Joint Petition Filed by TBA, Board of Professional Responsibility

The Tennessee Bar Association and the Board of Professional Responsibility filed an unusual joint petition today asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to adopt a new ethics rule prohibiting discrimination and harassment by lawyers in conduct related to the practice of law. The petition seeks an amendment to Supreme Court Rule 8 to add a new subsection (g) to RPC 8.4 and explanatory comment paragraphs. The proposed amendment is patterned after a recently-adopted ABA Model Rule 8.4(g), but the proposal adds language more clearly protecting the First Amendment rights of lawyers, among other things. The Tennessee Supreme Court is expected to issue an order soliciting comments on the petition soon.

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