I promise to not flood your email inbox with direct messages from me, but there are two events coming up over the next two weeks that are too important to ignore, and I humbly ask for your help with both of them! These events focus on the issues of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in our legal profession, which impact us all even if you have not personally experienced such issues.
First, I urge you to attend the upcoming Promoting Equality in the Legal Profession Training, which will be held this Thursday, April 4th at 8:30 AM at the Jefferson Collaborative Auditorium, Jefferson Mill Building, Ground Floor, 670 N. Commercial Street in Manchester. Bagels, pastries, fruit, and coffee will be provided, courtesy of Bernstein Shur.
This free program will not only inform you about the current state of federal and state law regarding the issues of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace, but most importantly, it will give you tools to use to combat harassment, discrimination, and retaliation that you may face. You can also bring these tools back to your workplace and use them as best practices within your organization.
Please join us if you can and bring at least one friend or colleague with you – regardless of where you work and what type of work you do, these are important topics and engaging in this training will help continue the necessary conversation around these issues, lead to more awareness of the fact that harassment, discrimination, and retaliation persist in the legal profession, including here in New Hampshire, and will help us all take steps to spark change.
Please click here to sign up to attend. Let’s fill the room!
Second, on April 12, 2019 at 10 AM at 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 I 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.
I plan to speak on behalf of the NHWBA, and I would be happy to discuss with you any proposed comments, if you would like. I am also happy to answer any questions that you may have about the Proposed Rule and the NHWBA’s position on it to date. I can be reached by email or at (603) 665-8827 (direct line). Please contact me 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.
I am also happy to bring with me 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 me.
As always, THANK YOU to each and every one of you for all that you do to support the NHWBA and the continued advancement of women in the legal profession.
Hope to see you on April 4th and 12th!
Very truly yours,