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Courts Can Fine Lawyers For Calling Females “Honey”

Courts Can Fine Lawyers For Calling Females “Honey”

The rule applies in and outside of the courtroom.

The American Bar Association (ABA) has amended their ethics code that bans lawyers from using sexist remarks towards women after female lawyers have complained of others calling them “honey” or “darling.” The new rule says:

“It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination” on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and other factors, the new guidance reads. “Harassment includes sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical conduct.”

The rule applies outside the courtroom as well. It includes “interacting with witnesses, co-workers, court personnel, lawyers and others” and “managing a law practice or law firm” or “participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law.”

The House of Delegates adopted the new rule in San Francisco this week.

State bars and the District of Columbia already have similar rules, but not a “national rule until this week.” From The New York Times:

Myles V. Lynk, a law professor from Arizona who leads the association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which pushed for the change, said during the debate at the annual meeting that the American Bar Association needed “to catch up” with the states, which had already adopted such a prohibition.

“The states have not waited for the A.B.A. to act. They have been laboratories of change,” Mr. Lynk said. “It is time for the A.B.A. to catch up.”


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Let’s hope that Honey BooBoo never becomes a lawyer.

    Or any female with Honey, Darling, Sweets, Bebe, etc., or any derivation thereof, as a given or surname.

    Or, because the door should swing both ways, any male with Dick, Willie, Peter, John (or Johnson), Darling, Sweets, etc.

    Just imagine all the potential double-entendre in a conversation between male and female lawyers (or better yet, a lawyer and a judge), named Dick and Honey.

I don’t see anything in there about fines. Just the ABA pretending that it’s in the vanguard of, well, something.

    It’s like anything else the ABA foists a pronouncement on the lawyerly world: It will be poorly enforced by many, and horribly abused by some in order to mock, demean and otherwise tarnish the enemies of those who are in power.

    It won’t be the “conviction” by the State ethics boards, the damage will be done by the accusation leveled against the practicioner.

    Think the University sexual misconduct punishment system on steroids and limited to lawyers.

ABA website has some books for sale if one is interested. Have they become yet another arm of the dnc, never paid them much attention.

Ferguson’s Fault Lines: The Race Quake That Rocked a Nation

“This timely book addresses the deeply rooted perception of inequality and injustices experienced in Ferguson, Missouri, with a keen focus on the legal and social reverberations following the death of Michael Brown.”

Excerpt from Foreword by Paulette Brown, President of the American Bar Association, 2015-2016

“This book casts a spotlight on ground zero for the struggle for racial and social justice. Don’t miss it!” – Dr. Cornel West

I thought the ABA was another basketball league.

I wouldn’t hire a lawyer I knew behaved poorly towards other lawyers. If they’re going to treat their colleagues like that, just think of the ways they’ll mistreat their client.

But really, this may have been ‘cutting edge’ in 1973, but today?

    RickCaird in reply to markinct. | August 14, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Really, so you would hire your lawyer not because he is a pit bull, but because he is gentile and forward thinking. Somehow, I think even an SJW like you would change his mind when he needed a divorce lawyer although you might be planning to give the whole farm away without a fight. That would make you a true beta.

legacyrepublican | August 10, 2016 at 6:31 pm

Found this in the Des Moines Register the other day while researching my family history which is perfect timing for this thread …

19 Sept 1975, From the Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa

Lawyer make ‘Freudian slip’

With the jury excused for the day, attorneys in the murder trials of Marion Archer King and Billy Joe Armento were arguing legal points before District Judge Thomas Bown here late Wednesday afternoon.

At one point, William Kutmus, Armento’s defense attorney, apparently meaning to address Judge Bown said, “But honey,” instead of the usual “Your honor.”

Judge Bown smiled and then told the court reporter to erase the remark from the record and then added, “We’re off the record now, Bill (Kutmus). This is my week for girls.”

Kutmus apologized profusely, saying it was a long, tiring day, and something about “a Freudian slip.” In accepting Kutmus’ apology, Judge Bown smiled broadly again and said, “That’s all right, sweetie.”

The newsmen, spectators, defendants and attorneys present roared with laughter.

Can lawyers be fined for presuming gender?

They covered transgender/homosexual and transgender/crossover, but what of transgender/flux, transgender/choice, and perhaps other transgender orientations?

