Letter to the Editor, 1018 ALBJ, Vol. 31, No. 5. 8

PositionVol. 31 5 Pg. 8

Letter to the Editor

Vol. 31 No. 5 Pg. 8

Utah Bar Journal

October, 2018

September 2018


The May/June issue of the Utah Bar Journal included two interesting discussions of conflicts of interest under the Rules of Professional Conduct and government lawyers, in particular for the Office of Attorney General. ("Legislative Update" and "Focus on Ethics & Civility.") Neither mentions Rule of Professional Conduct 1.10(f) which says that "[a]n office of government lawyers who serve as counsel to a governmental entity such as the office of the Attorney General, the United States Attorney, or a district, county, or city attorney does not constitute a 'firm' for purposes of Rule 1.10 imputation." If the office of the Attorney General is not a firm, then the only conflicts that can arise are those attaching to the work performed by each individual attorney in the office, which suggests that the "conflict" provisions of H.B. 198 were unnecessary, and the Bar Leadership's concern that legislation "held the attorney general to a different, and arguably lower, standard than what is required of lawyers generally under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct" may have been misdirected. Rule 1.10(f) appears to exempt government lawyers from possible conflicts arising by imputation (at least for circumstances such as those that prompted H.B. 198), unlike all private practice lawyers. But perhaps the Rule does not mean what it says.

John H. Bogart


1. Letters shall be typewritten, double spaced, signed by the author, and shall not exceed 300 words in length.

2. No one person shall have more than one letter to the editor published every six months.

3. All letters submitted for publication shall be addressed to Editor, Utah Bar Journal, and shall be emailed to BarJournal@UtahBar.org or delivered to the office of the Utah State Bar at least six weeks prior to publication.

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