ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) Efforts in Nevada
Status Of Action In Nevada
Status – The Petition to amend the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct to include ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) has been withdrawn.
In a letter dated September 6, 2017, the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Nevada requested that the Nevada Supreme Court withdraw the petition to adopt ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). On September 25, 2017, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an Order granting permission to the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors to withdraw its petition to amend the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct.
July 31, 2017
The Supreme Court of Nevada once again issued an Order changing the date of the hearing to November 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. and extending the period for written comments to October 30, 2017.Comments must be submitted and received in hard-copy format (one original and eight copies) by 5:00 p.m. on October 30, 2017. Electronically-submitted comments will not be accepted. Comments should still be mailed to Elizabeth A. Brown, Clerk of the Supreme Court, 201 South Carson Street, Carson City, NV, 89701.
July 7, 2017
The Supreme Court of Nevada issued an Order changing the date of the hearing to September 6, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. and extending the period for written comments to August 30, 2017.
June 26, 2017
Christian Legal Society filed a comment letter opposing adoption of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) by the Nevada Supreme Court.
May 8, 2017
The Board of Governors of the State Bar of Nevada filed a Petition with the Nevada Supreme Court to amend its Rules of Professional Conduct to include the ABA’s Model Rule 8.4(g).
The Supreme Court of Nevada issued an Order on May 25, 2017, in which it announced a public hearing and requested public comment of the petition. On Monday, July 17, 2017, at 2:30 p.m., the Nevada Supreme Court will be holding a public hearing on the Petition. The court is accepting written comments regarding the proposed amendments. Comments must be submitted and received in hard-copy format (one original and eight copies) by 5:00 p.m. on July 5, 2017. Electronically-submitted comments will not be accepted. Comments should be mailed to Elizabeth A. Brown, Clerk of the Supreme Court, 201 South Carson Street, Carson City, NV, 89701.
Proposed Rule Changes In Nevada
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) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.
 Because use, possession, and distribution of marijuana in any form still violates federal law, attorneys are advised that engaging in such conduct may result in federal prosecution and trigger discipline proceedings under SCR 111.
Proposed Rule – ABA Model Rule 8.4(g)
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(g) 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. 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.
 Discrimination and harassment by lawyers in violation of paragraph (g) undermine confidence in the legal profession and the legal system. Such discrimination includes harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others. Harassment includes sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The substantive law of antidiscrimination and anti-harassment statutes and case law may guide application of paragraph (g).
 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. Lawyers may engage in conduct undertaken to promote diversity and inclusion without violating this Rule by, for example, implementing initiatives aimed at recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing diverse employees or sponsoring diverse law student organizations.
 A trial judge’s finding that peremptory challenges were exercised on a discriminatory basis does not alone establish a violation of paragraph (g). A lawyer does not violate paragraph (g) by limiting the scope or subject matter of the lawyer’s practice or by limiting the lawyer’s practice to members of underserved populations in accordance with these Rules and other law. A lawyer may charge and collect reasonable fees and expenses for a representation. Rule 1.5(a). Lawyers also should be mindful of their professional obligations under Rule 6.1 to provide legal services to those who are unable to pay, and their obligation under Rule 6.2 not to avoid appointments from a tribunal except for good cause. See Rule 6.2(a), (b) and (c). A lawyer’s representation of a client does not constitute an endorsement by the lawyer of the client’s views or activities. See Rule 1.2(b).