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.
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Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct
 As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As advisor, a lawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client's legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client's position under the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the client but consistent with requirements of honest dealings with others. As an evaluator, a lawyer acts by examining a client's legal affairs and reporting about them to the client or to others.
 In addition to these representational functions, a lawyer may serve as a third-party neutral, a nonrepresentational role helping the parties to resolve a dispute or other matter. Some of these Rules apply directly to lawyers who are or have served as third-party neutrals. See, e.g., Rules 1.12 and 2.4. In addition, there are Rules that apply to lawyers who are not active in the practice of law or to practicing lawyers even when they are acting in a nonprofessional capacity. For example, a lawyer who commits fraud in the conduct of a business is subject to discipline for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. See Rule 8.4.
 In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation. A lawyer should keep in confidence information relating to representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
 A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law's procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public officials. While it is a lawyer's duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it is also a lawyer's duty to uphold legal process.
 As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education. In addition, a lawyer should further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. A lawyer should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.
 Many of a lawyer's professional responsibilities are prescribed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as substantive and procedural law. However, a lawyer is also guided by personal conscience and the approbation of professional peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest level of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession and to exemplify the legal profession's ideals of public service.
 A lawyer's responsibilities as a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen are usually harmonious. Thus, when an opposing party is well represented, a lawyer can be a zealous advocate on behalf of a client and at the same time assume that justice is being done. So also, a lawyer can be sure that preserving client confidences ordinarily serves the public interest because people are more likely to seek legal advice, and thereby heed their legal obligations, when they know their communications will be private.
 In the nature of law practice, however, conflicting responsibilities are encountered. Virtually all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between a lawyer's responsibilities to clients, to the legal system and to the lawyer's own interest in remaining an ethical person while earning a satisfactory living. The Rules of Professional Conduct often prescribe terms for resolving such conflicts. Within the framework of these Rules, however, many difficult issues of professional discretion can arise. Such issues must be resolved through the exercise of sensitive professional and moral judgment guided by the basic principles underlying the Rules. These principles include the lawyer's obligation zealously to protect and pursue a client's legitimate interests, within the bounds of the law. Zealousness does not, under any circumstances, justify conduct that is unprofessional, discourteous or uncivil toward any person involved in the legal system.
 The legal profession is largely self-governing. Although other professions also have been granted powers of self-government, the legal profession is unique in this respect because of the close relationship between the profession and the processes of government and law enforcement. This connection is manifested in the fact that ultimate authority over the legal profession is vested largely in the courts.
 To the extent that lawyers meet the obligations of their professional calling, the occasion for government regulation is obviated. Self-regulation also helps maintain the legal profession's independence from government domination. An independent legal profession is an important force in preserving government under law, for abuse of legal authority is more readily challenged by a profession whose members are not dependent on government for the right to practice.
 The legal profession's relative autonomy carries with it special responsibilities of self-government. The profession has a responsibility to assure that its regulations are conceived in the public interest and not in furtherance of parochial or self-interested concerns of the bar. Every lawyer is responsible for observance of the Rules of Professional Conduct. A lawyer should also aid in securing their observance by other lawyers. Neglect of these responsibilities compromises the independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.
 Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by lawyers of their relationship to our legal system. The Rules of Professional Conduct, when properly applied, serve to define that relationship.
 The Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason. They should be interpreted with reference to the purposes of legal representation and of the law itself. Some of the Rules are imperatives, cast in the terms "shall" or "shall not. These define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline. Others, generally cast in the term "may," are permissive and define areas under the Rules in which the lawyer has discretion to exercise professional judgment. No disciplinary action should be taken when the lawyer chooses not to act or acts within the bounds of such discretion. Other Rules define the nature of relationships between the lawyer and others. The Rules are thus partly obligatory and disciplinary and partly constructive and descriptive in that they define a lawyer's professional role. Many of the Comments use the term "should." Comments do not add obligations to the Rules but provide guidance for practicing in compliance with the Rules.
 The Rules presuppose a larger legal context shaping the lawyer's role. That context includes court rules and statutes relating to matters of licensure, laws defining specific obligations of lawyers and substantive and procedural law in general. The Comments are sometimes used to alert lawyers to their responsibilities under such other law.
 Compliance with the Rules, as with all law in an open society, depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon reinforcement by peer and public opinion and finally, when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary proceedings. The Rules do not, however, exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform a lawyer, for no worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by legal rules. The Rules simply provide a framework for the ethical practice of law.
