ABA gives Reagan school-tax win

The American Bar Association rejected a proposal that it should actively fight any legislation giving tax breaks to parents who send their children to private schools. In a victory for the Reagan administration, the ABA's policymaking House of Delegates defeated the resolution by a narrow 136-to-134 vote.

The ABA finally passed a model code of conduct Tuesday that was six years in the making, writes Monitor correspondent Curtis J. Sitomer. But the ABA action has no legal clout until adopted in some form by lawmakers in the 50 states. Containing 50 rules that cover all aspects of practicing law, the most controversial plank bans lawyers from disclosing fraudulent activities of their clients.

However, in a compromise to the partial satisfaction of those members who favored whistle-blowing by attorneys when they learned of clients' wrongdoing, the ABA board of delegates added comment to the code that would allow lawyers to inform prospective victims that they no longer represent clients suspected of unlawful activities.

In other action, the ABA refused to endorse legislation banning job discrimination against homosexuals. In a reversal of earlier action, the ABA voted to support an amendment to the federal Civil Rights Act that would ban discriminaton against women and minorities in private business clubs.

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