They better get the self-identified gender in writing, notarized by several witnesses.

Progress, honey… I mean, baby… I mean, unclassified clump of cells.

As Tom Swift points out, the story says nothing about fines.

The ABA can purport to fine me whatever it wants to. I am not a member and I have never agreed to be bound by its rules. When my State Bar imposes this on me, maybe I’ll obey, if the Bar can show me that it is discriminatory or constitutes harassment. Until then, Darlin’, I’ll keep my Southern charm!

The ABA uses the clause “lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination.” Calling a Southern belle “honey” or “darlin'” is not harassment or discrimination — it is simply chivalry. And if some guy thinks he is being discriminated against because I am not using such endearments to him, well, I guess I can be persuaded to throw in an occasional “darlin'” to him, iffen he wants.

    Valerie in reply to Geologist. | August 10, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    What they are objecting to is patronizing behavior in the courtroom as part of the scuffling between lawyers. They taught us how to handle that in law school in the late ’70s. I am surprised that it is even a thing.

    The individual State Bar associations will incorporate this into their individual ethical practice requirements on lawyer conduct.

    As I said above: It will be ignored by many and horribly abused by some to punish their enemies or those lawyers who won’t toe the line. The accusation and public shaming will be worse than the actual punishment (most of the time; I suppose they COULD disbar you).

filiusdextris | August 10, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Gender identity? sexual orientation? “other factors?” So the scope is unlimited, and even where explicitly defined, anti-science!? I’m not going to call a he a she even if asked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for trouble, but people can feel offended at anything, as this site abundantly chronicles. Pathetic excuse for a bar association.

They are confusing sex and gender. Sex is intrinsic. Gender is a behavioral bias closely correlated with biological sex. The homosexual, crossover, flux, choice, etc. orientations all fall under the transgender spectrum disorder.

I certainly hope they don’t implement this rule at the McDonald’s drive thru.

From the photo illustrating this article, I think there’s another word I’d choose. Starts with a B.

    legacyrepublican in reply to Demonized. | August 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    The expression on the face looks more like the cat who swallowed the canary. In this case, she does kinda resemble Sylvester.

Dang, they’d die of heart palpitations here in the South, darlin’. Bless yer pea pickin’ heart hun’.

so much for the 1st Amendment…

Isn’t a male lawyer acting like a jerk going to reap what he sows? Especially will all those female judges out there and females on juries and female lawyers? This seems more posing than anything else, because if some guy is so old he does this innocently it is going to be deemed harmless. But that is rare.

If he is just an old SOB doing it to be a jerk, he is going to get slammed in a number of different ways.

The ABA is as corrupted as any leftist organization pretending to broadcast ‘news.’

The ABA was probably in the control of crying boehnes prior to its corruption. Now wonder it was so easy to usurp.

Dr Strangelove | August 11, 2016 at 8:24 am

I guess that b!tch Is out too, then.

    Lawman_45 in reply to Dr Strangelove. | August 11, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    “Asshole” doesn’t appear to fall into any of the listed categories.

    Those senior partners at BigLaw firms, need to be able to educate associates and properly identify the opposing side in merger negotiations.

What a PC load of crap. Believe it or not, people have been pretty well-taking care of problems like this, themselves for decades. We do not need ABA or government intervention in this matter.

This is just plain BS. I’m married to an attorney. I can’t call her “honey” or “darling”? What am I supposed to do? Take inspiration from The Donald, my chosen presidential candidate, and say “hey douchebag”? She was invited to join the match pistol team at work. And her bedside pistol is a Beretta ARX 160 with back to back 30 round clips and laser sight. Always gotta watch my mouth. Modern women don’t want to take bullshit anymore than we do.

    OnTheLeftCoast in reply to faboutlaws. | August 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

    In the late 19th century, a Massachusetts physician was sanctioned, I think lost his license, for violating the state medical association’s canon of ethics by discussing a case with a “sectarian” physician – his wife. Bad press for the medical association ensued.

    No doubt the ABA will behave with more common sense.

Obviously none of the Delegates are real Southerners. These terms are used often in speech and seldom in a demeaning fashion. Once again the Northeastern Liberal Establishment is trying to run the World. There is a good side, I suppose, we will now be able to call female lawyers “Asshole” just like we do the males.

