In this month’s What You Need to Know, we profile proposed rule and regulation amendments, and two recent ethics opinions.
Proposed rule changes
Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Rules and Regulations
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to the rules and regulations governing continuing legal and judicial education in Colorado. The Colorado Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on the proposed rules and regulations on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. via WebEx. Written comments on the proposed changes should be sent to Cheryl Stevens, Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, at 2 E. 14th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80203 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons wishing to speak at the hearing should notify Ms. Stevens by email email@example.com or by telephone 720-625-5150. All comments and speaking requests must be received no later than Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4 p.m. For more information regarding the proposed amendments, click here .
In summary, those amendments to the CLE rules and regulations include, in part, the following:
- Colorado attorneys will still be required to complete 45 credit hours of CLE in each three-year compliance period. The new amendment will require that at least seven credit hours be devoted to a broader category of professional responsibility, rather than the more narrow category of legal ethics.
- The broader category of professional responsibility would include legal ethics, legal professionalism, and equity, diversity and inclusivity (“EDI”).
- Starting with CLE compliance periods that end December 31, 2023, Colorado attorneys would need to complete at least two credit hours in EDI and at least five credit hours in legal ethics or legal professionalism.
- The regulations will define what content is needed for programs to be accredited in legal ethics, legal professionalism, and EDI.
- The regulations also expand the definition of law practice management programming to include technology and leadership relating to the practice of law.
Attorney regulation and unauthorized practice of law
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to procedural rules governing the attorney regulation process and the unauthorized practice of law. The Colorado Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on the proposed rules on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. via WebEx. Persons wishing to participate in the hearing should notify Ms. Stevens by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 720-625-5150, no later than Monday, February 1, 2021 at 4 p.m.
The comment period closed on September 15, 2020. For more information regarding the written comments and the proposed amendments, click here.
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to rules governing the admission process in Colorado. The Colorado Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on the proposed rules on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. via WebEx. Persons wishing to participate in the hearing should notify Ms. Stevens by email email@example.com or by telephone 720-625-5150, no later than Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 4 p.m. The public comment submission period is closed. The proposed rule changes were summarized in OARC’s November newsletter, which can be found here .
Recent changes to CLE forms and fees
The OARC CLE Office is updating a number of its online forms, so be sure to check its website for the most up-to-date forms. Also, the fee for filing a Form 1B Request for Individual Attorney Accreditation, which is required to obtain Colorado CLE credit for out-of-state live CLE courses for which the provider has not sought Colorado accreditation, has been increased from $5.00 to $10.00. The fee increase accounts for the transaction costs associated with processing such forms, as well as the vendor fees associated with the newly available online filing and payment system for these forms. The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel operates through collected fees rather than legislative appropriations. For more information, click here.
ABA Ethics Opinion 495
In December 2020, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 495 Lawyers Working Remotely. The Opinion examines the issue of a lawyer licensed in one jurisdiction and practicing that jurisdiction’s law from another jurisdiction, where the lawyer is physically located. The Opinion concludes that absent a local jurisdiction’s finding that the lawyer’s activity constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, a lawyer may practice the law authorized by the lawyer’s licensing jurisdiction for a client of that jurisdiction, while physically located in a jurisdiction where the lawyer is not licensed. The lawyer may not “hold out the lawyer’s presence or availability to perform legal services in the local jurisdiction or actually provide legal services for matters subject to the local jurisdiction, unless otherwise authorized.” ABA Formal Opinion 495. This topic was also addressed in OARC’s November newsletter.
ABA Ethics Opinion 496
In January 2021, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 496 Responding to Online Criticism. The Opinion analyzes a lawyer’s obligations regarding confidentiality and responding to online reviews pursuant to Model Rule 1.6. ABA Formal Opinion 496. The Opinion also discusses CBA Ethics Committee Opinion 136.