Update: Read NHWBA's comments here.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court, the Court will hold a public hearing on Proposed Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g), which, as it now stands in terms of language, the NHWBA enthusiastically supports. Here is the current iteration of the proposed language, which is what the Court will hear next week:
(g) engage in conduct while acting as a lawyer in any context that that the lawyer knew or reasonably should have known is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or gender identity. Statutory or regulatory exemptions, based upon the number of personnel in a law firm, shall not relieve a lawyer of the requirement to comply with this Rule. This paragraph shall not limit the ability of the lawyer to accept, decline, or withdraw from representation consistent with other Rules, nor does it infringe on any Constitutional right of a lawyer, including advocacy on matters of public policy, the exercise of religion, or a lawyer’s right to advocate for a client.”
On September 7, 2018, the Advisory Committee on Rules voted 12-3 to recommend that the Court amend Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 by adopting this language. A copy of the Court’s Order may be found here.
It is critical that we fill the room with supporters at this hearing and make our voices heard! If you can attend in person, please do so and bring others with you.
We are told that each individual will have 5 minutes to speak, and encourage you to take the opportunity to explain to the Court the importance of this Proposed Rule, any personal experiences you have had where a Rule like this one would have been helpful, and that you are in support of the Court’s adoption of the Rule without further revision.
Christina A. Ferrari, board President, plans to speak on behalf of the NHWBA, and would be happy to discuss with you any proposed comments, if you would like. She is also happy to answer any questions that you may have about the Proposed Rule and the NHWBA’s position on it to date. She can be reached by email or at (603) 665-8827 (direct line). Please contact her at any time.
If you are unable to attend in person, you can still speak out in support of this Proposed Rule! Written testimony and comments will be reviewed by the Court and may be submitted via e-mail.
Christina is also happy to bring with her on April 12th any written testimony and comments that you would like to submit, and to submit them in person on your behalf. If you are interested in this option, please contact her.