In 45 years of law practice, I have never voluntarily been a member of the ABA (a trade association first and foremost) except when an employer signed up everyone. I those cases, I resigned as soon as I learned of it. That is probably why I wound up as a law school Professor.

IMHO, the ABA is just another Leftist front for the Democrat Party. Most state associations too.

Matthew Carberry | August 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm

When asked for comment, a spokesman for the American Honkytonk Bar Association stated, “honey, darlin’, doll, sweetie, and baby remain acceptable terms of address in our organization. Yee-haw!”

So I suppose “sweet cakes” is out also? 🙂

Karen Sacandy | August 11, 2016 at 6:16 pm

The ABA proposes rules, but each state bar would have to adopt it.

The rule is far more reaching than any rule or statute I know of in any context in the United States of America at this time. Why? BECAUSE IT SAYS THAT AN ATTORNEY HAS NO FREEDOM IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS.

I’m appalled no one spoke against it.

As far as the freedom to discriminate in your work, as a sole practitioner, that is my right. However, my fellow citizens have removed this right from so many of my fellow Americans, I should have known the guillotine would fall on my group at some point.

Appalling. R.I.P. U.S.A.

    KirbySalad55 in reply to Karen Sacandy. | August 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Karen your post wasn’t up when I started composing mine so I didn’t see your post before writing mine. You get it.

    I join you in your surprise that no body else (except possibly Skinner) really gets what is going on with this rule. I waited a week, more or less, to see if anyone else would post about the real problems with this rule. So I put my post up below.

I think almost everyone has missed the real problem with this rule. It doesn’t have anything to do with calling opposing counsel Honey in a courtroom. The judge already has full authority to control how lawyers speak in their court, so this rule does nothing for that kind of thing.

Here are some samples of exactly where this rule is really intended to go:

1. Lawyer attends a CLE seminar with other lawyers. During coffee break in casual conversation with a lawyer friend he states that he believes marriage is properly defined as between one man and one woman. Another lawyer overhears this comment and promptly files a grievance against the first lawyer. Result first lawyer sanctioned/disbarred from practicing law for daring to express an unapproved thought.

2. Lawyer attends monthly bar association meeting and during coffee break happens to mention in casual conversation that he doesn’t believe such a thing as white privilege exists or even if it does exist it is in no way responsible for the differences in outcomes between individuals of different races. Minority lawyer happens to overhear these comments and feels discriminated against. Minority lawyer files a grievance and first lawyer is sanctioned/disbarred for having thoughts not approved by PC police.

3. Lawyer hears of christian baker who refused to make cake for gay wedding on religious grounds and was convicted by local human rights commission of violating the gay couple’s rights. Lawyer writes a post on LI attempting to argue that such conduct by the christian baker isn’t unlawful or in the alternative ought not to be unlawful. Another person on LI who doesn’t like that lawyer decides the best way to get that lawyer is to file a grievance against him for discriminating against gay people. Result is the lawyer is sanctioned/disbarred for having thoughts not approved by the PC police.

4. Lawyer publicly supports a political candidate for President who is known for wanting to build a wall on the southern border, who refers to illegal aliens as illegal aliens, who wants a temporary ban on Muslims entering this country from terrorist countries, and who thinks illegal aliens, especially illegal aliens who commit crimes against legal residents should be deported. A left wing advocacy group decides a great way to silence people who disagree with them is to file grievances against any lawyer stating support for this politician on the basis that the lawyer advocating for the discrimination against people based on their race, religion, and/or national origin. Result is the lawyer is sanctioned/disbarred for having thoughts not approved by the PC police.

This is where the new ABA ruling seeks to go. It has NOTHING to do with the easy little cases of one lawyer calling another lawyer “honey”. It is far more sinister and violative of due process and the bill of rights. If they can get away with doing this to lawyers, then no job or profession that requires any kind of government license as a key to entry to that job will be safe from having their thoughts and expressions fully regulated day and night. And I’m not talking about all professions. Any business owner that is required by some city or county ordinance to have a general business license before they can operate their business can and will get pulled into this labyrinth of censorship and thought control. Its just a matter of time. Not if it will happen, but just when will it happen.

By the way, there are 20 attorneys in CA with the last name Honey, and 47 Darlings. I can’t search by first name, but I remember one opposing counsel, a member of the L.A. County D.A.’s office, named Honey Bee — first and middle names, I think.

How do I address these people?