Ethics

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The North Carolina State Bar is a compulsory membership state agency, governed by a 61-member council, that regulates lawyers licensed in North Carolina.

The councilors then serve on a variety of committees within the State Bar to help review and develop material that regulates attorneys, such as the Rules of Professional Conduct and formal ethics opinions.

Several NCAJ members serve on the NC State Bar Ethics Committee, either as a councilor or as an advisory member:

NC State Bar Ethics Committee Members

NC State Bar Ethics Committee Advisory Members

How and Why Lawyers Should Participate in the State Bar FEO and Rule Amendment Process

Learn more from NCAJ Past President and NCSB Ethics Committee advisory member Brad Bannon.

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The NC State Bar Ethics Committee meets on a quarterly basis prior to the quarterly State Bar Council meetings. During those meetings, the Ethics Committee review inquiries about professional responsibility of lawyers. Prior to adoption of formal ethics opinions, the Ethics Committee will propose drafts for review and comment. Frequently, those proposed formal ethics opinions will result in subcommittees that meet to review comments and suggest revisions for further consideration by the Ethics Committee. After adoption by the Ethics Committee of proposed formal ethics opinions, the State Bar Councilors will review and adopt the ethics opinions.   

NCAJ works with the NC State Bar’s Ethics Committee to review comments submitted on proposed formal ethics opinions. If an issue garners feedback from NCAJ members, the issue will be highlighted for NCAJ’s Legal Affairs Vice President and follow up action will be taken. Including NCAJ on the comment submission helps to highlight your concerns, as NCAJ frequently provides additional feedback to the Ethics Committee, especially on proposed formal ethics opinions that affect NCAJ members and those we represent.

The State Bar Councilors met in July of 2021 and adopted the following formal ethics opinions: 

Formal ethics opinions of the State Bar may be reviewed here: https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/adopted-opinions/.  

The State Bar Ethics Committee met in July of 2021 and proposed the following formal ethics opinions for public comment:  

Comment period ends October 1, 2021. Email comments to ethicscomments@ncbar.gov and legalaffairs@ncaj.com.