 Furthermore, for purposes of determining the lawyer's authority and responsibility, principles of substantive law external to these Rules determine whether a client-lawyer relationship exists. Most of the duties flowing from the client-lawyer relationship attach only after the client has requested the lawyer to render legal services and the lawyer has agreed to do so. But there are some duties, such as that of confidentiality under Rule 1.6, that attach when the lawyer agrees to consider whether a client-lawyer relationship shall be established. See Rule 1.18. Whether a client-lawyer relationship exists for any specific purpose can depend on the circumstances and may be a question of fact.
 Under various legal provisions, including constitutional, statutory and common law, the responsibilities of government lawyers may include authority concerning legal matters that ordinarily reposes in the client in private client-lawyer relationships. For example, a lawyer for a government agency may have authority on behalf of the government to decide upon settlement or whether to appeal from an adverse judgment. Such authority in various respects is generally vested in the attorney general and the state's attorney in state government, and their federal counterparts, and the same may be true of other government law officers. Also, lawyers under the supervision of these officers may be authorized to represent several government agencies in intragovernmental legal controversies in circumstances where a private lawyer could not represent multiple private clients. These Rules do not abrogate any such authority.
 Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a Rule is a basis for invoking the disciplinary process. The Rules presuppose that disciplinary assessment of a lawyer's conduct will be made on the basis of the facts and circumstances as they existed at the time of the conduct in question and in recognition of the fact that a lawyer often has to act upon uncertain or incomplete evidence of the situation. Moreover, the Rules presuppose that whether or not discipline should be imposed for a violation, and the severity of a sanction, depend on all the circumstances, such as the willfulness and seriousness of the violation, extenuating factors and whether there have been previous violations.
 Violation of a Rule should not itself give rise to a cause of action against a lawyer nor should it create any presumption in such a case that a legal duty has been breached. In addition, violation of a Rule does not necessarily warrant any other nondisciplinary remedy, such as disqualification of a lawyer in pending litigation. The Rules are designed to provide guidance to lawyers and to provide a structure for regulating conduct through disciplinary agencies. They are not designed to be a basis for civil liability. Furthermore, the purpose of the Rules can be subverted when they are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a Rule is a just basis for a lawyer's self-assessment, or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary authority, does not imply that an antagonist in a collateral proceeding or transaction has standing to seek enforcement of the Rule. Nevertheless, since the Rules do establish standards of conduct by lawyers, in appropriate cases, a lawyer's violation of a Rule may be evidence of breach of the applicable standard of conduct.
 The Comment accompanying each Rule explains and illustrates the meaning and purpose of the Rule. The Preamble and this note on Scope provide general orientation. The Comments are intended as guides to interpretation, but the text of each Rule is authoritative.
(b) "Confirmed in writing," when used in reference to the informed consent of a person, denotes informed consent that is given in writing by the person or a writing that a lawyer promptly transmits to the person confirming an oral informed consent. See paragraph (e) for the definition of "informed consent." If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the person gives informed consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter.
(c) "Firm" or "law firm" denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law; or lawyers employed in a legal services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization.
(e) "Informed consent" denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.
(g) "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership, a shareholder in a law firm organized as a professional corporation, or a member of an association authorized to practice law.
(i) "Reasonable belief" or "reasonably believes" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that the lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is reasonable.
(j) "Reasonably should know" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.
(k) "Screened" denotes the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law.
(m) "Tribunal" denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity. A legislative body, administrative agency or other body acts in an adjudicative capacity when a neutral official, after the presentation of evidence or legal argument by a party or parties, will render a binding legal judgment directly affecting a party's interests in a particular matter.
(n) "Writing" or "written" denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or videorecording and e-mail. A "signed" writing includes an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a writing and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the writing.
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.
(c) A lawyer may limit the scope or objectives, or both, of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent. A lawyer may provide limited representation to pro se parties as permitted by C.R.C.P. 11(b) and C.R.C.P. 311(b).
(d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
(1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(e), is required by these Rules;
(2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished;
(3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;
(5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
(a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
(b) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee and expenses shall be communicated to the client, in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. Except as provided in a written fee agreement, any material changes to the basis or rate of the fee or expenses are subject to the provisions of Rule 1.8(a).
(c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is otherwise prohibited. A contingent fee agreement shall meet all of the requirements of Chapter 23.3 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, "Rules Governing Contingent Fees."
