OARC Update

A bimonthly newsletter of the
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


In this month’s What You Need to Know, we provide an update following the public comment hearing for the Licensed Legal Paraprofessional Program. We also profile proposed amendments to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules, two new ABA Formal Ethics Opinions and two new CBA Formal Ethics Opinions.

Licensed Legal Paraprofessional Program

On November 16, 2022, the Colorado Supreme Court held a public hearing to receive feedback regarding the Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals proposal.  As discussed in our July newsletter, the implementation plan the Court is considering would permit paralegals and other paraprofessionals who meet licensing requirements to engage in a limited practice of law in the area of domestic relations.  To be licensed, these individuals would need to meet educational and experiential requirements, satisfy a character and fitness review, and pass family law and ethics exams. 

Proposed Changes to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to procedural rules governing the unauthorized practice of law by individuals who are not lawyers and who are not allowed to provide legal services normally provided by lawyers. The Court has set a public hearing to be held on December 14, 2022 at 3:30 p.m. All speaking requests for the hearing must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on December 5, 2022. 
The Court has also requested public comments by any interested person. Public comments may be submitted in letter format addressed as follows:  Colorado Supreme Court, 2 E. 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80202.  If the public comment is submitted by email, the Court asks that the submission be attached to the email as a separate document in Word or PDF format.  Public comments and speaking requests may be emailed to: The deadline for Comments is November 28, 2022 at 4 p.m.
More information regarding the public hearing and the proposed amendments can be found here.

ABA Ethics Opinion 502
In September 2022, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 502 Communication with a Represented Person by a Pro Se Lawyer. The Opinion discusses a specific application of Model Rule 4.2, which is identical to Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 and restricts communications by a lawyer who is “representing a client” with a person—such as the opposing party in litigation or a transaction—who the lawyer knows is represented by another lawyer. The Opinion concludes that Model Rule 4.2 applies to the pro se lawyer as that lawyer is self-represented and therefore, has a client for purposes of the Rule. Accordingly, the Opinion explains, the pro se lawyer is prohibited from directly communicating with the represented party unless the pro se lawyer has the consent of the represented party’s lawyer or is otherwise authorized by law or court order to communicate directly with the represented party. Two members of the Standing Committee dissented, noting that the plain language of the rule does not support such an interpretation, and recommending that the rule be amended to conform to the Opinion. CBA Ethics Opinion 133 Ethical Duties of a Lawyer Who is a Party to a Matter Speaking With a Represented Party reached the same conclusion regarding the application of Colo. RPC 4.2 to a pro se lawyer.

ABA Ethics Opinion 503
This month, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 503 “Reply All” in Electronic Communications, which addresses emails in which opposing lawyers may be communicating with each other while copying their own clients on the emails. This Opinion considers the ethical implications of a receiving lawyer using “reply all” on an email where the sending lawyer had copied the sending lawyer’s client. The Opinion explains that the originating lawyer who copied their client in the first instance impliedly authorized the receiving lawyer to communicate with the copied client regarding the specific topics of the email, and therefore, no violation of Model Rule 4.2 arises. The Opinion explains that the presumption of implied consent is not absolute, such as where a sending lawyer notifies the receiving lawyer that the sending lawyer does not consent to a reply all communication that includes the sending lawyer’s client. The Opinion also notes the potential dangers that may arise when a lawyer copies their client on an email to opposing counsel, including that the client might use “reply all” to email their own lawyer and inadvertently disclose otherwise confidential information to opposing counsel. The Opinion concludes the best practice is for a lawyer to separately forward the email with opposing counsel to the client, rather than to copy the client on the email to opposing counsel.  

