Alaska

ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) Efforts in Alaska


Status of Action in Alaska

May 2019
Status – The Alaska Bar Association is considering ABA Model Rule 8.4(g).

On May 31, the Alaska Bar Association notified Bar members via email that the Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct ("Committee") of the Alaska Bar Association is proposing an amendment to Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.4. Specifically, the Committee is proposing to add new subsection (f), which reads as follows:

          It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: 

          ...

          (f) 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
          while:

              (1) representing clients,

              (2) interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and others while engaged in the practice of law,

              (3) operating or managing a law firm or law practice, or

              (4) participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law.

          This paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with
          Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.

The Alaska Bar Association is accepting comments on the proposed amendment. Comments should be submitted to the Bar by email to Bar Counsel at page@alaskabar.org, by mail to the Alaska Bar Association at 840 K Street, #100, Anchorage, AK 99501, or by calling Bar Counsel at (907) 272-7469. Comments should be received no later than August 15, 2019.


Proposed Rule Changes in Alaska

Current Rule 8.4 Misconduct
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;

(d) state or imply an ability either to influence a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

(e) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.


Proposed Rule 8.4(f)
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(f) 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 while:

    (1) representing clients,

    (2) interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and others while engaged in the practice of law,

    (3) operating or managing a law firm or law practice, or

    (4) participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law.

This paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.