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March 08, 2021

Model Rule 5.3

Reporter's Explanation of Changes


Paragraphs (a) and (c)(2): Modify to apply to lawyers with managerial authority comparable to that of partner

As with Rule 5.1, this change was made to clarify in the Rule text that paragraph (a) applies to managing lawyers in corporate and government legal departments and legal service organizations, as well as to partners in private law firms. No change in substance is intended.


[1] "[S]hould" has been replaced with "must" in the third sentence because the duty to give appropriate instruction and supervision is mandatory.

[2] This Comment distinguishes the responsibility to create law-firm systems imposed by paragraph (a) from the supervisory responsibility addressed in paragraph (b) and the personal responsibility of managing and supervisory lawyers for the specific misconduct of nonlawyer employees as addressed in paragraph (c).

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