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    Vol. 79, No. 7  July 2006

    Bar Seeks Feedback on Court's Draft Revisions to Rules of Professional Conduct

    At its May 2 meeting, the State Bar Board of Governors approved creating an Ethics 2000 Review Committee to respond to the Wisconsin Supreme Court's draft revisions to SCR Chapter 20, the Rules of Professional Conduct for Wisconsin Attorneys. Then-State Bar President D. Michael Guerin appointed the review committee, which is soliciting member feedback and will make recommendations to the board at its July 21 meeting.

    Background

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an interim order on March 15, 2006, that contained proposed changes to SCR Chapter 20, known as the Rules of Professional Conduct for Wisconsin Attorneys (Rules). The supreme court issued the initial draft after reviewing a report from the Wisconsin Ethics 2000 Committee that recommended several changes to the Rules. The supreme court appointed the Wisconsin Ethics 2000 Committee to review the work product of the ABA Ethics 2000 Commission and to make recommendations to the court on whether, and to what extent, to update the Rules of Professional Conduct in Wisconsin.

    The supreme court has held several open administrative conferences during which justices reviewed and debated the committee's recommended changes as well as recommendations from the State Bar and other organizations concerning the proposed changes. The end product from the open administrative conferences is a first draft of Rule changes that will become effective sometime in 2007. Lawyers can review the draft at www.wisbar.org/ethics2000.

    The supreme court may issue revisions to the draft later this summer. Any additional changes the court might propose are not anticipated to be significant; however, a second draft may include justices' dissents to items discussed in the proposed Rule changes. The proposed Rule changes then will be presented to the State Bar and other organizations for further comment. The court will address the comments at an open conference in late August with a deadline of issuing a final order with the Rule changes in September.

    Comment by July 19

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the State Bar by July 19. Comments can be emailed to ethics-feedback@wisbar.org, faxed to (608) 257-5502, or mailed to State Bar of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158.

    The Bar will share that feedback with the court, which will reconvene in September to consider final language changes, issue its final order, and determine whether the new rules will be effective on Jan. 1, 2007, or July 1, 2007.

    Wisconsin Lawyer




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