(2) the client agrees to the arrangement, including the basis upon which the division of fees shall be made, and the client's agreement is confirmed in writing; and
(3) the total fee is reasonable.
(f) Fees are not earned until the lawyer confers a benefit on the client or performs a legal service for the client. Advances of unearned fees are the property of the client and shall be deposited in the lawyer's trust account pursuant to Rule 1.15(f)(1) until earned. If advances of unearned fees are in the form of property other than funds, then the lawyer shall hold such property separate from the lawyer's own property pursuant to Rule 1.15(a).
(g) Nonrefundable fees and nonrefundable retainers are prohibited. Any agreement that purports to restrict a client's right to terminate the representation, or that unreasonably restricts a client's right to obtain a refund of unearned or unreasonable fees, is prohibited.
(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).
(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:
(3) to prevent the client from committing a fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services;
(4) to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client's commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services;
(6) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client; or
(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client;
(3) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal; and
(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless:
(1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;
(3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client in the transaction.
(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, except as permitted or required by these Rules.
(c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. For purposes of this paragraph, related persons include a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or other relative or individual with whom the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial relationship.
(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation.
(1) the client gives informed consent;
(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.
(g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.
(2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel in connection therewith.
(2) contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.
(k) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing paragraphs (b) through (i) that applies to any one of them shall apply to all of them.
(a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person's interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.
(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:
(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known; or
(a) While lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless the prohibition is based on a personal interest of the prohibited lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm.
(b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:
(1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client; and
(c) A disqualification prescribed by this Rule may be waived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.
(1) the matter is not one in which the personally disqualified lawyer substantially participated;
(2) the personally disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom;
(3) the personally disqualified lawyer gives prompt written notice (which shall contain a general description of the personally disqualified lawyer's prior representation and the screening procedures to be employed) to the affected former clients and the former clients' current lawyers, if known to the personally disqualified lawyer, to enable the former clients to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule; and
(4) the personally disqualified lawyer and the partners of the firm with which the personally disqualified lawyer is now associated reasonably believe that the steps taken to accomplish the screening of material information are likely to be effective in preventing material information from being disclosed to the firm and its client.
(1) is subject to Rule 1.9(c); and
(2) shall not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.
(b) When a lawyer is disqualified from representation under paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:
(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) the personally disqualified lawyer gives prompt written notice (which shall contain a general description of the personally disqualified lawyer's prior participation in the matter and the screening procedures to be employed), to the government agency to enable the government agency to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule; and
(3) the personally disqualified lawyer and the partners of the firm with which the personally disqualified lawyer is now associated, reasonably believe that the steps taken to accomplish the screening of material information are likely to be effective in preventing material information from being disclosed to the firm and its client.
(c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer knows is confidential government information about a person acquired when the lawyer was a public officer or employee, may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person in a matter in which the information could be used to the material disadvantage of that person. As used in this Rule, the term "confidential government information" means information that has been obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this Rule is applied, the government is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose and which is not otherwise available to the public. A firm with which that lawyer is associated may undertake or continue representation in the matter only if the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.
(i) participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing; or
(ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).
(1) any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other particular matter involving a specific party or parties, and
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or law clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consent, confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge or other adjudicative officer may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge or other adjudicative officer.
(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) the personally disqualified lawyer gives prompt written notice (which shall contain a general description of the personally disqualified lawyer's prior participation in the matter and the screening procedures to be employed), to the parties and any appropriate tribunal, to enable the parties and the tribunal to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule; and
(3) the personally disqualified lawyer and the partners of the firm with which the personally disqualified lawyer is now associated, reasonably believe that the steps taken to accomplish the screening of material information are likely to be effective in preventing material information from being disclosed to the firm and its client.
(b) If a lawyer for an organization knows that an officer, employee or other person associated with the organization is engaged in action, intends to act or refuses to act in a matter related to the representation that is a violation of a legal obligation to the organization, or a violation of law that reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, the lawyer shall proceed as is reasonably necessary in the best interest of the organization. Unless the lawyer reasonably believes that it is not necessary in the best interest of the organization to do so, the lawyer shall refer the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the circumstances, to the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization as determined by applicable law.
(1) despite the lawyer's efforts in accordance with paragraph (b) the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization insists upon or fails to address in a timely and appropriate manner an action, or a refusal to act, that is clearly a violation of law, and
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the violation is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation whether or not Rule 1.6 permits such disclosure, but only if and to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to prevent substantial injury to the organization.
