Idaho Supreme Court’s Rejects Proposed Attorney Speech Code
Resolution 21-01, modeled on the American Bar Association’s proposed Rule 8.4(g), would allow lawyers to be punished for “engag[ing] in … harassment,” defined as “in representing a client or operating or managing a law practice or in the course and scope of employment in a law practice, engag[ing] in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment”:
Harassment is derogatory or demeaning verbal, written, or physical conduct toward a person based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status. To constitute a violation of this subsection, the harassment must be severe or pervasive enough to create an environment that is intimidating or hostile to a reasonable person. This subsection does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline, or withdraw from a representation as otherwise permitted in these Rules or preclude advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.
Comment: … Harassment includes sexual harassment such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Factors to be considered to determine whether conduct rises to the level of harassment … include: the frequency of the harassing conduct; its severity; whether it is threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance; whether it is harmful to another person; or whether it unreasonably interferes with conduct related to the practice of law. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents, unless extremely serious, will not rise to the level of harassment …. The substantive law of … anti-harassment statutes and case law may guide application of [this provision].
“In representing a client or operating or managing a law practice or in the course and scope of employment in a law practice” does not include participation in bar association, business, or social activities outside the context of representi
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