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SCR 3.530 Ethics Committee and Unauthorized Practice Committee--advisory opinions--informal and...

Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme CourtEffective: March 1, 2020

Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Supreme Court
III Practice of Law (Refs & Annos)
Effective: March 1, 2020
Rules of the Supreme Court (SCR), Rule 3.530
SCR 3.530 Ethics Committee and Unauthorized Practice Committee--advisory opinions--informal and formal
(1) The Ethics Committee and the Unauthorized Practice Committee are authorized to issue informal opinions, and to submit to the Board for its action formal opinions, on questions of ethics or unauthorized practice, as applicable.
(2) Any attorney licensed in Kentucky or admitted under SCR 3.030(2), who is in doubt as to the ethical propriety of any professional act contemplated by that attorney may request an informal opinion. The President shall designate members of the Ethics Committee to respond to such requests. Ordinarily, the request shall be directed to a member of the requestor's Supreme Court district. Such request shall be in writing or by telephone followed by a request in writing. The committee member to whom the request is directed shall attempt to furnish the requesting attorney with a prompt telephonic answer and written informal letter opinion as to the ethical propriety of the act or course of conduct in question. A copy of any such informal opinion shall be provided to the Director for safekeeping and statistical purposes, and to the Chair of the Ethics Committee, to determine whether the informal opinion has broader application.
(3) Communications between the requesting attorney and the Ethics Committee member shall be confidential, but confidentiality may be waived by the requesting attorney. However, the requesting and giving of advice under this Rule does not create an attorney-client relationship. In order to promote uniformity of advice, redacted copies of informal opinions may be circulated among members of the Ethics Committee, as applicable, provided that such confidentiality is preserved.
(4) If the Ethics Committee determines an ethical issue to be of sufficient importance, the Committee may issue and furnish to the Board of Governors a proposed opinion authorized by such Committee for approval as a formal opinion. Such approval shall require a vote of three-fourths of the voting members present at the meeting of the Board. If the Board is unable to approve of the opinion as written, then the Board may return the matter to the Committee for further review and consideration, or may modify the opinion and approve the opinion as modified by the three-fourths vote, or may direct the Committee to furnish the requesting attorney, if any, with an informal opinion in the form of a Chair's letter opinion, with a copy to the Director.
(5) Both informal and formal opinions shall be advisory only; however, no attorney shall be disciplined for any professional act performed by that attorney in compliance with an informal opinion furnished by the Ethics Committee member pursuant to such attorney's written request, provided that the written request clearly, fairly, accurately and completely states such attorney's contemplated professional act.
(6) Any attorney licensed in Kentucky or admitted to practice law in another state who is in doubt as to the propriety of any course of conduct or act of any person or entity which may constitute the unauthorized practice of law in Kentucky may make a request in writing, or in emergencies, by telephone, to the Chair of the Unauthorized Practice Committee, or such other members of the Unauthorized Practice Committee as are designated by the Chair, for an advisory opinion thereon. Local bar associations may also request advisory opinions. The Committee member to whom the request is directed shall bring this matter to the attention of the Committee at its next meeting. The Committee may attempt to furnish the requesting attorney with a prompt telephonic answer and written informal letter opinion as to whether the conduct constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. A copy of such informal opinion shall be provided to the Director and the Chair of the Unauthorized Practice Committee. Any attorney licensed in Kentucky or admitted under SCR 3.030(2) who is in doubt as to the ethical propriety of any professional act contemplated by that attorney with respect to the unauthorized practice of law in Kentucky shall be referred to the Ethics Committee district member for an informal opinion as set forth in (2) and (3). Communications about such an inquiry between the requesting attorney and the unauthorized practice committee member, and between the committee members of the two committees, shall be confidential.
(7) Any attorney licensed in Kentucky or admitted under SCR 3.030(2) who is in doubt as to the ethical propriety of any professional act contemplated by that attorney with respect to the unauthorized practice of law shall be referred to the Ethics Committee district member for an informal opinion as set forth in (2) and (3). Communications about such an inquiry between the requesting attorney and the unauthorized practice committee member, and between the committee members of the two committees, shall be confidential.
(8) The requesting and giving of advice by the Unauthorized Practice Committee under this Rule does not create an attorney/client relationship.
(9) If the Unauthorized Practice Committee determines an issue regarding the unauthorized practice of law to be of sufficient importance, the Committee may issue and furnish to the Board of Governors a proposed opinion authorized by such Committee for approval as a formal opinion. Such approval shall require a vote of three-fourths of the voting members present at the meeting of the Board. If the Board is unable to approve the opinion as written, then the Board may return the matter to the Committee for further review and consideration, or may modify the opinion and approve the opinion as modified by the three-fourths vote, or may direct the Committee to furnish the requesting attorney, if any, with an informal opinion in the form of a Chair's letter opinion, with a copy to the Director.
(10) Ethics Committee and Unauthorized Practice Committee members shall be immune from suit for advice given in the performance of duties under this Rule. Ethics Committee and Unauthorized Practice Committee members shall be immune from process and shall not otherwise be compelled to testify or give an opinion in connection with any advice given in the performance of duties under this rule.
(11) All formal opinions of the Board arising from either Committee shall be published in full or in synopsis form, as determined by the Director, in the edition of the KENTUCKY BENCH & BAR next issued after the adoption of the opinion.
(12) Any person or entity aggrieved or affected by a formal opinion of the Board may file with the clerk within thirty (30) days after the end of the month of publication of the KENTUCKY BENCH & BAR in which the full opinion or a synopsis thereof is published, a copy of the opinion, and, upon motion and reasonable notice in writing to the Director, obtain a review of the Board's opinion by the Court. The Court's action thereon shall be final and the Clerk shall furnish copies of the formal order to the original petitioner, if any, the movant and the Director. The movant shall file a brief in support of the review, and the Director may file a response brief thirty days thereafter.
(13) The filing fee for docketing a motion under paragraph (7) of this Rule 3.530 shall be as provided by Civil Rule 76.42(1) for original actions in the Supreme Court.

Credits

HISTORY: Amended by Order 2020-03, eff. 3-1-20; prior amendments eff. 1-1-18 (Order 2017-18, eff. 1-1-07 (Order 2006-09), 1-1-97 (Order 96-1), 11-1-95, 11-15-91, 12-31-80, 1-1-78, 12-4-74, 7-2-71
Note: Former Rules of Appellate Procedure (RAP) were amended and redesignated as Rules of the Supreme Court (SCR) by Order of the Supreme Court effective January 1, 1978. Prior Rules of the Court of Appeals (RCA) had been redesignated as Rules of Appellate Procedure effective March 12, 1976.
Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 3.530, KY ST S CT Rule 3.530
Current with amendments received through August 1, 2020.
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