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The New Amendments to The WV Rules of Professional Conduct 2014



This seminar is approved for 3.0 total WV MCLE credits, including 3.0 Ethics/Law Office Management credits.


Rachel L. Fletcher Cipoletti, Chief Lawyer
WV Office of Disciplinary Counsel

Ancil G. Ramey, Esquire
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

On September 29, 2014, by order of the WV Supreme Court of Appeals significant amendments were made to the WV Rules of Professional Conduct effective January 1, 2015. The new rules address the following topics which may be addressed at this seminar:

Changes to the procedures for securing waivers of conflict

Prevention of client fraud or criminal conduct

Expands competence to include keeping abreast of the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology

Permits limited representation, including ghostwriting

Duty of diligence may require sole practitioners to create a succession plan

Expanded guidance on communication with clients, including the concept of informed consent, confirmed in writing

Clarifies instances in which a lawyer may reveal information relative to representation of a client, such as seeking ethics advice or conducting conflict checks

Eliminates former rule prohibiting fee sharing, allows referral fees if client agrees to the referral

Requires reasonable and appropriate precautions by using available technical, physical, and administrative safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to information about the representation of a client

Rewrites rule on concurrent conflicts of interest, providing greater detail and clarity, greater protection for clients, and informed consent

Adds a prohibition that prevents a lawyer from soliciting any substantial gift from a client

Clarifies that most of the specific conflict types are imputed to the firm

Provides clarification for mass tort and aggregate settlements, including a mechanism for allocation agreements

Makes clear that the duty to protect confidentiality extends to former clients

Eliminates imputation of conflicts arising from a lawyer's own personal interests

Does not propose adopting the controversial 2009 Model Rule that permits screening outside of the narrow confines of situations involving government lawyers (Rule 1.11) and law clerks, etc. (Rule 1.12)

And many other changes...