lawyer should keep confidential information about a client`s representation, unless disclosure is required or permitted by professional standards or other legislation. The objectives and scope of Model Rule 8.4(g) The ABA has recognized the unique role that lawyers play in society.7 We act as ambassadors for our legal system and lead the administration of justice. As a self-regulated profession, we hold lawyers to a higher standard than the general public in order to maintain confidence in the integrity of our profession and legal system and to recognize the profound privilege of admission to practice law. Model Rule 8.4(g) prohibits discriminatory conduct that harms the legal profession and those involved in our justice system, a principle long recognized by the courts.8 Model Rule 8.4(g) also goes beyond prohibiting discriminatory conduct as courts and other model rules by prohibiting conduct in the many other practice-based environments, such as: Non-litigation, matters that occur outside the courtroom or the social functions of the office.9 [5] The conduct of a lawyer must comply with legal requirements, both in the professional care of clients and in the lawyer`s business and personal affairs.

A lawyer should only use the procedures of the law for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer must show respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public servants.

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