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 for the Licensed Legal Paraprofessional Program. We also profile an amendment to Model Rule 1.16, and a new ABA Formal Ethics Opinion.  

Licensed Legal Paraprofessional Program
The Licensed Legal Paraprofessional Program is holding its first exam April 30, 2024.  At this point, the application is expected to be available in early October, with the earliest submission date of November 1, 2023.  The Community College of Denver is starting the first LLP ethics class in October 2023 as well.  For updates, continue to visit the OARC home page and scroll to the icons below “Latest News” for links to new information.
Amendment to Model Rule 1.16

In August, the American Bar Association (ABA) adopted Resolution 100 which serves to amend Model Rule 1.16 and the Comments to the Rule.
As explained in the Background to the Resolution, “the impetus for the Resolution related to lawyers’ unwitting involvement in money laundering and terrorist financing or their failure to pay appropriate attention to ‘red flags’ relating to the proposed course of action by a client or prospective client.”  The amendments address a lawyer’s obligations to inquire further and assess both before and during a representation the risk that the client will use or is persisting in using the lawyer’s services to commit or further a crime or fraud.
The amendments to Comment 2 provide a list of factors to be considered when assessing the risk posed, including: (i) the identity of the client, such as whether the client is a natural person or an entity and, if an entity, the beneficial owners of that entity, (ii) the lawyer’s experience and familiarity with the client, (iii) the nature of the requested legal services, (iv) the relevant jurisdictions involved in the representation (for example, whether a jurisdiction is considered at high risk for money laundering or terrorist financing), and (v) the  identities of those depositing into or receiving funds from the lawyer’s client trust  account, or any other accounts in which client funds are held.
Comment 2 also includes a list of resources for guidance assessing risk, including:

  • Financial Action Task Force Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach for Legal Professionals
  • ABA Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
  • A Lawyer’s Guide to Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering (a collaborative publication of the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe)
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct
  • U.S. Department of Treasury Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List 

The amendments to Model Rule 1.16 have not yet been adopted by any state.

ABA Ethics Opinion 508

In August 2023, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 508 The Ethics of Witness Preparation. The Opinion acknowledges that a lawyer’s competence and diligence obligations likely require witness preparation, which includes permissible conduct such as: reminding a witness they are under oath, emphasizing the importance of telling the truth, and suggesting appropriate attire and demeanor, among others. The Opinion explains, however, that witness preparation may violate the Rules if that preparation interferes with the integrity of the justice system or obstructs another party’s access to evidence. As the Opinion notes, advising a witness to give false testimony violates Model Rule 3.4(b)(the language of which is identical to Colorado’s Rule 3.4(b)).
Some types of witness coaching may also violate the Rules, including “programming a witness’s testimony, knowingly violating sequestration orders, and encouraging a witness to present fabricated testimony.” (P.5) The Opinion examines unethical conduct that attempts to manipulate “testimony-in-progress”, such as winking at the witness, kicking a deponent under the table, passing notes, and using suggestive objections. The Opinion also analyzes misconduct that occurs during witness testimony in remote proceedings, such as texting a witness, or surreptitiously communicating with the witness during the proceeding in an effort to manipulate the testimony. The Opinion concludes with a discussion of precautions to address such misconduct, including utilizing the court to put in place protocols for witness testimony to preemptively address potential unethical conduct.


Attorneys participating in criminal proceedings are now walking into courtrooms across the state, with online viewers tuning in.  Some viewers may have a personal interest in the case.  Others are simply watching because they can.  Are you ready?
HB23-1182  requires courts to provide live-stream viewing in criminal proceedings, unless certain criteria are met for an exception.  Chief Justice Directive 23-02  provides detailed guidance for live-streaming as well.  Notably, courts are allowed to provide remote access in matters other than criminal cases, again unless certain confidentiality or other considerations warrant a different decision. 
Live-streaming is different than the WebEx remote participation for parties and counsel that dominated the COVID-19 era for Colorado state courts.  Many courts have continued to have WebEx options for various proceedings to facilitate participation.  But in live-streaming, the parties and counsel often are in-person in court, and the entire world can watch. 
That's not all that can happen.  Microphones and cameras can pick up and broadcast casual conversations that might refer to personal or private information.  Judges and court staff are working to ensure that their systems do not intrude on confidential communications, but attorneys also can help avoid surprises through a few steps.

