Utah State Bar
Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee
Opinion Number 15-01
Issued January 13, 2015
- The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole (the “Board”) and a private attorney have jointly requested the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee issue an opinion on what constitutes a “matter” as discussed in Utah Rules of Professional Conduct 1.11(a)(2) and 1.12(a). Specifically, in light of the nature of Board proceedings, do all decisions involving an individual offender constitute the same “matter” for purposes of Rule 1.11(a)(2) and 1.12(a)? What are the limitations on a former member of the Board or hearing officer in representing offenders before the Board?
- A former member of the Board (or hearing officer) may not represent an offender before the Board without the informed written consent of the Board where the former Board member (or hearing officer) personally and substantially participated in prior Board proceedings involving the same offender. However, the specific facts and circumstances of the subsequent representation, including, without limitation, the lapse of time between the two Board proceedings and nature of the offenses involved, may often provide a basis for the Board to waive any potential conflict in such a situation.