CBA Formal Ethics Opinion 145
In November 2022, the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association issued Formal Opinion 145 Discrimination, Bias, and Sexual Harassment as Professional Misconduct. This Opinion examines Colo. RPCs 8.4(g) and 8.4(i) and analyzes the scope of each rule, the requisite mens rea and conduct that may violate each Rule. Colorado’s version of Rule 8.4(g) differs from Model Rule 8.4(g). The Model Rule was discussed and analyzed in ABA Ethics Opinion 493. The ABA Opinion analyzed five hypotheticals and discussed whether the conduct would violate Model Rule 8.4(g). The new Colorado Opinion analyzes the same hypotheticals considered in ABA Opinion 493, and includes an additional hypothetical, and discusses whether the hypothetical conduct would violate Colorado’s version of Rule 8.4(g) and/or Rule 8.4(i).

CBA Formal Ethics Opinion 146
In November 2022, the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association issued Formal Opinion 146 A Lawyer’s Duty to Maintain an Appropriate Workload. This Opinion discusses a lawyer’s professional obligations to manage the lawyer’s workload, as well as the obligations of a lawyer acting in a supervisory capacity to manage and assess workload for subordinate lawyers and non-lawyer staff. At the outset the Opinion notes that it does not set forth “any bright-line rules,” but rather, it seeks to discuss ethical considerations for workload management for public defenders, prosecutors, legal aid lawyers and private practitioners. The Opinion discusses the application of Colo. RPCs 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.7(a)(2), 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 in relation to workload management. 


Ryann Peyton, the Executive Director of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, discusses the upcoming Colorado Supreme Court Well-Being Recognition Program. The program, which will launch in 2023 and is administered by CAMP, will recognize legal employers who demonstrate a commitment to promoting or improving the well-being of lawyers. 


Elizabeth Lembo, the Clinical Coordinator at the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program, discusses the dangers of professional isolation and how to combat it.


Attorney Registration
Our office is preparing to send out annual registration statements. The online registration system will be available at starting on December 1, 2022. Postcard reminders will be mailed the last week of November.
Inactive attorneys 65 and older, please note that during the 2023 registration period your bar card will only be provided upon request. If you are an inactive attorney, age 65 and older and wish to receive a bar card, please email the Office of Attorney Registration at to request your bar card for 2023. If you have already sent an email requesting a bar card, nothing further is required. Please do not send more than one email request. 
Important CLE compliance reminder
All active Colorado attorneys under age 72 must earn 45 credits, including 7 professional responsibility (also known as ethics) credits, every three years by the end of the third year.  That means roughly one-third of active Colorado attorneys have a compliance deadline coming up in less than two months -- by December 31, 2022.  That is quickly approaching!  Be sure to check here to confirm you have met or are on your way to meeting this requirement.  CLE credits completed by December 31, 2022 can be entered into the online system until January 31, 2023. Programs that already have been accredited can be found here. As noted above, OARC also offers a free on-line self-assessment that qualifies for CLE credit, which can be accessed here.  

Nov. 28 Annual Seminar on Ethics and Professionalism for Government Counsel CLE event, live at the Ralph Carr Building, Jessica Yates
Dec. 1 Late application filing deadline for February 2023 bar exam
Dec. 2 The Annual Advanced Family Law Conference, Ethics in the World of Zoom, CBA-CLE, Jessica Yates
Dec. 7 New Judge Orientation - Working with Attorneys Session, live at the Ralph Carr Building, Jessica Yates
Dec. 7 Ethical Issues for Elder Law Lawyers: Tackling the Tough Topics, CBA-CLE, April McMurrey
Dec. 9 Trust Account School, OARC webinar

Dec. 12 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar

Dec. 14 Some Considerations in Using Trust and Operating Accounts, AILA- Colorado Chapter, webinar (Margaret Funk and Justin P. Moore)

Dec. 28 I Didn’t Know That! Little Known Facts and Common Misperceptions about Ethics, ABA webinar, April McMurrey with Alec Rothrock, moderated by William Hauptman
Jan. 5 Trust Accounting & Rules of Professional Conduct, Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice cohort, webinar (Justin P. Moore)

Jan. 9 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Jan. 19 Rule 3.8 Training, Denver District Attorney’s Office, live at the Wellington Webb Building, Jessica Yates
Copyright © 2022 Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court, All rights reserved.

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