(d) Paragraph (c) shall not apply with respect to the information relating to a lawyer's representation of an organization to investigate an alleged violation of law, or to defend the organization or an officer, employee or other constituent associated with the organization against a claim arising out of an alleged violation of law.
(e) A lawyer who reasonably believes that he or she has been discharged because of the lawyer's actions taken pursuant to paragraph (b) or (c), or who withdraws under circumstances that require or permit the lawyer to take action under either of those paragraphs, shall proceed as the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to assure that the organization's highest authority is informed of the lawyer's discharge or withdrawal.
(f) In dealing with an organization's directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the organization's interests are adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing.
(g) A lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of its directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, subject to the provisions of Rule 1.7. If the organization's consent to the dual representation is required by Rule 1.7, the consent shall be given by an appropriate official of the organization other than the individual who is to be represented, or by the shareholders.
(a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.
(b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.
(c) Information relating to the representation of a client with diminished capacity is protected by Rule 1.6. When taking protective action pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized under Rule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the client's interests.
General Duties of Lawyers Regarding Property of Clients and Third Parties
(a) A lawyer shall hold property of clients or third persons that is in a lawyer's possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer's own property. Funds shall be kept in a separate trust account maintained in the state where the lawyer's office is situated, or elsewhere with the consent of the client or third person. Other property shall be identified as such and appropriately safeguarded. Complete records of such funds and other property of clients or third parties shall be kept by the lawyer and shall be preserved for a period of seven years after termination of the representation.
(b) Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a lawyer shall, promptly or otherwise as permitted by law or by agreement with the client or third person, deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, promptly upon request by the client or third person, render a full accounting regarding such property.
(c) When in connection with a representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which two or more persons (one of whom may be the lawyer) claim interests, the property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until there is an accounting and severance of their interests. If a dispute arises concerning their respective interests, the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved. The lawyer shall promptly distribute all portions of the property as to which the interests are not in dispute.
Required Bank Accounts
(d) Every lawyer in private practice in this state shall maintain in a financial institution doing business in Colorado, in the lawyer's own name, or in the name of a partnership of lawyers, or in the name of an entity authorized pursuant to C.R.C.P. 265 of which the lawyer is a member, or in the name of the lawyer or entity by whom the lawyer is employed or with whom the lawyer is associated:
(1) A trust account or accounts, separate from any business and personal accounts and from any fiduciary accounts that the lawyer may maintain as executor, guardian, trustee, or receiver, or in any other fiduciary capacity, into which the lawyer shall deposit funds entrusted to the lawyer's care and any advance payment of fees that has not been earned or advance payment of expenses that have not been incurred. A lawyer shall not be required to maintain a trust account if the lawyer never receives such funds or payments; and,
(2) A business account or accounts into which all funds received for professional services shall be deposited. All business accounts, as well as all deposit slips and all checks drawn thereon, shall be prominently designated as a "professional account" or an "office account".
(1) One or more of the trust accounts may be a Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation ("COLTAF") account or accounts, as described in Rule 1.15(h)(2). All COLTAF accounts shall be designated "COLTAF Trust Account."
(2) All such trust accounts, whether general or specific, as well as all deposits slips and checks drawn thereon, shall be prominently designated as a "trust account." Nothing herein shall prohibit any additional descriptive designation for a specific trust account.
