Category: -Rules of Professional Conduct

Supreme Court Regulatory Reform Proposal-Comment Period Closes July 23, 2020

The Utah Supreme Court requests comments on its regulatory reform efforts. The comment period is open for 90 days, ending on July 23, 2020. Please see https://sandbox.utcourts.gov/ and the press release for more information.

Supreme Court Standing Order

Standing Order 15: This order would establish a pilot legal regulatory sandbox and an Office of Legal Services Innovation to assist the Utah Supreme Court with respect to overseeing and regulating the practice of law by nontraditional legal service providers or by traditional providers offering nontraditional legal services.

Rules of Professional Conduct

Rules Governing the Professional Independence of Lawyer: The Supreme Court proposes repealing current Rule 5.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and replacing it with Rules 5.4A and 5.4B.

  • Rule 5.4A: This rule would govern lawyers delivering legal services in the traditional and conventional model. New Rule 5.4A(a) outlines the foremost duties of a lawyer – the duty of independence of judgment, duty of loyalty to the client, and duty of confidentiality – applicable to the rest of the Rule. The preeminence of these professional core values is further explained in new Comments [1] and [2] as they pertain to sharing fees with nonlawyers, with lawyers in a separate firm, and accepting referrals and payments from parties other than the client. In order to loosen the restriction on fee sharing, Rule 5.4A(b) allows a lawyer to share legal fees with a nonlawyer as long as written notice is given at the outset of the representation or before sharing fees from an existing client.
  • Rule 1.5: Paragraph (e) of this rule would be eliminated to allow dividing fees among lawyers who are not in the same firm.
  • Rule 5.4B: This rule would be applicable to lawyers participating in the pilot legal regulatory sandbox. Like proposed Rule 5.4A, the core professional values for lawyers underlying this proposed rule are stated at the outset under subsection (a). Comments [1] and [2] reiterate and clarify the importance of the underlying core values and duties of a lawyer, notwithstanding the novel arrangement with nonlawyers. Proposed Rule 5.4B(b) allows a lawyer to practice law in an organization that is managed or owned, in whole or in part, by nonlawyers, as long as (i) the client is given written notice that nonlawyers have a financial interest in the organization or nonlawyers have managerial authority over the lawyer, and (ii) the client receives in writing the financial or managerial structure of the organization.

Lawyer Advertising Rules: The Supreme Court proposes significantly simplifying the lawyer advertising rules in the Rules of Professional Conduct. Under this proposal, current Rules 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5 would be repealed and replaced with new Rule 7.1. Notably, this proposal would eliminate the prohibition against in-person solicitation found in current Rule 7.3.

  • Rule 7.1: Would prohibit (i) making false and misleading claims about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services, and (ii) interacting in a way that involves coercion, duress, or harassment.

Drafts for Review

Standing Order 15 (conceptualizing the pilot legal regulatory sandbox and Office of Legal Services Innovation)

Redline Rules 5.4A and 5.4B (showing the changes from current Rule 5.4)

Redline Rule 1.5 (showing the elimination of paragraph (e))

Clean Rules 5.4A and 5.4B (showing the traditional legal services delivery model and the model contemplated in the pilot legal regulatory sandbox)

Redline Rules 7.1 through 7.5 (showing the process of simplifying the lawyer advertising rules)

Clean Rules 7.1 through 7.5 (showing simplified Rule 7.1 and the reservation of Rules 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5)

 

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Rules of Professional Conduct – Comment Period Closed May 5, 2019

RPC.0804. Misconduct. Amend. Provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is an unlawful, discriminatory, or retaliatory employment practice under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Utah Antidiscrimination Act. “Employer” means any person or entity that employs one or more persons. The amendments also provide that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to egregiously violate, or engage in a pattern of repeated violations, of the Standards of Professionalism and Civility if such violations harm the lawyer’s client or another lawyer’s client or are prejudicial to the administration of justice.

This rule coordinates with Utah State Bar Rule 14-301, Standards of Professionalism and Civility.

