The Florida Bar is seeking discipline against a lawyer for a “social media blitz” against opposing counsel. The ABA Journal has the story:
Helpfully included is the actual petition filed by the Florida Bar seeking an emergency suspension. The petition is bottomed on Florida specific rules, including their very specific Rule 4-8.4:
A lawyer shall not (d)engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage, humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis, including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, employment, or physical characteristic.
While California has adopted to more vanilla version of Rule 8.4(d) that refers only to conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, it is not inconceivable that our new rule might give discipline prosecutors a vehicle to reach similar certain types of conduct that up to now have seemed beyond reach of the California discipline system since the demise of the “offensive personality” statute in 1997 after it was found unconstitutional vague in United States v. Wunsch.
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