Monday, November 1, 2010

Out Law - NC Bar Association Incorporates Anti-Bias Language

Remember a few months ago the bit at the bottom of this about the NC Bar Association:

Bar None - American Bar Association Supports Marriage Equality


Well, good news! It happened this past Friday. It, of course, refers to the inclusion of LGBT folks in suggested anti-bais language that encourages proper conduct for lawyers. This is an update to the preamble to its Rules of Professional Conduct that urges lawyers not to discriminate in their practices "on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity." (Those last two are the significant ones.)

[Information below is from the News & Observer:]

"The regulatory body for North Carolina's lawyers has given final approval to language designed to discourage attorneys from having personal bias against representing gays and transgender people.

The N.C. State Bar Council voted 35-20 Friday in favor of changes to the preamble of their rules of professional conduct.

Some attorneys and interest groups were concerned because the proposal contained "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in a list of eight characteristics that shouldn't lead to biased conduct. They said that could prevent lawyers from declining to take cases on moral grounds.

Council member Mark Merritt says lawyers can still withdraw from cases if they think they are unable to defend clients vigorously."

Another small step for inclusion .... In the long run, they mark the path to fairness and justice and victory for everyone.

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