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Amicus Briefs

Greenberg v. Lehocky

NCLA filed amicus curiae briefs in opposition to a rule creating an unconstitutional speech code for lawyers. Pennsylvania’s Rule 8.4(g) exposes attorneys to discipline—including sanctions that deprive lawyers of the ability to earn a livelihood—if, while in the practice of law, they knowingly communicate in a manner “constituting harassment or discrimination.” Both the Supreme Court and the Third Circuit have repeatedly stated that speech restrictions that discriminate on the basis of content or viewpoint expressed are constitutionally impermissible.

Pennsylvania has a long history of regulating both the conduct and speech of attorneys, where necessary, to maintain the integrity of the judicial system. Before Pennsylvania adopted Rule 8.4(g) of the Rules of Professional Conduct in 2020, it did not engage in viewpoint discrimination when regulating attorney speech. As the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania readily concedes, Rule 8.4(g) imposes viewpoint-based restrictions on speech: it prohibits speech that expresses disparaging views of another on the basis of any of eleven listed characteristics but permits laudatory comments on the same subjects.

In April 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari in Greenberg v. Lehocky.

Mark Chenoweth
President and Chief Legal Officer
Margaret A. Little
Senior Litigation Counsel
NCLA FILINGS

Brief of the New Civil Liberties Alliance as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner

March 1, 2024 | Read More

Order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Denying Rehearing en Banc

October 3, 2023 | Read More

Brief of The New Civil Liberties Alliance as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellee’s Petition for Panel Rehearing or Rehearing en Banc

September 19, 2023 | Read More

Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

August 29, 2023 | Read More

Amicus Curiae Brief of New Civil Liberties Alliance In Support of Appellee, Urging Affirmance

October 27, 2022 | Read More

PRESS RELEASES

NCLA Advises Supreme Court to Hear Case Against PA Ethics Rule’s Viewpoint-Based Discrimination

March 4, 2024 | Read More

NCLA Encourages en Banc Third Circuit to End Viewpoint-Based Discrimination in Penn. Ethics Rule

September 19, 2023 | Read More

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