In this month’s What You Need to Know, we profile recent rule amendments, proposed rule amendments and two recent ethics opinions.
July 2020 Bar Exam
The Office of Attorney Admissions will hold the July 2020 Bar Exam on July 28 and July 29. We have taken numerous precautions to ensure the safety of the examinees and those administering the exam. For more information regarding the exam, locations and the testing protocols, click here.
Recent graduates who do not wish to sit for the July bar exam have been allowed to transfer their applications to the February 2021 bar exam and to apply for certification for supervised practice. The Court's rule on that option is here.
Proposed rule changes
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to rules governing the attorney regulation process and the unauthorized practice of law, and has requested public comments regarding the amendments. Written comments should be submitted to Cheryl Stevens, Clerk of the Supreme Court. Comments may be mailed or delivered to 2 East 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203 or emailed to email@example.com and received no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 15, 2020. For more information, click here and scroll past the year categories.
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to the contingent fee rule, which would move the substance of C.R.C.P. 23.3 Rules Governing Contingent Fees into Colo. RPC 1.5 Fees, among other changes. The Colorado Supreme Court will hold a public hearing regarding the amendments on September 22, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. in the Colorado Supreme Court Courtroom, 2 East 14th Avenue, Denver, Colorado. The deadline for written comments is September 3, 2020. For more information regarding the hearing and the submission of written comments, click here and scroll past the year categories.
ABA Formal Opinion 492
In June 2020, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 492 Obligations to Prospective Clients: Confidentiality, Conflicts and “Significantly Harmful” Information. The Opinion discusses a lawyer’s duties to prospective clients pursuant to Model Rule 1.18, including who qualifies as a prospective client, and the obligation to protect confidential information learned during a consultation with a prospective client, absent informed consent. The Opinion also examines other aspects of the Rule, including what “substantially related” and “significantly harmful” mean, and explains that the “significantly harmful” analysis is a fact-specific inquiry. ABA Formal Opinion 492
ABA Formal Opinion 493
In July 2020, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 493 Model Rule 8.4(g): Purpose, Scope, and Application. The Opinion discusses the 2016 amendment to Model Rule 8.4, including the Rule’s application to harassment, discrimination, and also, First Amendment considerations. Finally, the Opinion concludes with the application of Model Rule 8.4(g) to hypotheticals. As the Opinion notes, the rules in individual jurisdictions are controlling. Colorado’s version of Rule 8.4(g) differs from Model Rule 8.4(g) in multiple ways. While the Opinion explains that one of the objectives of Model Rule 8.4(g) is to prevent sexual harassment, Colorado has a separate rule—Colo. RPC 8.4(i) —that addresses sexual harassment. ABA Formal Opinion 493.