(3) Trust accounts shall be maintained only in financial institutions doing business in Colorado that are approved by the Regulation Counsel based upon policy guidelines adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Attorneys' Fund for Client Protection. Regulation Counsel shall annually publish a list of such approved institutions. A financial institution shall be approved if it shall file with the Regulation Counsel an agreement, in a form provided, to report to the Regulation Counsel in the event any properly payable trust account instrument is presented against insufficient funds, irrespective of whether the instrument is honored; any such agreement shall apply to all branches of the financial institution and shall not be canceled except on thirty-days notice in writing to the Regulation Counsel. The agreement shall further provide that all reports made by the financial institution shall be in the following format: (1) in the case of a dishonored instrument, the report shall be identical to the overdraft notice customarily forwarded to the depositor; (2) in the case of an instrument that is presented against insufficient funds but which instrument is honored, the report shall identify the financial institution, the lawyer or law firm, the account number, the date of presentation for payment, and the date paid, as well as the amount of the overdraft created thereby. Such reports shall be made simultaneously with, and within the time provided by law for, notice of dishonor, if any; if an instrument presented against insufficient funds is honored, then the report shall be made within five banking days of the date of presentation for payment against insufficient funds. In addition, each financial institution approved by the Regulation Counsel must cooperate with the COLTAF program and must offer a COLTAF account to any lawyer who wishes to open one. In addition to the reports specified above, approved financial institutions shall agree to cooperate fully with the Regulation Counsel and to produce any trust account or business account records on receipt of a subpoena therefore in connection with any proceeding pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251. Nothing herein shall preclude a financial institution from charging a lawyer or law firm for the reasonable cost of producing the reports and records required by this Rule, but such charges shall not be a transaction cost to be charged against funds payable to the COLTAF program. Every lawyer or law firm maintaining a trust account in this state shall, as a condition thereof, be conclusively deemed to have consented to the reporting and production requirements by financial institutions mandated by this Rule and shall indemnify and hold harmless the financial institution for its compliance with such reporting and production requirement. A financial institution shall be immune from suit arising out of its actions or omissions in reporting overdrafts or insufficient funds or producing documents under this Rule. The agreement entered into by a financial institution with the Regulation Counsel shall not be deemed to create a duty to exercise a standard of care and shall not constitute a contract for the benefit of any third parties that may sustain a loss as a result of lawyers overdrawing lawyer trust accounts.
(4) The name of institutions in which such accounts are maintained and identification numbers of each account shall be recorded on a statement filed with the annual attorney registration payment pursuant to C.R.C.P. 227(2). Such information shall be available for use in accordance with paragraph (j) of this Rule. For each COLTAF account, the statement shall indicate the account number, the name the account is under, and the depository institution.
Trust Account Requirements and Management; COLTAF Accounts
(f) All trust accounts shall be maintained in interest-bearing, insured depository accounts; provided, that with the consent of the client or third person whose funds are in the account, an account in which interest is paid to the client or third person need not be an insured depository account. All COLTAF accounts shall be insured depository accounts. For the purpose of this Rule, "insured depository accounts" shall mean government insured accounts at a regulated financial institution, on which withdrawals or transfers can be made on demand, subject only to any notice period which the institution is required to reserve by law or regulation.
(g) A lawyer may deposit funds reasonably sufficient to pay anticipated service charges or other fees for maintenance or operation of such account into trust accounts. Such funds shall be clearly identified in the lawyer's records of the account.
(1) Except as may be prescribed by subparagraph (2) below, interest earned on accounts in which the funds are deposited (less any deduction for service charges or fees of the depository institution) shall belong to the clients or third persons whose funds have been so deposited; and the lawyer or law firm shall have no right or claim to such interest.
(2) If the funds are not held in accounts with the interest paid to clients or third persons as provided in subsection (h)(1) of this Rule, a lawyer or law firm shall establish a COLTAF account, which is a pooled interest-bearing insured depository account for funds of clients or third persons that are nominal in amount or are expected to be held for a short period of time in compliance with the following provisions:
(a) No interest from such an account shall be payable to a lawyer or law firm.
(b) The account shall include funds of clients or third persons that are nominal in amount or are expected to be held for a short period of time with the intent that such funds not earn interest in excess of the reasonably estimated cost of establishing, maintaining and accounting for trust accounts for the benefit of such clients or third parties.
(c) A lawyer or law firm depositing funds in a COLTAF account shall direct the depository institution:
(i) To remit interest, net of service charges or fees, if any are charged, computed in accordance with the institution's standard accounting practice, at least quarterly, to COLTAF; and
(ii) To transmit with each remittance to COLTAF a statement showing the name of the lawyer or law firm on whose account the remittance is sent and the rate of interest applied.
(d) The provisions of this subparagraph (h)(2) shall not apply in those instances where it is not feasible to establish a trust account for the benefit of COLTAF for reasons beyond the control of the lawyer or law firm, such as the unavailability of a financial institution in the community that offers such an account.
(3) If a lawyer or law firm discovers that funds of any client or third person have mistakenly been held in a trust account for the benefit of COLTAF in a sufficient amount or for a sufficiently long time so that interest on the funds being held in such account exceeds the reasonably estimated cost of establishing, maintaining and accounting for a trust account for the benefit of such client or third person (including without limitation administrative costs of the lawyer or law firm, bank service charges, and costs of preparing tax reports of such income to the client or third person) the lawyer or law firm shall request COLTAF to calculate and remit trust account interest already received by it to the lawyer or law firm for the benefit of such client or third person in accordance with written procedures that COLTAF shall publish and make available through its website and shall provide to any lawyer or law firm upon request.
