ABA seeks comment on new drafts of ethics rules on conflicts, choice of law

The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 today released two new drafts of proposed changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The commission seeks comment on the drafts by Oct. 19, 2012.

The first draft proposal addresses consistencies among jurisdictions regarding conflict of interest rules. The second concerns the division of fees between lawyers in two firms where the firms are in jurisdictions with differing rules on nonlawyer ownership of law firms.

To read the drafts and to comment, see the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 website.


Red Flags Rule does not apply to lawyers

UPDATE 2: On Dec. 20, 2010, President Obama signed this provision into law.

UPDATE: On Dec. 7, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives also approved this legislation.

On Nov. 30, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010, which clarifies that the Federal Trade Commission's Red Flags Rule does not apply to lawyers, doctors, accountants, and certain other service providers. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

The Red Flags Rule requires financial organizations and "creditors" to develop programs to prevent identity theft.

The Senate action comes after efforts by bar associations and other organizations to exempt professionals who maintain accounts for clients that generally do not carry risks of identity theft.

For background on this issue, see the American Bar Association website.