Legal Ethics

Michael W. Robinson, Chair

The Committee received five LEO requests in FY 2016. Four of those were resolved by existing LEOs or Rules of Professional Conduct; one has been carried over into FY 2017.

The Committee issued three LEOs as final:

  • LEO 1880 –Obligations of a court-appointed attorney to advise his indigent client of the right of appeal following conviction upon a guilty plea; duty of court-appointed attorney to follow the indigent client’s instruction to appeal following a guilty plea when the attorney believes the appeal would be frivolous
  • LEO 1882 – Conflict between criminal clients when one client expresses a desire to testify against the other
  • LEO 1883 – Ethical obligations of a lawyer for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitioner in handling fixed fees advanced by the client

The Committee issued one LEO for review/approval by Council and SCV:

  • LEO 1884 – Conflicts arising from a lawyer-legislator’s employment with a consulting firm owned by a law firm; approved by Council June 2016; pending SCV review

Opinions pending consideration by the Committee include:

  • Duty to take action when a lawyer is suffering from impairment
  • Legal matchmaking/referral service

Rule revisions proposed by the Committee include:

  • Amendments to Rule 1.10  approved by SCV and effective July 31, 2015
  • Amendments to Rules 5.5 and 8.3 approved by SCV and effective February 1, 2016
  • Amendments to Rules 1.1 and 1.6 approved by SCV and effective March 1, 2016
  • Amendments to Rules 1.6 and 3.3 approved by Council June 2016; pending SCV review

Ethics hotline calls totaled 7580, for an average of 632 calls per month.

Updated: Aug 03, 2016