(4) Information necessary to determine compliance or justifiable reasons for noncompliance with subparagraph (h)(2) shall be included in the annual attorney registration statement. COLTAF shall assist the Colorado Supreme Court in determining whether lawyers or law firms have complied in establishing the trust account required under subparagraph (h)(2). If it appears that a lawyer or law firm has not complied where it is feasible to do so, the matter may be referred to the Regulation Counsel for investigation and proceedings in accordance with C.R.C.P. 251.
(2) All trust account withdrawals and transfers shall be made only by a lawyer admitted to practice law in this state or by a person supervised by such lawyer and may be made only by authorized bank or wire transfer or by check payable to a named payee.
(4) Cancelled Checks. A lawyer shall request that the lawyer's trust account bank return to the lawyer, photo static or electronic images of cancelled checks written on the trust account. If the bank provides electronic images, the lawyer shall either maintain paper copies of the electronic images or maintain the electronic images in readily obtainable format.
(6) Reconciliation of Trust Accounts. No less than quarterly, a lawyer shall reconcile the trust account records both as to individual clients and in the aggregate with the lawyer's trust account bank statement(s).
Required Accounting Records; Retention of Records; Availability of Records
(j) A lawyer, whether practicing as a sole practitioner, in a partnership, or through an entity authorized pursuant to C.R.C.P. 265, shall maintain in a current status and retain for a period of seven years after the event that they record:
(1) Appropriate receipt and disbursement records of all deposits in and withdrawals from all trust accounts and any other bank account that concerns the lawyer's practice of law, specifically identifying the date, payor and description of each item deposited as well as the date, payee, and purpose of each disbursement. All trust account monies intended for deposit shall be deposited intact without deductions or "cash out" from the deposit and the duplicate deposit slip that evidences the deposit must be sufficiently detailed to identify each item deposited;
(2) An appropriate record-keeping system identifying each separate person or entity for whom the lawyer holds money or property in trust, for all trust accounts, showing the payor of all funds deposited in such accounts, the names and addresses of all persons for whom the funds are or were held, the amount of such funds, the description and amounts of charges or withdrawals from such accounts, and the names of all persons to whom any such funds were disbursed;
(8) Copies of those portions of each client's case file reasonably necessary for a complete understanding of the financial transactions pertaining thereto.
(k) The financial books and other records required by this Rule shall be maintained in accordance with one or more of the following recognized accounting methods: the accrual method, the cash basis method, and the income tax method. All such accounting methods shall be consistently applied. Bookkeeping records may be maintained by computer provided they otherwise comply with this Rule and provided further that printed copies can be made on demand in accordance with this Rule. They shall be located at the principal Colorado office of each lawyer, partnership, professional corporation, or limited liability corporation.
(l) Dissolutions. Upon the dissolution of any partnership of lawyers or of any professional corporation or limited liability corporation, the former partners or shareholders shall make appropriate arrangements for the maintenance by one of them or by a successor firm of the records specified in subsection (j) of this Rule.
(m) Availability Of Records. Any of the records required to be kept by this Rule shall be produced in response to a subpoena duces tecum issued by the Regulation Counsel in connection with proceedings pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251. When so produced, all such records shall remain confidential except for the purposes of the particular proceeding and their contents shall not be disclosed by anyone in such a way as to violate the attorney-client privilege of the lawyer's client.
(3) the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud;
(5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;
(c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.
(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law.
A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area of practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:
(c) the seller gives written notice to each of the seller's clients regarding:
(3) the fact that the client's consent to the transfer of the client's files will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within sixty (60) days of mailing of the notice to the client at the client's last known address; and
(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.
(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to the prospective client, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).
(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing; or
(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and
(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.
In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client's situation. In a matter involving or expected to involve litigation, a lawyer should advise the client of alternative forms of dispute resolution that might reasonably be pursued to attempt to resolve the legal dispute or to reach the legal objective sought.
Rule 2.2 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct is repealed.
(a) A lawyer may provide an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone other than the client if the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects of the lawyer's relationship with the client.
(b) When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the evaluation is likely to affect the client's interests materially and adversely, the lawyer shall not provide the evaluation unless the client gives informed consent.
