Ethics and Professional Responsibility

This Committee works to update and revise the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct that were patterned after the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The current revisions to the rules went into effect on January 1, 2011.

Lewis Thomason
40 S Main St #2900
Memphis, TN 38103

Supreme Court Adopts Changes to Confidentiality of Ethics Opinions

In response to a BPR Petition, the Tennessee Supreme Court today adopted a revision to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 9, Section 5.4(c) that is intended to confirm that communications between lawyers and disciplinary counsel related to obtaining informal ethics opinions are confidential and not public records. On behalf of the bar, the TBA had offered even stronger protections for those seeking guidance. Read a copy of the order here.

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TBA: Revision Needed to Guide Lawyer's Ethical Inquiries

In a comment filed today, the Tennessee Bar Association suggested clearer language could be used to revise Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 5.4, involving confidentiality guidelines for lawyers receiving ethical advice. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed a petition on June 18 citing concern that there may not be sufficient confidentiality protection under the existing rules. In its comment, the TBA recommended a revision of the BPR’s petition so that the rule will still permit lawyers receiving ethical advice to disclose information while maintaining confidential treatment of inquiries.

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