HB 2221 Strengthens Attorney Regulation.

  • Mar 28, 2016
  • State Bar of Arizona, Voluntary Bar Legislation, Voluntary Bars

Consumer protections like the Ethics Hotline and the Client Protection Fund are preserved under HB 2221, and the Arizona Bar will never be able to divert money from these programs to fund lawyer amenities or political activities. HB 2221 makes clear that only the Arizona Supreme Court has the power to change these programs.

Currently, volunteer Arizona attorneys staff the Ethics Hotline. HB 2221 has no effect on this voluntary service that attorneys provide to each other. According to the Arizona Bar, “the Client Protection Fund is a trust that is an entity separate from the State Bar of Arizona . . . . Each lawyer licensed to practice law in Arizona contributes a yearly assessment to the Fund.”

HB 2221 has no effect on attorney licensing or support of the Client Protection Fund, which both remain under the authority of the Arizona Supreme Court.

Nebraska has a nearly identical system to HB 2221, and 18 other states have completely voluntary bar associations. Every single one of these states provides ethical advice and consumer protections—funded by attorneys. Arizonans can continue to count on these protections after HB 2221 becomes law. (Compare the mandatory State Bar of Arizona with the following voluntary jurisdictions, including Nebraska’s bifurcated assessment mandatory bar).

Ethics Hotlines

♦ State Bar of Arizona, http://www.azbar.org/Ethics

The Ethics Counsel or volunteer attorneys provide opinions that are “non-binding and intended only to be informational.”

♦ Nebraska Supreme Court, https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/4805/counsel-discipline

The Counsel for Discipline answers ethical questions and issues advisory ethics opinions.

♦ Nebraska Bar Association, http://www.nebar.com/?page=ForthePublic

Pursuant to Rule of Discipline 5, the Lawyers’ Advisory Committee may render, upon the request of a Nebraska attorney, an advisory opinion or an interpretation of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding anticipatory conduct on the part of the requesting attorney.

♦ Arkansas Bar Association, http://www.arkbar.com/for-attorneys/ethics-advisory

Arkansas Bar Association Professional Ethics Committee issues advisory ethics opinions.

♦ Connecticut Bar Association, Professional Ethics Committee,


The Professional Ethics Committee receives and considers written requests for advice about professional ethics and issues advisory opinions on professional conduct.

♦ Colorado Bar Association, https://www.cobar.org/index.cfm/ID/383/CETH/Ethics-Hotline/Calling-Committee/

Members of the Ethics Committee volunteer to discuss attorneys’ ethical dilemmas or questions.

♦ Delaware State Bar Association, http://www.dsba.org/sections-committees/standingcommittees/professional-ethics/

Delaware attorneys may contact the Committee on Professional Ethics with an ethical inquiry concerning his or her own prospective conduct via email.

♦ Illinois State Bar Association, https://www.isba.org/ethics

The Illinois State Bar maintains an “Ethics Infoline.”

♦ Indiana State Bar Association, http://www.inbar.org/?page=legal_ethics_opinion

The ISBA Legal Ethics Committee maintains a “Phone Advisory Panel” to answer ethics questions.

♦ Iowa State Bar Association, http://www.iowabar.org/group/Ethics

The ISBA’s Committee Ethics and Practice Guidelines issues advisory opinions on the proper interpretation of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct.

♦ Kansas Bar Association, http://www.ksbar.org/page/com_ethics_advisory

The Ethics Advisory Committee provides advisory opinions on questions concerning ethical standards and practices, and to otherwise help educate lawyers about their ethical obligations and provide professional guidance in the area of ethical conduct.

♦ Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar,


The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar provides assistance to Maine attorneys through its “Ethics Helpline.” Intended for attorney use only, staff attorneys assists members of the bar by providing confidential informal advisory opinions concerning the interpretation or applicability of the Maine Bar Rules and/or Maine Rules of Professional Conduct.

♦ Maryland State Bar Association, http://www.msba.org/members/ethicshotline.aspx

Four members of the MSBA’s Ethics Committee take calls each month from members who have questions on ethical issues.

♦ Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, http://www.mass.gov/obcbbo/faq.htm

The Office of the Bar Counsel operates an ethics hot line to discuss ethical questions which confront attorneys, provides guidance to attorneys faced with ethical problems, and attorneys seeking reinstatement.

♦ Massachusetts Bar Association, http://www.massbar.org/for-attorneys/ethical-inquiries

The MBA’s Committee on Professional Ethics offers a variety of options for attorneys who have specific ethical inquiries, including an ethics hotline.

♦ Minnesota Supreme Court


The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility offers advisory opinions on professional responsibility issues to licensed Minnesota attorneys and judges via phone and email.

♦ New Jersey Courts, http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/ethicshelp.html

The Office of Attorney Ethics Help Desk for New Jersey Lawyers fields attorneys’ written and telephonic ethics questions.

♦ New York City Bar Association, http://www.nycbar.org/ethics/ethics-hotline

New York lawyers faced with ethical questions regarding their own prospective conduct can reach the Ethics Hotline through Customer Service at 212.382.6663.

