In August 2016, the American Bar Association
passed Model Rule 8.4(g) into its Model Rules of
Professional Conduct. The rule declares it misconduct
for a lawyer to harass or discriminate based on race,
sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age,
sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or
socioeconomic status. The scope of the rule extends to
lawyers' conduct outside of the courtroom, including
conduct related to the practice of law. The rule aims to
eliminate bias in the profession and justice system.
The Supreme Court of Georgia has yet to adopt any
version of Model Rule 8.4(g) in its comment or black
letter rules. Thirteen states already have a version of
8.4(g) in the comment section of their respective state
rules. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia
have already adopted a version of 8.4(g) into their
black letter rules.
This Note encourages the state of Georgia to adopt
Model Rule 8.4(g) into its state professional ethics
rules. Georgia has strong incentives to adopt 8.4(g).
The rule sends a message to both the public and
attorneys alike that the state of Georgia does not
tolerate biased behavior. The rule also provides a
remedy for inappropriate behaviors by lawyers that
would otherwise skirt by unscathed. The rule comports
with both the First Amendment and Fourteenth
Amendments of the Constitution, as well as Georgia's
Constitution, and sound interpretationof the language
of Rule 8.4(g) accurately targets inappropriateconduct
that currently pervades activities and settings related
to the practiceof law.
Wroten, Katie M.
""G" is More Than "PC" for Georgia: Why Prospective Adoption of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) is a Viable Measure to Combat Discrimination and Harassment,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 52:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol52/iss1/11