The American Bar Association Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, known as "Ethics 2000," is undertaking a review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct in light of developments in the legal profession and society at large since the Model Rules were adopted in 1983. When its work is completed, it will submit its report and recommendations to the ABA House of Delegates. It hopes to be able to report to the House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting in the year 2000.
The Commission is seeking the views of all interested persons and organizations so that it can have a wide range of information before it as it develops its recommendations. It is seeking to identify problem areas in the Rules, as well as specific proposals for change and recommendations regarding possible new Rules. Its tentative plan is to follow the basic format of the Model Rules and to make changes only where it believes change is necessary.
Some of the areas the Commission will be reviewing are as follows: variations in the Rules as they have been adopted by the states; areas of inconsistency or dissonance from Rule to Rule or Rule to Comment; the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers; new forms of technology; public perceptions; multi-city law firms; and the growth of specialized practice areas. It will also be considering ways to improve the format of the current Rules and Comments. In addition, it is considering an experiment to see if the addition of "best practice" or "excellence in practice" aspirational statements is feasible.
In addition to soliciting comments, the Commission is forming an Advisory Council for entities and individuals who want to participate actively in the Commission's work. Council Members will receive drafts of the Commission's work as they are circulated for comment and will be able to meet periodically with the Commission Reporters and members.
If you would like to appoint a representative to the Council, please print out the registration form and return it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to the cost of operations, it is necessary that each Council member contribute $250 annually in advance to cover the expense of duplicating and sending materials and for other administrative expenses.
It is not necessary for you to appoint a representative to the Advisory Council in order to submit comments and specific suggestions for changes in the Model Rules or to request materials, which will be furnished on a cost-per-request basis. Because of the large volume of comments the Commission is expecting, the Commission requests that your material be submitted on a computer disk or by e-mail. Please submit your material to:
Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct
American Bar Association
541 N. Fairbanks, 14th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611