♦ Ohio Supreme Court, http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Boards/BOC/default.aspx

A Board of Professional Conduct legal staff member is available to discuss ethics questions with judges, lawyers, and judicial candidates.

♦ Cincinnati Bar Association, http://www.cincybar.org/news-resources/ethics-hotline.php

The CBA Ethics & Professional Responsibility Committee Ethics Hotline Attorneys helps attorneys interpret their obligations under the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.

♦ Tennessee Supreme Court, http://tbpr.org/TheBoard/

The Board of Professional Responsibility answers ethical questions via email.

♦ Vermont Judiciary,


The Office of Bar Counsel answers “all inquiries from attorneys regarding ethical issues or practice questions.”

Client Protection Funds

Arizona Client Protection Fund,


“The Client Protection Fund is a trust that is an entity separate from the State Bar of Arizona . . . . Each lawyer licensed to practice law in Arizona contributes a yearly assessment to the Fund.”

Nebraska Client Assistance Fund: http://www.nebar.com/?page=CAF

The NSBA, under the supervision of the Court, administers the Client Assistance Fund by designating a member of its staff to act as Administrator for the Board. With the assistance of the NSBA, the Administrator collects assessments from attorneys in amounts as approved by the Court and reports to the Court the names and addresses of all attorneys who fail to pay said assessments.

♦ Arkansas Client Security Fund: https://courts.arkansas.gov/boards-committees/client-securityfund

The Client Security fund is administered by the Office of the Arkansas Supreme Court, Committee on Professional Conduct.

♦ Colorado Attorney’s Fund for Client Protection:


Established by the Colorado Supreme Court, the Attorney’s Fund for Client Protection is financed by annual assessments of active Colorado attorneys. None of the money in the Fund comes from clients’ fees.

♦ Connecticut Client Security Fund:


The fund is financed by a fee collected from each attorney admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut, as well as each judge, judge trial referee, state referee, family support magistrate, family support referee and workers’ compensation commissioner.

♦ Delaware Lawyers’ Fund For Client Protection: http://courts.delaware.gov/lfcp/about.aspx

The Lawyers’ Fund For Client Protection was created by the Delaware Supreme Court. It is financed by all attorneys admitted to practice law in the State of Delaware.

♦ Illinois Client Protection Program of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission: http://www.iardc.org/clientprotection.html#1

The Client Protection Program was established by the Supreme Court of Illinois. It is funded by the annual registration fees paid by Illinois lawyers.

♦ Indiana Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund: http://www.inbar.org/?page=cfaf

The Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund is administered by the Indiana State Bar Association. It is funded by the voluntary contributions of the members of ISBA.

♦ Iowa Clients’ Security Trust Fund: http://www.iowabar.org/?page=Public

The Clients’ Security Trust Fund is administered by the Client Security Commission. It is funded by contributions from lawyers and judges. The fund also covers the cost of administering the lawyer disciplinary system and other programs which impact the disciplinary system. The Commission advises the court on policies involving the administration of the fund.

♦ Kansas Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection: http://www.kscourts.org/appellate-clerk/general/lawyers-fund-for-client-protection/profile.asp

The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection created by the Kansas Supreme Court. It is funded by annual Disciplinary Fee Fund assessments on attorneys.

♦ Maine Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection:


The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection is funded by an annual attorney fee established by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

♦ Maryland Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland: http://www.courts.state.md.us/cpf/

The Court of Appeals requires each lawyer make an annual assessment as a condition precedent to the practice of law in the State of Maryland.

♦ Massachusetts Clients’ Security Board: http://www.mass.gov/ClientsSecurityBoard/who.html

The Clients’ Security Board was established by the Supreme Judicial Court. A portion of the annual fees paid by each attorney is allocated to the Fund.

♦ Minnesota Client Security Board: http://csb.mncourts.gov/about/Pages/FAQs.aspx

The Client Security Board was established by the Minnesota Supreme Court. All active

Minnesota lawyers pay for the Client Security Fund. None of the money in the Fund comes from clients’ fees.

♦ New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection:


The New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection is an entity of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. New Jersey judges and lawyers pay for the Fund.

♦ New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection: http://www.nylawfund.org

The Fund for Client Protection is managed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Court of Appeals, New York State’s high court. The fund is financed by the 278,000 members of the legal profession in New York State through a registration fee required by law.

♦ Ohio Clients’ Security Fund: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Boards/clientSecurity/message/

The Clients’ Security Fund of Ohio is an agency of the Supreme Court of Ohio. It is funded through registration fees paid by all Ohio judges and attorneys.

♦ Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security:


The Lawyers Fund for Client Security was established by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. It operates under the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and is funded through annual assessment paid by every active licensed Pennsylvania attorney.

♦ Tennessee Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection: https://www.tncourts.gov/rules/supreme-court/25

The Lawyers’ Fund for Client protection was established by the Tennessee Supreme Court and is administered by a board appointed by the Court.

♦ Vermont Client Security Fund:


The Client Security Fund is administered by the Vermont Bar Association.


– Jim Manley, Senior Attorney, Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation