Legal ethics

Meta: Two updates on topics from prior posts

A couple of timely updates, both involving California events.

I’ve quite recently written about the ethical issues associated with the trend toward de-criminalization if not outright legalization of marijuana here.  As yet further proof about the rapid developments in this area, the San Francisco Bar Association put out an ethics opinion earlier this month making clear that a lawyer can ethically represent a marijuana dispensary business even though the business may be operating in violation of federal law.

Also, in California news, an update about both the status of whether there will be any disciplinary action against the California lawyer who started a ballot initiative calling for murder based on sexual orientation and whether that initiative will actually appear on the ballot in California.  My thinking (explained here) was that, even balancing First Amendment rights, the lawyer’s conduct might still be subject to discipline under the rules addressing conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.  The answers in terms of updates are that California decided it could not pursue discipline against him for conduct in his personal capacity and that a judge has now ruled that the ballot measure is “patently unconstitutional” and will not let it appear on the ballot.