First, if you are scheduled for a particular courtroom, consider viewing another case in that courtroom online sometime in the preceding days so you can see where the cameras are pointed and what the microphones are broadcasting.
Second, prepare your client or any witnesses in advance by letting them know of the live-streaming.  There may be additional precautions they would like you to explore.
Third, for any conversation you would not want the world to hear, do not have that conversation in front of any microphone.
Live-streaming may start becoming the norm, and indeed, is now the norm in criminal proceedings.  Practical steps can help mitigate the unintended consequences.


Recently, our office has fielded complaints involving a lawyer’s email being hacked, with the hacker then intercepting a wire transfer the lawyer was set to receive from opposing counsel. The hacker provided wire instructions to the transmitting lawyer. The transmitting lawyer unwittingly complied with the hacker’s wire instructions, believing opposing counsel sent the instructions.
Email security is the first line of defense against these scams. Consider more frequent password changes and/or implementing multifactor authentication for work emails and network access.  Next important steps are careful review of email communications by both the transmitting and receiving lawyers with an eye towards anything suspicious, and follow-up with opposing counsel should either lawyer identify red flags in the communication. In some cases, the safest route is to avoid email communication and utilize phone, video or in-person communication to discuss these types of transactions.
Our office addressed this topic in our September Newsletter last year: When Things Seem “Off”: Are You About to be Scammed?” As we note there--diligence means double- and maybe even triple-checking.


Are you a lawyer interested in obtaining the skills and resources necessary to build an innovative and successful law practice targeting the middle market? Are you interested in making a positive impact on your community as a social entrepreneur? Do you value autonomy and wellbeing? If so, then Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice (“LEJ”) might be a good fit for you!
Ryann Peyton, the Executive Director of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program and Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice, is accepting applicants for the LEJ 2024 session. For more information, click here.


Attorney Registration

As we near the end of the year, our office is preparing to send out registration statements. Be sure our office has your current contact information. To update your information, you may notify the office in writing by sending a letter, or by using the change of address form. You may also contact us by email to report any changes.
The online registration system will be available at starting on December 1, 2023. Postcard reminders will be mailed the last week of November.  Please note that in the spring, the Colorado Supreme Court approved registration fee increases for the first time since 2014.  The 2024 registration fee schedule can be found here

Important CLE compliance reminder
All active Colorado attorneys under age 72 must earn 45 CLE credits.  The subcomponents of those 45 credits have changed, starting with compliance periods ending December 31, 2021.  Attorneys must have taken at least 7 professional responsibility (also known as ethics) credits, every three years by the end of the third year. The professional responsibility credits must include at least 2 credits in equity, diversity and inclusivity and at least 5 credits in legal ethics or legal professionalism.  Roughly one-third of active Colorado attorneys have a compliance deadline coming up by December 31, 2023.  Be sure to check here to confirm you have met or are on your way to meeting this requirement.  If you have not changed your log-in since the new CLE tracking system launched in June 2023, you will need to do that before checking your credits or entering new credits.  CLE credits completed by December 31, 2023 can be entered into the online system until January 31, 2024. 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.  

Oct. 3 Colorado Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals program, IAALS, Unlocking Legal Regulation: Best Practices for Building & Sustaining Regulatory Innovation, Denver (Jessica Yates)
Oct. 6 Ethics and Professionalism, CBA-CLE (Michele Melnick)
Oct. 9 Ethics and OARC, Mesa County Bar CLE Presentation, Grand Junction (Jessica Yates)
Oct. 12 Ethics Update on Trends and Rule Changes, Larimer County Annual Professional Seminar, Fort Collins (Jessica Yates)
Oct. 13 Ethics Update and Rule Changes, Plaintiffs' Attorneys in Workers Compensation Cases, Denver Tech Center (Jessica Yates)
Oct. 13 Trust Account School, Ralph Carr Building (Margaret Funk and Justin Moore)
Oct. 16 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Oct. 20 Workers’ Compensation Fall Update, CBA-CLE (Alan Obye and James Wilder)
Oct. 26 Ethical Concerns for New Lawyers, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, webinar (April McMurrey)
Oct. 30 Oath of Admission Ceremony-Boettcher Concert Hall (July 2023 Bar Exam)
Nov. 1 Application filing deadline for February 2024 Bar Exam
Nov. 14 and 15 Ethics Revue by the Law Club, CBA-CLE, Clock Tower, Denver (Jessica Yates)
Dec. 1 Late application filing deadline for February 2024 bar exam

Dec.  7  Ethics Update and Colo. RPC 3.8(d), Colorado Municipal League, Denver (Jessica Yates)
Dec. 8 Trust Account School, webinar (Margaret Funk and Justin Moore)

Dec. 18 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Copyright © 2023 Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court, All rights reserved.

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