Category: USB14-0301

Rules of Professional Conduct and Rules Governing the Utah State Bar – Comment Period Closed August 1, 2020

Rules of Professional Conduct

Public Service

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.

Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession

RPC08.04. Misconduct. AMEND. Provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is an unlawful, discriminatory, or retaliatory employment practice under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Utah Antidiscrimination Act. “Employer” means any person or entity that employs one or more persons. The amendments also provide that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to egregiously violate, or engage in a pattern of repeated violations, of the Standards of Professionalism and Civility if such violations harm the lawyer’s client or another lawyer’s client or are prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Rules Governing the Utah State Bar

Standards of Professionalism and Civility

USB14-0301. Standards of Professionalism and Civility. AMEND. Rule 8.4(h) makes the provisions of this rule mandatory for all lawyers. Amendments further provide that lawyers shall avoid hostile, demeaning, humiliating, or discriminatory conduct in law-related activities. Law-related activities include, but are not limited to, settlement negotiations; depositions; mediations; court appearances; CLE’s; events sponsored by the Bar, Bar sections, or Bar associations; and firm parties. Discriminatory conduct includes all discrimination against protected classes as those classes are enumerated in the Utah Antidiscrimination Act of 1965, Utah Code section 34A-5-106(1)(a), and federal statutes, as amended from time to time.

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Rules Governing the Utah State Bar

USB 14-0301. Standards of Professionalism and Civility. Amend. Advises lawyers to educate themselves about the risks of using social media.
USB 14-0503. Ethics and Discipline Committee. Amend. Provides for a third committee vice chair appointed by the Supreme Court. Allows a chair or vice chair of one screening panel to serve on another.
USB 14-0510. Prosecution and appeals. Amend. Describes the role of the screening panel as investigator and fact finder. Requires an OPC summary – if provided to a screening panel – to also be provided to the respondent and to include any additional violations. Allows the respondent to address any violations. Permits the screening panel to find additional violations during the hearing. Describes the process by which the respondent may address the additional violations. Requires a formal complaint to be filed if a screening panel finds probable cause for public discipline or if the misconduct is similar to a pending formal complaint. Allows evidence of prior discipline to be presented at the hearing. Allows for multiple cases to be presented to one screening panel. Allows the OPC 30 days to file a response to respondent’s exceptions. Allows the chair to extend the time to file an exception or response so the respondent or OPC can obtain a transcript of the hearing.
USB 14-0517. Additional rules of procedure. Amend. Clarifies that a screening panel chair screens complaints against OPC counsel, committee members and bar commissioners before the appointment of a special counsel.
USB 14-0533. Diversion. Amend. Requires that the OPC agree to diversion before the Diversion Committee can consider the respondent’s request for diversion.

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