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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct

COMMENTS

Comment - Rule 8.3

Self-regulation of the legal profession requires that members of the profession initiate disciplinary investigation when they know of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. An apparently isolated violation may indicate a pattern of misconduct that only a disciplinary investigation can uncover. Reporting a violation is especially important where the victim is unlikely to discover the offense.

A report about misconduct is not required where it would involve violation of Rule 1.6. However, a lawyer should encourage a client to consent to disclosure where prosecution would not substantially prejudice the client’s interests.

A lawyer is obliged to report every violation of the Rules. The failure to report a violation would itself be a professional offense. A report should be made to the Alabama State Bar.

The duty to report professional misconduct does not apply to a lawyer retained to represent a lawyer whose professional conduct is in question. Such a situation is governed by the Rules applicable to the client-lawyer relationship.

Comment to Rule 8.3(c), Effective April 7, 1992

In order to encourage a lawyer or judge who has or believes he or she may have a substance abuse problem to seek help with the problem, that person can be assured that disclosure to any lawyer who is on the Committee on Impaired Lawyers or on the ALA-Pals Committee or who is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the Bar designed to assist lawyers with substance abuse problems, will be treated with confidentiality as though a client-lawyer relationship exists.