RPC01.02. Scope of representation and allocation of authority between client and lawyer. Licensed paralegal practitioner notice to be displayed. AMEND. Clarifies the circumstances under which a lawyer may advise or assist a client with respect to Utah’s cannabis laws.
RPC07.01. Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services. AMEND. Rule 7.1 was recently circulated for comment in response to a petition to the Supreme Court. That petition expressed concern about the direct solicitation of potential clients soon after traumatic events. The petition proposed returning to the Rules of Professional Conduct a ban on direct solicitation. Such a ban previously appeared in Rule 7.3 and still appears in the ABA Model Rule. The Utah Supreme Court eliminated the ban on direct solicitation in 2020. The proposed amendments that were drafted in response to the petition generated a large number of comments in opposition. Using Fla. Bar v. Went For It, Inc., 515 U.S. 618, 620–21 (1995) as a guide, the rule was redrafted to more narrowly address the petition’s concerns. That rule proposal is now the subject of this comment period.
RPC08.04. Misconduct. AMEND. Rule 8.4 circulated for comment last year. The proposal attempted to codify in a new paragraph (2) Ethics Advisory Opinion 02-05, which concluded that 8.4(1)(c) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation) does not apply to government attorneys overseeing an otherwise legal undercover criminal investigation. The proposal as written received a number of comments in opposition. A new proposal, which is now the subject of this comment period, provides that while it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, a lawyer may participate in lawful investigatory activities employing deception for the purpose of detecting ongoing violations of law. Those lawful investigatory activities include governmental “sting” operations; use of testers in fair-housing cases to determine whether landlords or real estate agents discriminate against protected classes of applicants; and gathering evidence of copyright violations.
Supreme Court Order
RPP11-0101. Creation and Composition of Supreme Court Committees. (AMENDED). This amendment allows the Supreme Court to appointment new members to committees for terms of less than three years where appropriate for the needs of the committee.
Supreme Court Order
AMEND. Adds comment , which states, “Lawyers should be aware that their mental, emotional, and physical well-being may impact their ability to represent clients and, as such, is an important aspect of maintaining competence to practice law and compliance with the standards of professionalism and civility. Resources supporting lawyer well-being are available through the Utah State Bar.”
The ABA has proposed—but not yet adopted—a comment to Rule 1.1 that contains permissive language tying lawyer well-being to competence (See Advisory Committee materials here
). The above comment is Utah’s version of the ABA proposal.
The ABA and jurisdictions throughout the country have grappled with the question of how to de-stigmatize the topic of mental health in the legal profession. Utah has taken the bold step of making well-being resources, such as Unmind
and Tava Health
, readily available through the Utah State Bar
Comment 9 to Rule 1.1 takes this a step further by explaining the nexus between well-being and lawyer competence. The addition is not meant to be punitive or impose additional requirements or burdens on lawyers. Rather, it is intended to be educational and to point lawyers to the importance of prioritizing their well-being.
RPC08.03. Reporting Professional Misconduct. Amend. Clarifies that a lawyer or judge participating in a Utah State Bar-sponsored fee dispute resolution program is not required to disclose information gained in that program to the Office of Professional Conduct.
Supreme Court Order for RPC 8.3
USB14-01111. Exemption from future testimony and confidentiality of records and information. Amend. Clarifies when the Bar may disclose confidential information and what information it may disclose in the context of its fee dispute resolution program. A post-comment period amendment further clarifies that disclosure to law enforcement is permitted to the extent disclosure is necessary to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm. Also clarifies that a Fee Dispute Resolution Committee member who participates in a fee dispute arbitration may not be called as a witness in any subsequent legal proceeding related to the fee dispute.
USB14-01116. Conduct of the mediation. Amend. Permits the fee dispute mediator to serve notice of the mediation by email on the mediating parties.
Supreme Court Order for USB 14-1111 and 14-1116
The following amendments clarify the ethical practice of non-Utah lawyers practicing law remotely while living in Utah.
RPC05.05. Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law. Amend. Clarifies that a non-Utah lawyer who is living in Utah may provide legal services remotely to clients in a jurisdiction where the lawyer is admitted. The lawyer must not establish a public-facing office nor hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.
RPC01.00. Terminology. Amend. Defines a public-facing office as an office that is open to the public and provides a service that is available to the population in that location.
Supreme Court Order
Changes merge the attorney Rules of Professional Conduct and the LPP Rules of Professional Conduct into one set of rules. Currently, there are two nearly identical sets of Rules of Professional Conduct for each type of licensee. One set of rules is more efficient and makes changes and updates to the rules simpler and more uniform.
