JULY 2020

OARC Update

A bimonthly newsletter of the
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel



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 cheryl.stevens@judicial.state.co.us 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.


Pro Bono Services: Identifying Opportunities

In 2019, we encouraged lawyers to think about how even one hour of pro bono work a month could make a difference. To make volunteering as easy as possible, our office launched the Pro Bono Legal Clinics page of our website, with information and resources for pro bono work, specifically legal clinics.
In February 2020, the Colorado Succession to Service Program was created. Succession to Service is the first program of its kind in Colorado aimed at connecting experienced lawyers with pro bono opportunities through nonprofit organizations, courts and other public service entities. This is a collaborative project between the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP), the Colorado Bar Association (CBA), the Denver Bar Association (DBA), Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) and the Colorado Access to Justice Commission.
Also this past spring, in April 2020, the American Bar Association, in conjunction with Paladin, a justice tech company specializing in pro bono software, created the ABA Disaster Relief Pro Bono Portal. The website is free to all attorneys and profiles pro bono opportunities specific to recent disasters.

As lawyers, we’re uniquely placed to help during these challenging times. Thank you for answering this call to action!



OARC’s Annual Report was issued in May of this year. To learn more about each division of the office, our annual statistics, and the results of the demographic survey, click here .


July 20 You’re Not Paranoid; They Really Are Out to Get You, AILA National Conference webinar (Bryon Large)

July 28-29 July 2020 Bar Exam

July 30 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar

Aug. 10 Trust Account Refresher, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association webinar (Bryon Large)

Aug. 20  It’s Just Lunch: The Importance of Relationship Building Among the Family Law Bar, CBA-CLE Family Law Institute webinar (Jane Cox)

Aug. 28 The Ethical Requirements of Technology in the Practice, CBA-CLE webinar (Bryon Large)

Aug. 31 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar


Sept. 1 Application filing period opens for February 2021 bar exam

Sept. 17 Ethics and Pro Bono Representation, Faculty of Federal Advocates POWER Act Presentation webinar (E. James Wilder)

Sept. 21 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar

Copyright © 2020 Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court, All rights reserved.

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