If you oppose illegal discrimination or harassment – including when it’s based on someone’s status as a military member or as a veteran – read this
Earlier this month, at its annual meeting the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates passed a resolution (#109) that amended Rule 8.4 of its Model Code of Professional Conduct to include as “professional misconduct” harassment or discrimination against a very wide range of persons except – inexplicably – those having military or veteran status. In doing so I think the ABA (of which I am an active member) undermines much of the really excellent work it has done on behalf of veterans and those still-serving, especially since 9/11.
Over on Just Security I have a post (“Why doesn’t the ABA consider discrimination or harassment based on military or veteran status to be an ethics violation?”) that details not only the bias and discrimination veterans and those still-serving may suffer in our society, but also the extensive familiarity the ABA has with precisely those issues. As I say in my essay, I am alternatively extremely disappointed and genuinely mystified by the omission of those who served and still serve in the new resolution.
I conclude my Just Security post with this:
It’s unfortunate that we as a society – or as a professional group – have to even identify specific groups when we are talking about a lawyer’s behavior related to discrimination and harassment. Aren’t all such acts of unlawful discrimination and harassment inherently bad? But if we’re drawing up a list, let’s not leave out the ones who fight and sacrifice to protect our way of life and its structure of laws and freedoms.
Anyway, the full essay is found here.