Proposed Amendments to Modernize ABA Model Rules on Attorney Communications

The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility has presented proposed amendments to the ABA Model Rules on communication to modernize the rules’ guidance. The ABA Model Rules with proposed amendments are rules 1.0 and 7.1 through 7.5.

The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) published reports in 2015 and 2016 stressing a need for modernizing the Model Rules governing communication. During an open forum at the 2017 ABA Midyear Meeting held in Miami, various members of the legal profession gave mixed reviews to the APRL’s reports. Proponents of the reports praised its movement toward a modernized philosophical shift of the Model Rules, while opponents criticized, among other things, what they deemed the reports’ mischaracterization of “advertising” as “communication.”

Currently, the Standing Committee has published a working draft of the proposed amendments, dated December 21, 2017. The Standing Committee is scheduled to host an additional open forum on its proposed amendments and working draft on February 2, 2018, in this year’s ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. In addition, the Standing Committee is accepting written comments to its proposed amendments through modelruleamend@americanbar.org until March 1, 2018.

Read the ABA’s most recent release on the Standing Committee’s proposed amendments here.

Read the Standing Committee’s working draft dated December 21, 2017 here.

Read an article on the mixed reviews following the 2017 ABA Midyear Meeting here.

Read APRL’s 2015 report on its proposed amendments here.

Read APRL’s 2016 report on its proposed amendments here.

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