Professional Conduct Rules Table of Contents
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(d) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official;
(e) state or imply an ability to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law; or
(g) take any action, while acting as a lawyer in any context, if the lawyer knows or it is obvious that the action has the primary purpose to embarrass, harass or burden another person, including conduct motivated by animus against the other person based upon the other person’s race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity. This paragraph shall not limit the ability of the lawyer to accept, decline, or withdraw from representation consistent with other Rules of Professional Conduct, nor does it preclude a lawyer from engaging in conduct or speech or from maintaining associations that are constitutionally protected, including advocacy on matters of public policy, the exercise of religion, or a lawyer’s right to advocate for a client.
New Hampshire Supreme Court Comment
Subsection (g) is intended to govern the conduct of lawyers in any context in which they are acting as lawyers. The rule requires that the proscribed action be taken with the primary purpose of embarrassing, harassing or burdening another person, which includes an action motivated by animus against the other person based upon the other person’s race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity. The rule does not prohibit conduct that lacks this primary purpose, even if the conduct incidentally produces, or has the effect or impact of producing, the described result.
Ethics Committee Comment
Section (d) of the ABA Model Rule is deleted. A lawyer’s individual right of free speech and assembly should not be infringed by the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct when the lawyer is not representing a client. The deletion of section (d) was not intended to permit a lawyer, while representing a client, to disrupt a tribunal or prejudice the administration of justice, no matter how well intentioned nor how noble the purpose may be for the unruly behavior.
Model Rule section (e) is split into New Hampshire sections (d) and (e).
2004 ABA Model Rule Comment
RULE 8.4 MISCONDUCT
 Lawyers are subject to discipline when they violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so or do so through the acts of another, as when they request or instruct an agent to do so on the lawyer's behalf. Paragraph (a), however, does not prohibit a lawyer from advising a client concerning action the client is legally entitled to take.
 Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offenses carry no such implication. Traditionally, the distinction was drawn in terms of offenses involving "moral turpitude." That concept can be construed to include offenses concerning some matters of personal morality, such as adultery and comparable offenses, that have no specific connection to fitness for the practice of law. Although a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable only for offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice. Offenses involving violence, dishonesty, breach of trust, or serious interference with the administration of justice are in that category. A pattern of repeated offenses, even ones of minor significance when considered separately, can indicate indifference to legal obligation.
 A lawyer who, in the course of representing a client, knowingly manifests by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, violates paragraph (d) when such actions are prejudicial to the administration of justice. Legitimate advocacy respecting the foregoing factors does not violate paragraph (d). A trial judge's finding that peremptory challenges were exercised on a discriminatory basis does not alone establish a violation of this rule.
 A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law.
 Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer's abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, agent and officer, director or manager of a corporation or other organization.
Professional Conduct Rules Table of Contents