“The speech restrictions are overtly viewpoint-based. If you express pro-equality viewpoints, you’re fine; if you express the contrary viewpoints, you’re risking disciplinary action. This also goes beyond existing hostile-work-environment harassment law under Title VII and similar state statutes. The law itself has potential First Amendment problems…."
The American Bar Association recently revised its Model Rules of Professional Conduct to note that discrimination and harassment "includes harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others." Applying more broadly than the workplace, the ABA explicitly states that this policy applies to any "social activities in connection with the practice of law."
To what extent--if any--should speech be barred, especially for a profession so dependent on free speech? Should lawyers be able debate on issues such as immigration or same-sex marriage? How about outside of the courtroom or during casual conversation?
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“A speech code for lawyers, banning viewpoints that express ‘bias,’ including in law-related social activities."
by Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA
August 10, 2016 l Washington Post