(c) Except as disclosure is authorized in connection with a report of an evaluation, information relating to the evaluation is otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists two or more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a third-party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in such other capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter.
(b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer's role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer's role as one who represents a client.
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.
A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;
(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer's client, or witness called by the lawyer has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
(b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.
(c) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(d) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;
(d) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party;
(e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness, or state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of an accused; or
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the person's interests will not be adversely affected by refraining from giving such information.
A lawyer shall not:
(2) the juror has made known to the lawyer a desire not to communicate;
(4) the communication is intended to or is reasonably likely to demean, embarrass, or criticize the jurors or their verdicts; or
(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest; and
(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;
(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person;
(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and
(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client. A statement made pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.
(d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyer subject to paragraph (a) shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).
(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;
(b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;
(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;
(e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:
(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity. Further, in such a representation, the lawyer:
(b) shall not engage in conduct intended to disrupt such proceeding unless such conduct is protected by law; and
(c) may engage in ex parte communications, except as prohibited by law.
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.
In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person.
(b) A lawyer who receives a document relating to the representation of the lawyer's client and knows or reasonably should know that the document was inadvertently sent shall promptly notify the sender.
(c) Unless otherwise permitted by court order, a lawyer who receives a document relating to the representation of the lawyer's client and who, before reviewing the document, receives notice from the sender that the document was inadvertently sent, shall not examine the document and shall abide by the sender's instructions as to its disposition.
(a) A lawyer shall not threaten criminal, administrative or disciplinary charges to obtain an advantage in a civil matter nor shall a lawyer present or participate in presenting criminal, administrative or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.
(b) It shall not be a violation of Rule 4.5 for a lawyer to notify another person in a civil matter that the lawyer reasonably believes that the other's conduct may violate criminal, administrative or disciplinary rules or statutes.
(a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer's reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.
With respect to nonlawyers employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:
(a) a partner, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer;
(b) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer; and
(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons;
(2) a lawyer who undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation which fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer;
(3) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;
(4) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and
(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation, association, or limited liability company, authorized to practice law for a profit, except in accordance with C.R.C.P. 265 and any successor rule or action adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court.
(1) practice law in this jurisdiction without a license to practice law issued by the Colorado Supreme Court unless specifically authorized by C.R.C.P. 220, C.R.C.P. 221, C.R.C.P. 221.1, C.R.C.P. 222 or federal or tribal law;
(4) allow the name of a disbarred lawyer or a suspended lawyer who must petition for reinstatement to remain in the firm name.
(b) A lawyer shall not employ, associate professionally with, allow or aid a person the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is a disbarred, suspended, or on disability inactive status to perform the following on behalf of the lawyer's client:
(c) Subject to the limitation set forth below in paragraph (d), a lawyer may employ, associate professionally with, allow or aid a lawyer who is disbarred, suspended (whose suspension is partially or fully served), or on disability inactive status to perform research, drafting or clerical activities, including but not limited to:
(3) accompanying an active member in attending a deposition or other discovery matter for the limited purpose of providing assistance to the lawyer who will appear as the representative of the client.
(d) A lawyer shall not allow a person the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is disbarred, suspended, or on disability inactive status to have any professional contact with clients of the lawyer or of the lawyer's firm unless the lawyer:
(1) prior to the commencement of the work, gives written notice to the client for whom the work will be performed that the disbarred or suspended lawyer, or the lawyer on disability inactive status, may not practice law; and
(2) retains written notification for no less than two years following completion of the work.
A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or
(2) in other circumstances by an entity controlled by the lawyer individually or with others if the lawyer fails to take reasonable measures to assure that a person obtaining the law-related services knows that the services are not legal services and that the protections of the client-lawyer relationship do not exist.
(b) The term "law-related services" denotes services that might reasonably be performed in conjunction with and in substance are related to the provision of legal services, and that are not prohibited as unauthorized practice of law when provided by a nonlawyer.
Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyer should:
(a) provide a substantial majority of the fifty hours of legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:
(1) delivery of legal services at no fee or a substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;
In addition, a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.
Where constitutional, statutory or regulatory restrictions prohibit government and public sector lawyers or judges from performing the pro bono services outlined in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2), those individuals should fulfill their pro bono publico responsibility by performing services or participating in activities outlined in paragraph (b).
