Commission on the Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct
The Commission on the Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, or "Ethics 2000," is charged with: 1) conducting a comprehensive study and evaluation of the ethical and professionalism precepts of the legal profession; 2) examining and evaluating the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the rules governing professional conduct in the state and federal jurisdictions; 3) conducting original research, surveys and hearings; and 4) formulating recommendations for action.
There is no area where the ABA has maintained a greater leadership role than in the ethics and professionalism of the legal profession. The ethical standards promulgated by the ABA have been adopted by virtually every jurisdiction, implicitly acknowledging that the Association is a recognized leader and the appropriate forum for discussing, drafting and adopting rules governing lawyer conduct.
While it has been 20 years since the ABA convened a commission to examine the ethical precepts of the profession, there is no effort to abandon the Model Rules. Indeed, the Model Rules have proven to reflect, in the main, an effective approach to the resolution of many ethical issues that could serve the profession well into the next century. The Model Rules would benefit, however, from a comprehensive study and review at this time.
To meet this challenge, a 13-member Commission has been created, which reflects the diversity of the bar. Its members include judges, law professors, government lawyers, corporate counsel, civil and criminal practitioners and a nonlawyer. The Commission began its activities in August 1997 and plans to report its recommendations in the year 2000.