N.Y. Adopts New Attorney Conduct Rules

A NY Law Journal article and a Law.com article report today that Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the four presiding Appellate Division justices have formally adopted a new set of attorney ethics rules. Proponents of adoption of the Rules of Professional Conduct (full text) say that the change will subject New York lawyers to the same standards governing lawyers in the rest of the country. The new Rules, based on the ABA Model Rules, replace the existing Disciplinary Rules and introduce important ethics changes for New York lawyers.
The change will make it easier for New York attorneys to reference ethics rules and advisory and legal opinions nationwide when researching issues, supporters of the new rules say. The standardized format, used in 47 other states, is organized according to a lawyer’s role as litigator, counselor, negotiator, and will facilitate a lawyer’s ability to assess specific ethical issues in context. The Rules have generated a national body of ethics law that will ease ethical research and guidance by New York lawyers as well as out-of-state lawyers seeking to research and follow New York’s rules. The effective date of the Rules of Professional Conduct is April 1, 2009 when they replace the New York Code of Professional Responsibility.

The BLS Library has on reserve at the circ desk the Sixth Edition of the Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Call # KF306 .A7484 2007) as well as the current edition of Legal Ehics: the Lawyer’s Deskbook on Professional Responsibility (Call # KF306 .R68).