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Louisiana

ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) Efforts in Louisiana


Status of Action in Louisiana 

December 2017
Status – The Louisiana State Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct Committee voted not to proceed with either ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) or the Rule 8.4(h) proposed by the subcommittee

November 2017
On November 27, 2017, the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee ("Rules Committee") of the Louisiana State Bar Association (“LSBA”) voted 7-4 not to recommend proposed Rule 8.4(h) to either the LSBA House of Delegates and the Louisiana Supreme Court. In a letter to the LSBA Director of Member Outreach and Diversity, the Chair of the Rule Committee stated that the Rules Committee “determined not to proceed further with either ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) or the modified amendment to Rule 8.4 as proposed by the Subcommittee.” Click here to read the letter. Click here to read an article written by Professor Dane S. Ciolino discussing the decision.

September 2017
On September 8, 2017, Jeff Landry, the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana, issued an opinion concluding that both ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) and the Louisiana State Bar Association's proposed Rule 8.4(h) violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. 

On September 14, 2017, U.S. News and World Report reported on the Louisiana Attorney General's opinion. Click here to read the article.

August 2017
Louisiana is now considering adopting ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). A subcommittee of the Louisiana State Bar Association's Rules of Professional Conduct Committee ("Rules Committee") studied the ABA Model Rule 8.4(g), along with rules of other U.S. jurisdictions, and made a report and recommendation to the Rules Committee. The recommendation proposes adding a new Rule 8.4(h) to the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct. The report and recommendation is summarized in an executive summary. While the Rules Committee has not yet taken a position on the recommendation, the Rules Committee is seeking written comments through September 16, 2017.

Christian Legal Society filed a comment letter with the Louisiana State Bar Association on August 14, 2017. Click here to read CLS' comment letter.

On August 31, 2017, the Louisiana District Attorneys Association sent a letter to the Louisiana State Bar Association formally opposing the proposed Rule 8.4(h).

 

Proposed Rule Changes in Louisiana

Current Rule 8.4 Misconduct
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice

Recommendation of Subcommittee for Potential New Rule 8.4 Misconduct
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(h) engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know involves discrimination prohibited by law because of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, or disability. This Rule does not prohibit legitimate advocacy when race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, or disability are issues, nor does it limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16.