Preamble: A Lawyer’s Responsibilities.
RPC01.02. Scope of representation and allocation of authority between client and lawyer. Licensed paralegal practitioner notice to be displayed.
RPC04.02. Communication for Persons Represented by Legal Professionals.
RPC06.01. Voluntary Pro Bono Legal Service.
Supreme Court Order
RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
RPC05.07. Responsibilities Regarding Law-Related Services. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT. Brings the rule in line with recent advertising rule amendments by amending Comment . Effective February 5, 2021.
Supreme Court Order for RPC 5.7
RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
URCP065C. Post-conviction relief. AMEND. Addresses service of post-conviction petitions and the underlying court record. Effective May 1, 2021.
Supreme Court Order for URCP 65C
Rules of Civil Procedure
URCP083. AMEND. The proposed amendments would bring represented parties into the rule’s purview. They would also permit any court to rely on another court’s vexatious litigant findings and order their own restrictions. Paragraph (e)(1) was updated to fix a grammatical error.
Rules Governing Constitutional Challenges
The following amendments to Civil Rule 24,Criminal Rule 12, and Appellate Rule 25A are intended to better coordinate the provisions addressing constitutional challenges. The amendments do the following:
- Address service on the Attorney General and other governmental entities;
- Broaden the kinds of challenges that may arise;
- Clarify that it is the governmental entity that responds, not the county or municipal attorney (which can be a contracted position in certain jurisdictions);
- Eliminate outdated language in Civil Rule 24 in favor of the updated federal language;
- Clarify in each rule the process and timing for the Attorney General or other governmental entity to respond to a constitutional challenge; and
- Eliminate the requirement in Appellate Rule 25A that the Attorney General state the reasons for declining to file an amicus brief.
URCP024 – Redline and URCP024 – Clean
URCrP012 – Redline
URAP025A – Redline
Rules of Professional Conduct
RPC05.04. Professional Independence of a Lawyer. AMEND. Adds a clarifying comment to the rule.
Supreme Court Order for Civil Rules 83 and 24
Supreme Court Order for Criminal Rule 12
Supreme Court Order for Appellate Rule 25A
Supreme Court Order for Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 5.4
RPC06.05. Short-term Limited Legal Services. AMEND. Broadens the term “short-term legal services” to include one-time consultations and representations through government- and law school-sponsored programs. Further provides that other lawyers in a firm are not disqualified from representing clients whose interests are adverse to a client who received short-term limited legal services from a lawyer in the firm if (1) the lawyer who provided the services is timely screened from the adverse clients’ matters, and (2) receives no fees from those matters.
Supreme Court Order
The final rule changes reflect the recommended reforms to lawyer discipline and disability proceedings and sanctions contained in the American Bar Association/Office of Professional Conduct Committee’s Summary of Recommendations
Adoption of Chapter 11 article 5 rules:
CJA11-0501. Lawyer disciplinary and disability proceedings: purpose, authority, scope, and structure.
CJA11-0503. Oversight Committee for the Office of Professional Conduct.
CJA11-0505. Statute of limitations.
Ethics and Discipline Committee
Office of Professional Conduct composition and responsibilities
Prosecution and appeals
CJA11-0530. Unprofessional conduct Complaints.
CJA11-0531. Proceedings before Committee and screening panels.
CJA11-0532. Exceptions to screening panel determinations and recommendations.
CJA11-0533. General procedures.
CJA11-0534. Final Committee disposition.
CJA11-0535. Appealing a final Committee determination to the Supreme Court.
CJA11-0536. Actions in district court.
CJA11-0537. Failure to answer charges.
CJA11-0538. Appointment of trustee to protect clients’ interest when Lawyer disappears, dies, is suspended or delicensed, or is transferred to disability status.
CJA11-0540. Immunity from civil suits.
CJA11-0542. Additional rules of procedure.
CJA11-0567. Reciprocal discipline.
CJA11-0568. Proceedings in which Lawyer is declared to be incompetent or alleged to be incapacitated.
CJA11-0569. Noncompliance with child support order, child visitation order, subpoena or order relating to paternity, or child support proceeding.
CJA11-0570. Notice of disability or suspension; return of clients’ property; refund of unearned fees.
CJA11-0590. Reinstatement following a suspension of no more than six months or probation.
CJA11-0591. Reinstatement following a suspension of more than six months; relicensure.
Repeal of Chapter 14 articles 5 and 6
Repeal of Chapter 15 articles 5 and 6
Repeal of Rule 11-501