Are lawyers’ ethics rules enforceable to condemn race and gender bias by lawyers as unprofessional conduct? While Maryland lawyers ostensibly are bound by a black-letter prohibition of discriminatory bias when engaged in a professional capacity, that rule is viewed by some as an infringement on free speech; others among judges and lawyers appear uncertain as to the scope of their responsibilities neither to engage in discriminatory conduct nor to tolerate such unprofessional conduct. Current articles report that sexism and racism still affect the quality and character of justice in Maryland. Ethics rules connect non-discrimination principles to the foundation of our justice systems: “a commitment to equal justice under the law lies at the very heart of the legal system” (Md. R. Attorneys Rule 19-308.4 cmt.4).
One hour of ethics credit will be offered to the surrounding MCLE states.