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Case Page: Greenberg v. Lehocky

by | May 23, 2024 | Case | 0 comments

This case challenges a rule adopted by the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board on the grounds that the rule, Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g), controls how attorneys who practice in Pennsylvania may speak on issues including sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. This new rule, which infringes on attorneys’ First Amendment rights to free speech, applies special nondiscriminatory protection to speech on such matters.

According to the rule, speech that violates it could be deemed harmful or discriminatory. This  impacts attorneys whose views on these matters differ from the mainstream viewpoint by limiting their ability to voice their own opinions freely. Violating the rule could result in disciplinary action against the attorneys. This threat would have a chilling effect on attorneys’ ability to voice differing views and defend clients whose viewpoints deviate from the mainstream worldview on gender identity and sexual orientation. For those clients whose faith plays an important role in their lives, the rule would harm their religious communities by making it more difficult for them to access quality legal representation that respects and defends their religious viewpoints.