The Office of Professional Conduct

The purpose of the OPC.

The Office of Professional Conduct (OPC) has three primary responsibilities: 1) investigate allegations against attorneys violating the Rules of Professional Conduct, 2) prosecute those allegations in accordance with the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability and the Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, and 3) provide informal guidance to members of the Bar concerning professional conduct.

The purpose of the lawyer disciplinary process is to ensure and maintain the high standards of professional conduct required of those who undertake the discharge of professional responsibilities as lawyers.

The process is designed to protect the public and the administration of justice from lawyers who have demonstrated by their conduct that they are unable or likely to be unable to discharge properly their professional responsibilities.

Rules of the Utah Supreme Court provide that, prior to the OPC filing a formal complaint in the district court or the issuance of a public reprimand, discipline proceedings are confidential. While the OPC is charged with investigating and prosecuting attorney misconduct, the office does not make the ultimate determination as to whether rules have been violated and we do not impose discipline against attorneys.

This is done by the District Courts and the Ethics and Discipline Committee under the supervision of the Utah Supreme Court.

A more detailed description of the disciplinary process can be found here.

 


Ethics Resources

For lawyers.

ETHICS & DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE

This Utah Supreme Court-appointed committee reviews, investigates, and hears, where appropriate or requested by the Bar, informal complaints charging unethical or unprofessional conduct against lawyers.

ETHICS HOTLINE

Ethics question? Reach out to one of our OPC lawyers via phone (801-531-9110) or online form to receive informal guidance regarding professional conduct.

ETHICS SCHOOL

A semi-annual event, the Ethics School covers some of the most common ethical concerns that lawyers face. Signing up is as easy as logging in to your Practice Portal.

ETHICS ADVISORY OPINIONS

Lawyers asked and the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee answered. These formal answers intend to increase clarity regarding real ethics questions practitioners face.


Understanding
lawyer discipline.

One of the primary functions of the OPC is to investigate allegations of lawyers violating the Rules of Professional Conduct and prosecuting those allegations in accordance with the Rules of Lawyers Discipline and Disability.

The purpose of lawyer disciplinary and disability proceedings is to ensure and maintain the high standards of professional conduct required of those who undertake the discharge of professional responsibilities as lawyers and to protect the public and the administration of justice from those who have demonstrated by their conduct that they are unable or unlikely to properly discharge their professional responsibilities.

Lawyers who have been suspended for six months or less can be reinstated by complying with the terms of their suspension and filing an affidavit with the court. See Rule 14-524 of the Utah Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability.

Lawyers who have been suspended for more than six months or disbarred must petition the court for reinstatement or readmission according to Rule 14-525.

The OPC disseminates information regarding public discipline pursuant to Rule 14-516.


OPC at your CLE event.

CLE events often feature an OPC attorney speaking on issues relating to ethics, discipline, practice management, and professionalism. We currently have six OPC attorneys. If you’re hosting a CLE event and would like to invite one of our OPC attorneys to speak, please email your request to opcstaff@utahbar.org. Include date, time and location of your event as well as desired presentation topic.


Rules of Professional Conduct

Utah Supreme Court


Lawyer discipline FAQs.

All disciplinary proceedings, including those following informal and formal complaints, are conducted in accordance with the process described in the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability(the “Rules”). The Rules are construed to achieve “substantial justice and fairness in disciplinary matters with dispatch and at the least expense to all concerned parties.”

If a lawyer is been found to have engaged in misconduct, the Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions govern the imposition of sanctions. The standards are found in the Utah Code Annotated. Service of a formal complaint is made under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Service of any other papers or notices required by Rules is made under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Utah Rules of Evidence apply in formal disciplinary actions. Appeals of District Court orders of public discipline are made pursuant to the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure.

All disciplinary proceedings, including those following informal and formal complaints, are conducted in accordance with the process described in the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability(the “Rules”). The Rules are construed to achieve “substantial justice and fairness in disciplinary matters with dispatch and at the least expense to all concerned parties.”

If a lawyer is been found to have engaged in misconduct, the Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions govern the imposition of sanctions. The standards are found in the Utah Code Annotated. Service of a formal complaint is made under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Service of any other papers or notices required by Rules is made under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Utah Rules of Evidence apply in formal disciplinary actions. Appeals of District Court orders of public discipline are made pursuant to the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure.

All disciplinary proceedings, including those following informal and formal complaints, are conducted in accordance with the process described in the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability(the “Rules”). The Rules are construed to achieve “substantial justice and fairness in disciplinary matters with dispatch and at the least expense to all concerned parties.”

If a lawyer is been found to have engaged in misconduct, the Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions govern the imposition of sanctions. The standards are found in the Utah Code Annotated. Service of a formal complaint is made under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Service of any other papers or notices required by Rules is made under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Utah Rules of Evidence apply in formal disciplinary actions. Appeals of District Court orders of public discipline are made pursuant to the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure.


We are here to help

Contact the Office of Professional Conduct



  • P. 801-531-9110