The Volokh Conspiracy

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Pennsylvania Bar Dismisses 3rd Circuit Appeal in Rule 8.4(g) Challenge

The bar will presumably try again to draft a constitutional version of the ABA Model Rule


In December, a federal district court declared unconstitutional Pennsylvania's version of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). The judge reiterated points that Eugene Volokh and I have been making for years: this rule may be well intentioned, but it violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

In January, the Pennsylvania Bar filed a notice of appeal to the Third Circuit. But yesterday, the Bar surrendered. It voluntarily dismissed the appeal. Congratulations to Adam Schulman, Ted Frank, and the other lawyers at the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute for their victory.

Going forward, the Pennsylvania Bar will presumably try to draft a constitutional version of the rule. Other states considering ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) should take note, and proceed in a different direction.