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Rules of Professional Conduct – Comment Period Closed January 27, 2019

Following the recent enactment of rules authorizing licensed paralegal practitioners, the Rules of Professional Conduct have been amended to address interactions between lawyers and licensed legal practitioners. “Legal professional” is now the umbrella term for lawyers and licensed paralegal practitioners.

RPC01.00. Terminology.

RPC01.07. Conflict of Interest: Current Clients.

RPC01.10. Imputation of Conflicts of Interest: General Rule.

RPC01.11. Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Employees.

RPC01.12. Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral.

RPC01.18. Duties to Prospective Client.

RPC02.04. Lawyer Serving as Third-Party Neutral.

RPC03.03. Candor toward the Tribunal.

RPC03.05. Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal.

RPC04.02. Communication with Persons Represented by Counsel.

RPC05.01. Responsibilities of Partners, Managers, and Supervisory Lawyers.

RPC08.03. Reporting Professional Misconduct.

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Rules of Professional Conduct – Comment Period Closed July 28, 2017

RPC 08.04 Misconduct. Amend. Adds new ABA Model Rule paragraph (g), which provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.

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Rules of Professional Conduct

RPC 08.04. Misconduct. Amend. The added comment puts attorneys on notice that an egregious violation or a pattern of repeated violations of the Standards of Professionalism and Civility can result in a violation of this rule.

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Rules of Professional Conduct

RPC 07.01. Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services. Amend. In light of comments received regarding the originally proposed rules, the Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Utah State Bar prepared amended rules. These rules provide additional guidance to lawyers as to which communications are false or misleading in order to protect the public. Submission of advertising to the Bar as mandated under the earlier proposed rules is no longer required.
RPC 07.02. Advertising. Amend. In light of comments received regarding the originally proposed rules, the Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Utah State Bar prepared amended rules. These rules provide additional guidance to lawyers as to which communications are false or misleading in order to protect the public. Submission of advertising to the Bar as mandated under the earlier proposed rules is no longer required.
RPC 07.03. Solicitation of Clients. Amend. In light of comments received regarding the originally proposed rules, the Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Utah State Bar prepared amended rules. These rules provide additional guidance to lawyers as to which communications are false or misleading in order to protect the public. Submission of advertising to the Bar as mandated under the earlier proposed rules is no longer required.

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Rules of Professional Conduct

RPC 01.00. Terminology. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 01.01. Competence. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 01.04. Communication. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 01.06. Confidentiality of Information. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 01.17. Sale of Law Practice. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 01.18. Duties to Prospective Client. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 04.04. Respect for Rights of Third Persons. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 05.03. Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants. Amend. Changes the name of the rule. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 05.05. Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
RPC 08.05. Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law. Amend. Incorporates provisions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Rules of Professional Conduct

Petition to Revise Utah Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyer Advertising Rules. Revises the rules to more thoroughly address problems with misleading and inaccurate lawyer advertising, both potential and existing, in order to better protect the public. The changes are designed to help lawyers comply with the new rules, as they are more specific than current requirements. The basic components of the proposed rules provide fuller definitions of what constitutes false and misleading legal service communications. The proposed rules would tie compliance requirements to the Bar’s annual licensing renewal form. The new rules would require the lawyers to annually submit any Uniform Resource Locator (URL) they use in advertising and to submit such advertising as mass mailings. There is no requirement for prior review of any advertising.
RPC 07.01. Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services. Amend.
RPC 07.02. Advertising. Amend.
RPC 07.02A. Filing Requirements for Public Advertisements and Written, Recorded, Electronic, or Other Digital Solicitations. New.
RPC 07.02B. Advertising Review Committee; Pre-dissemination Review. New.
Exhibit 7. Western States Bar Conference Information.
Exhibit 8. Harrell v. The Florida Bar.
Exhibit 9. Research Memorandum.
Appendix A. ABA Model Rule 7.1.
Appendix B. ABA Model Rule 7.2.
Appendix C. Differences between State Advertising and Solicitation Rules and ABA Rules of Professional Conduct.
Appendix D. Florida Rules.
Appendix E. Nevada Rules.
Appendix F. Texas Rules.
Appendix G. Washington Rules.

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