Ethics CLE Teleforum 2018: New Issue in Legal Ethics, ABA Model Rule 8.4(g)

Professional Responsibilities and Legal Education Practice Group

Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Teleforum

Call-in Number: 888-752-3232

Electronic Sign-in form link: (CLICK HERE)  

Link for Electornic Sign In:

Written Materials are accesible through the link included on your ticket

The Federalist Society offers a unique opportunity to acquire one hour’s worth of ethics CLE credit.

Our visiting expert in legal and judicial ethics will discuss a recent regulatory development in the field, with the purpose of translating this development into practical wisdom about the likely impact on the practice of law in 2018 and beyond:

In August 2016, the American Bar Association approved Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g). The new provision provides that it is misconduct for an attorney to “engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.” Comment [4] explains that “conduct related to the practice of law . . . includes representing clients; interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and others while engaged in the practice of law; operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law.”

The Model Rules are just that — models, that do not apply in any jurisdiction. Now the project goes to the states, as state courts consider whether to adopt Rule 8.4(g).

To date, seven states have rejected the rule: Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Tennessee have rejected the proposal. The Attorneys General of four states have concluded that adopting the rule would violate the First Amendment: Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Only Vermont has adopted the model rule in its entirety. 

In this teleforum, Professor Josh Blackman of the South Texas College of Law Houston will discuss the constitutional issues surounding Model Rule 8.4(g). Specifically, he will address how the Supreme Court’s recent decision in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra (2018) calls into question the state bar’s ability to regulate attorney speech, and how it will affect attorneys in their practice of law throughout the next few years. 

Professor Blackman will also give his insights on the rising relevance of social media in regards to the law, and what implications exist for practicing attorneys who use social media. 


  • Prof. Josh Blackman, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston

Call begins at 1:55 p.m. Eastern Time.

Teleforum calls are open to all dues paying members of the Federalist Society. To become a member, sign up here.  As a member, you should receive email announcements of upcoming Teleforum calls which contain the conference call phone number. If you are not receiving those email announcements, please contact us at 202-822-8138. 

Because we are offering CLE for this Teleforum, it is open to non-members as well. The Teleforum call-in number will be available with the CLE materials upon registration.

One hour of ethics CLE available in some jurisdictions pending approval*

$25 for CLE (Federalist Society members)
$50 for CLE (non-Federalist Society members)

Charges apply ONLY to those seeking CLE credit.

Registration for CLE credit is required.
Attendance must be verified during the presentation.**
No registration or fee is required if you are not seeking CLE credit. 


*Please note CLE applications will be made in accordance with any states that are requested during registration up until the day of the Teleforum. CLE credit is not guaranteed, as the decision to accredit the course is made by each individual state bar, but all states that attorneys request will be applied to. 

**Additional CLE Instructions:

  1. Please check your confirmation email for the link to the ticket, where there will be a drop box link to download all CLE Materials including the links for the online Certificate of Attendance, Evaluation Form, and the PDF Written Materials.
  2. Call into the Teleforum number 1-888-752-3232 before 1:55 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 18.
  3. A registration page link will be sent to you the afternoon of October 18. Please make sure to electronically sign in using this link at the beginning of the call, preferably within the first 5 minutes of the call.
  4. Listen for the "Unique Program Codes" during the call and enter those codes on your Certificate of Attendance to verify your attendance.
  5. Fill out your Certificate of Attendance and Evaluation Form that will be provided with your confirmation email, within 14 days of the conclusion of the program.