This article will examine whether the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”) should apply to lawyers in situations where a lawyer-candidate or a lawyer involved in a disingenuous political campaign activity, particularly when the lawyer was not convicted on criminal charges. Though the American Bar Association said that the Model Rules apply to dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by lawyers, even when acting in a non-professional capacity, the support for applying the Rules in this context is lacking.

This article will first briefly discuss the development of applying the Model Rules to the non-professional conduct, specifically as related to campaign activities. In part II, this article will discuss the arguments for applying the Model Rules to non-professional conduct of attorneys involved in campaigns that are not for judicial or legal office.