A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:
A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, notwithstanding that the organization serves persons having interests adverse to a client of the lawyer. The lawyer shall not knowingly participate in a decision or action of the organization:
(a) if participating in the decision or action would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations to a client under Rule 1.7; or
A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer. When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefited by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact to the organization but need not identify the client.
(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule.
(b) No lawyer shall, directly or indirectly, pay all or a part of the cost of communications concerning a lawyer's services by a lawyer not in the same firm unless the communication discloses the name and address of the non-advertising lawyer, the relationship between the advertising lawyer and the non-advertising lawyer, and whether the advertising lawyer may refer any case received through the advertisement to the non-advertising lawyer.
(c) Unsolicited communications concerning a lawyer's services mailed to prospective clients shall be sent only by regular U.S. mail, not by registered mail or other forms of restricted delivery, and shall not resemble legal pleadings or other legal documents.
(d) Any communication that states or implies the client does not have to pay a fee if there is no recovery shall also disclose that the client may be liable for costs. This provision does not apply to communications that only state that contingent or percentage fee arrangements are available, or that only state the initial consultation is free.
(e) A lawyer shall not knowingly permit, encourage or assist in any way employees, agents or other persons to make communications on behalf of the lawyer or the law firm in violation of this Rule or Rules 7.2 through 7.4.
(f) In connection with the sale of a private law practice under Rule 1.17, an opinion of the purchasing lawyer's suitability and competence to represent existing clients shall not violate this Rule if the lawyer complies with Rule 1.17(d).
(1) pay the reasonable costs of communications permitted by this Rule;
(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17; and
(4) refer clients to another lawyer or a nonlawyer pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these Rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if
(i) the reciprocal referral agreement is not exclusive, and
(ii) the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.
(c) Any communication made pursuant to this Rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.
(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:
(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professionalemployment from a prospective client by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:
(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or
(c) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client believed to be in need of legal services which arise out of the personal injury or death of any person by written, recorded, or electronic communication. This Rule 7.3(c) shall not apply if the lawyer has a family or prior professional relationship with the prospective client or if the communication is issued more than 30 days after the occurrence of the event for which the legal representation is being solicited. Any such communication must comply with the following:
(2) if a lawyer other than the lawyer whose name or signature is contained in the communication will actually handle the case or matter, or if the case or matter will be referred to another lawyer or law firm, any such communication shall include a statement so advising the prospective client.
(1) include the words "Advertising Material" on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person specified in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2);
A copy of or recording of each such communication and a sample of the envelopes, if any, in which the communications are enclosed shall be kept for a period of four years from the date of dissemination of the communication.
(e) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
(a) A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law or that the lawyer is a specialist in particular fields of law. Such communication shall be in accordance with Rule 7.1.
(b) A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
(e) In any advertisement in which a lawyer affirmatively claims to be certified in any area of the law, such advertisement shall contain the following disclosure: "Colorado does not certify lawyers as specialists in any field." This disclaimer is not required where the information concerning the lawyer's services is contained in a law list, law directory or a publication intended primarily for use of the legal profession.
(a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.1. A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.
(b) A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.
(c) The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.
A lawyer or law firm shall not accept a government legal engagement or an appointment by a judge if the lawyer or law firm makes a political contribution or solicits political contributions for the purpose of obtaining or being consideredfor that type of legal engagementor appointment.
An applicant for admission, readmission, or reinstatementto the bar, or a lawyer in connection with an application foradmission, readmission, or reinstatement to the baror in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:
(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or
(b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority, except that this Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer or of a candidate for election, or appointment to, or retention in, judicial or legal office.
(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.
(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.
(c) This Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6 or information gained by a lawyer or judge while serving as a member of a lawyers' peer assistance program that has been approved by the Colorado Supreme Court initially or upon renewal, to the extent that such information would be confidential if it were communicated subject to the attorney-client privilege.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;
(g) engage in conduct, in the representation of a client, that exhibits or is intended to appeal to or engender bias against a person on account of that person's race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, whether that conduct is directed to other counsel, court personnel, witnesses, parties, judges, judicial officers, or any persons involved in the legal process; or
(a) A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the lawyer's conduct occurs. A lawyer not admitted in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.
(1) for conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise; and
(2) for any other conduct, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer's conduct occurred, or, if the predominant effect of the conduct is in a different jurisdiction, the rules of that jurisdiction shall be applied to the conduct. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if the lawyer's conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer's conduct will occur.
These rules shall be known and cited as the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct or Colo. RPC.