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E. Norman Veasey RE: Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct - Center for Professional Responsibility



TO: Interested Organizations and Individuals

FROM: E. Norman Veasey, Chair

DATE: January 1998

RE: Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct

I have the honor to serve as chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, known as "Ethics 2000." The Commission 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 our work is completed, we will submit our report and recommendations to the ABA House of Delegates. We hope 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 we can have a wide range of information before us as we develop our recommendations. We are seeking to identify problem areas in the Rules, as well as specific proposals for change and recommendations regarding possible new Rules. Our tentative plan is to follow the basic format of the Model Rules and to make changes only where we believe 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. We will also be considering ways to improve the format of the current Rules and Comments. In addition, we are 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 return the attached form as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to the cost of operations, it is necessary that we ask each Council member to 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 we are expecting, we request that your material be submitted on a computer disk or by e-mail to ensure review by the Commission. 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
fax: 312-988-5280
e-mail: [email protected]

This is a very important and exciting project. We value your input, and we hope to hear from you. Please contact the Committee's counsel, Charlotte Stretch, at the address above if you have any questions.
















State__________________________________ Zip____________________________________


Phone_________________________________ Fax____________________________________




Please forward this form to:

Susan M. Campbell
ABA Center for Professional Responsibility
541 N. Fairbanks, 14th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Fax: 312-988-5491
[email protected]

Please include payment of $250 to defray administrative expenses for 1998. Please make checks payable to the American Bar Association.