August 01, 1997

Pay to Play Task Force

97A10D

American Bar Association
Association of the Bar of the City of New York
New York County Lawyers Association

Adopted by the House of Delegates
August, 1997

Association of the Bar of the City of New York - Report No. 10D

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association:

1) condemns the conduct of lawyers making political campaign contributions to, and soliciting political campaign contributions for, public officials in return for being considered eligible by public agencies to perform professional services, including municipal finance engagements;

2) calls upon bar associations, lawyer disciplinary agencies and the judiciary to enforce, when applicable to prohibit this conduct, existing Rules of Professional Conduct, such as Model Rule 7.2(c) prohibiting a lawyer from giving "anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services";

3) condemns the conduct of public officials considering as eligible for engagement by public agencies to perform professional services, including municipal finance engagements, only those lawyers who make political campaign contributions to, or solicit political campaign contributions for, public officials; and

4) calls upon legislative bodies, judicial rule-making agencies, bar associations, lawyer disciplinary agencies and public agencies to enact or adopt and enforce laws, rules and regulations that will discourage the conduct condemned in these resolutions.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Delegates requests the President of the American Bar Association to appoint a task force:

a) to review issues related to political campaign contributions made or solicited by lawyers and effective solutions thereto, including the "pay-to-play" rule proposed by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York in its Recommendation 10D dated August 1997;

b) to determine whether additional professional standards, laws or procedures relating to political campaign contributions are necessary and desirable, including the conduct of lawyers making significant political campaign contributions to judicial candidates before whom the lawyers appear; and

c) to submit for consideration by the House of Delegates at its meeting in August 1998 recommendations as to any additional professional standards, laws or procedures found to be necessary and desirable in the form of amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, aspirational ethical standards of other appropriate measures.