Resolution Authorizing the Philadelphia Bar Association to Take Necessary Steps to Prevent the Implementation of the Philadelphia Lobbying Ordinance
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association is the oldest bar association in the United States and is recognized as one of the largest and most respected metropolitan Bar Associations in the world, which for more than two centuries has promoted justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law; and
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has long been an advocate for its members and for the public interest; and
WHEREAS, Philadelphia City Council has passed a lobbying ordinance, Chapter 20-1200 of the Philadelphia Code (Bill No. 100127, approved June 16, 2010, effective July 1, 2011) (the "Lobbying Ordinance"); and
WHEREAS, on May 12, 2011, the Philadelphia Board of Ethics promulgated Draft Regulation No. 9 (the "Proposed Regulations") to implement the Lobbying Ordinance; and
WHEREAS, the Lobbying Ordinance defines lobbying so broadly that it includes many activities regularly conducted by lawyers when practicing law; and
WHEREAS, the Lobbying Ordinance, if applied to lawyers, would require many association members to register as lobbyists and/or principals, pay registration fees, complete detailed paperwork and face onerous penalties for failing to do so; and
WHEREAS, the provision of Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 1.19 relating to lawyers as lobbyists applies only to state level issuances, not ordinances enacted by Pennsylvania local governments; and
WHEREAS, the Proposed Regulations incorrectly interpret Rule 1.19 to include local ordinances, subjecting lawyers to disclosure of confidential information regarding clients doing business with the City of Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS, the Proposed Regulations' erroneous interpretation of Rule 1.19 places lawyers in danger of being in violation of Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.6 by attempting to comply with the Lobbying Ordinance; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of the Lobbying Ordinance and the Proposed Regulations will have a negative impact on lawyers and the practice of law in Philadelphia.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Governors authorizes the Chancellor, on behalf of the Philadelphia Bar Association, (1) to take such action as is necessary, including but not limited to legal action in courts of law, to prevent the implementation of the Lobbying Ordinance, as currently interpreted by the Proposed Regulations; and (2) to take such other actions as are necessary, in the judgment of the Chancellor, to protect the interests of Association members and the public with respect to implementation of the Lobbying Ordinance and the Proposed Regulations.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: June 30, 2011