rules of professional conduct
By now, Michael Avenatti is a household name. He shot to fame in 2018 while relentlessly representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her pursuit of the invalidation of a 2016 non-disclosure agreement regarding an alleged affair with President Donald Trump. Avenatti is famously brash and confrontational, and since his rapid rise to fame, numerous allegations of professional misconduct have come to the public’s attention. While he has avoided formal discipline thus far, it seems like only a matter of time until Avenatti faces some consequences for his actions.
Arizona and Idaho are the most recent in a long line of states declining to adopt the American Bar Association’s (ABA) new Model Rule 8.4(g), which is being called the “anti-discrimination” rule. This rule was adopted by the ABA to specifically address harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, sex, disability, and LGBTQ status in all conduct related to the practice of law. However, because of the broad construction and application of the rule, many states and attorneys have concerns that compliance with this anti-discrimination rule will infringe on their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion.