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Committees: Ethics Advisory

The Ethics Advisory Committee provides advisory opinions to KBA members 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.


Opinions are issued by the KBA Professional Ethics Advisory Committee and are not binding in any judicial or disciplinary proceeding. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel receives a copy of the opinions, but does not comment on them.

Limitations

Ethics opinions are not issued if the matter on which an opinion is being sought is the subject of litigation. Requests must concern a lawyer’s own future conduct, not past conduct. Opinions are also not issued with regard to questions of law, such as interpretations of rules, statutes or cases.

Formal or Informal

The KBA will issue either informal or formal opinions. Informal opinions are spontaneous discussions with the KBA Law Practice Management Attorney or with members of the KBA Professional Ethics Advisory Committee, to which the caller is referred by the Law Practice Counsel. Little research is spent on informal opinions. Formal opinions take longer, generally three to six weeks, but are well researched. Once again, both informal and formal opinions are not binding and should not be used as a substitute for advice given by the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator. The Office of the Disciplinary Administrator will frequently discuss ethical situations with attorneys and may be where an attorney should make his or her first inquiry, especially in situations where an expedited response is necessary.

Confidentiality

All opinion requests and opinion releases are kept confidential. Final versions of opinions do not identify the requesting attorney. 

 

Requesting an Opinion

  • Informal opinion:
    Simply call (785) 234-5696 and ask for Sara Rust-Martin, Law Practice Management Services Attorney.
  • Formal opinion:
    Send a letter to the address below, stating the facts upon which you want an opinion and self-certify that:
    1. you are a KBA member and are seeking the opinion for yourself and no one else,
    2. that it is not for use in litigation or disciplinary matters, and
    3. that you want the information for guidance on future conduct.

    Send requests to the attention of:
    Kansas Bar Association
    Attn: Sara Rust-Martin, LPM Attorney
    1200 SW Harrison St.
    Topeka, KS  66612

Questions

Should you have questions about the Ethics Advisory Committee or any part of the opinion submission process, please call Sara Rust-Martin, Law Practice Management Attorney, at (785) 234-5696.

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J. N. Badgerow
Staff Liaison
Sara E. Rust-Martin

 

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