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St. Mary's University

Journal

Legal Profession

Model Rules of Professional Conduct

2020

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ethical Issues With Lawyers Openly Carrying Firearms, Dru Stevenson Jul 2020

Ethical Issues With Lawyers Openly Carrying Firearms, Dru Stevenson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Ethical concerns arise when lawyers openly carry firearms to adversarial meetings related to representation, such as depositions and settlement negotiations. Visible firearms introduce an element of intimidation, or at least the potential for misunderstandings and escalation of conflicts. The adverse effects of openly carried firearms can impact opposing parties, opposing counsel, the lawyer’s potential clients, witnesses, and even judges and jurors encountered outside the courtroom. The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct in their current form include provisions that could be applicable, such as rules against coercion and intimidation, but there is no explicit reference to firearms. Several reported incidents …