The KBA Ethics Advisory Committee has released its latest ethics opinion (No. 14-01) regarding the duty to report attorney memory lapses. The main question asked in this opinion is whether a lawyer has an ethical obligation to report another lawyer's perceived cognitive deterioration or memory lapses, in the absence of a an actual violation of the KRPC.
A lawyer is not required to report another lawyer to the Disciplinary Administrator unless the lawyer has knowledge of an action, inaction or conduct of the other lawyer which constitutes misconduct under the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct. Rather, in the event there are memory lapses, cognitive deteriorations, or other potentially disabling conditions, the subject lawyer should be referred to the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program or other suitable service.