Contact: Rick DeBruhl
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State Bar Asks Court to Extend Comment Period on Client Representation

 State Bar Asks Court to Extend Comment Period on Client Representation

PHOENIX- July 22, 2011 -The State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors has voted to ask the Arizona Supreme Court to extend its comment period on the Bar's proposal dealing with lawyers who exhibit bias or prejudice while representing clients.

"While we're satisfied this proposal has been given proper consideration, we believe that it's in the best interest of the state to make sure all voices are heard when it comes to court rule changes," said State Bar President Joe Kanefield.

The change put forth by the State Bar would add language to rule 42, ER 8.4 stating that it is professional misconduct to "knowingly manifest bias or prejudice based upon race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or socioeconomic status in the course of representing a client when such actions are prejudicial to the administration of justice; provided, however, this does not preclude legitimate advocacy when such classification is an issue in the proceeding."

"It's important to point out that this language applies to clients who are already being represented by an attorney," said Kanefield. "It does not prevent an attorney from refusing to take on a client because of conflicting philosophical or religious beliefs."

The original comment deadline was May 20, 2011. The State Bar will request a 90 day extension. While the State Bar will make the formal request, the Arizona Supreme Court will decide whether the comment period should be extended.



About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 16,000 active attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.

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