Standing Committee on Legal Ethics

Michael W. Robinson, Chair

The Committee received five LEO requests in FY 2015. Four of those were resolved by existing LEOs or Rules of Professional Conduct; one has been carried over into FY 2016.

The Committee issued three LEOs as final:

  • LEO 1874 – Limited Scope Representation – Reviewing Pleadings for Pro Se Litigants – Substantial Assistance and “Ghostwriting”
  • LEO 1876 – Ethical obligations of a prosecutor who plea bargains with an unrepresented defendant whom the prosecutor has been informed is a noncitizen subject to deportation under immigration law upon conviction of the offense which is the subject of the plea offer
  • LEO 1879 – Application of Rules 3.1 and 3.8 to an administrative prosecutor in a non-criminal proceeding

Opinions released for public comment and/or pending consideration by the Committee include:

  • LEO 1880 – Duty to file an Anders brief following an indigent client’s guilty plea
  • LEO 1882 – Conflict between clients when one client expresses a desire to testify against the other
  • LEO 1883 – Ethical obligations of a lawyer for a “no-asset” Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitioner in handling fixed fees advanced by the client
  • Duty to disclose a former client’s intent to commit perjury
  • Conflicts arising from a lawyer-legislator’s employment with a lobbying/consulting firm

Rule revisions considered by the Committee include:

  • Rule 5.8 Procedures for Notification to Clients when a Lawyer Leaves a Law Firm or When a Law Firm Dissolves – approved by SCV; effective May 1, 2015
  • Amendments to Rules 1.1, 1.6, 1.10, 5.5, and 8.3 pending with SCV

Ethics hotline calls through June 25, 2015 totaled 7719, for an average of 643 calls per month. 

Updated: Jul 06, 2015