Answers to your ethics questions are free and just a phone call away.
The OPC can quickly give you real life ethical advice on small everyday
matters or big picture issues. Our goal is to help you serve your clients
and the legal system in the most ethical and professional manner by
answering questions before there’s a problem.
The OPC will not give ethical advice regarding the conduct of an attorney
other than the attorney caller. Problems with the attorneys you are
dealing with are better addressed by the court (if a court action is
in progress) or through a written Bar complaint. Also, the OPC will
not give legal advice.
If the facts surrounding the problem have already developed to the
extent that you have already violated the ethical rules or committed
professional misconduct, the OPC can use the reported information to
initiate an investigation into your misconduct. In this regard, no attorney-client
relationship between you and the OPC is created by the use of the Ethics
The OPC staff attorneys are assigned to answer ethical
inquiries, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The OPC
requests that you leave a detailed message describing the problem on
the Ethics Hotline and one of the attorneys will review the pertinent
Rules of Professional Conduct and return your call to discuss the matter
and direct you to the appropriate rules that govern your problem. The
OPC has set a policy goal to return all Ethics Hotline phone calls
within a twenty-four hour workday period. If the problem is of an emergency
nature requiring an immediate response, the phone system will allow
you to speak to an OPC attorney immediately.
The OPC keeps a written record of the request and the advice given,
however, due to the one-sided nature of the information taken by the
OPC on its Ethics Hotline and the need for quick and less than exhaustive
research of the case law and opinions associated with the Rules, advice
given by the OPC on the Hotline is not intended to be legally binding
on the office. In this regard, you are told:
This is an informal opinion of our office, based upon a reading of
the Rules of Professional Conduct.
You should read the rules and exercise own judgment.
Formal opinions can be requested from the Utah State Bar’s Ethics
Advisory Opinion Committee.
The OPC considers all conversations on the Ethics Hotline strictly confidential
however, neither the District Courts of this state nor the Utah Supreme
Court has made a determination of this confidentiality. For fast, free
ethics advice call (801) 531-9110.
The Utah State Bar’s Ethics Advisory Opinions can be found on
the Bar’s website at http://www.utahbar.org/rules_ops_pols/index_of_opinions.html.