27 NCAC 01D .0102 REQUESTS FOR LEGAL ETHICS OPINIONS AND ETHICS ADVISORIES (GENERAL PROVISIONS)
(a) Any attorney or citizen may request the Bar to rule on actual or contemplated professional conduct of an attorney in the form and manner provided hereinafter. The grant or denial of the request rests with the discretion of the executive director, assistant executive director, committee, or the council.
(b) Attorneys may initiate a request for an ethics advisory either in writing, by telephone, or in person regarding conduct which they contemplate and in good faith believe is either a routine matter or requires urgent action in order to protect some legal right, privilege, or interest. If the request is initiated verbally, the requesting attorney must promptly confirm the request in writing.
(c) A request for an ethics advisory, ethics decision, or legal ethics opinion shall present in detail to the executive director or assistant executive director all operative facts upon which the request is based. All requests for either a legal ethics opinion or an ethics decision shall be made in writing.
(d) Any citizen may request either a legal ethics opinion or an ethics decision through any councilor of the judicial district of his or her residence or principal place of business except when the request is regarding the propriety of said councilor's conduct, in which case the citizen may make the request through another councilor in the district or a councilor in an adjoining judicial district.
(e) Any attorney, including a councilor acting pursuant to Paragraph (d) hereinabove, who requests either a legal ethics opinion or an ethics decision concerning acts or contemplated professional conduct of another attorney, shall state the name of that attorney and identify all persons who the requesting attorney has reason to believe would be substantially affected by the question or questions advanced. The councilor shall exercise good faith in preparing the request on behalf of the citizen.
(f) If an attorney willfully fails to identify an attorney who the requesting attorney has reason to believe would be substantially affected by the requested ethics advisory, legal ethics opinion, or ethics decision, his or her willful failure may be treated as misconduct. The requesting attorney shall receive no right, benefit, or immunity under any opinion which has been issued under such circumstances, and the opinion shall be reexamined de novo under the procedures delineated in Rule .0104 of this Subchapter.
History Note: Authority G.S. 84-23;
Readopted Eff. December 8, 1994.