Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 19

''

We want
to adapt the
rules, maintain
standards,
and make them
applicable in
the modern
environment.
THOMAS B. MASON
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

courses and publish articles to educate Bar members and the public on
legal ethics issues.
Potential ethics opinion topics sometimes originate from calls to the Legal
Ethics Helpline - for example, where there is a pattern from multiple callers or
if a question is difficult to answer under the existing rules and opinions. Any Bar
member may also submit a question for consideration by the committee.
The committee continuously assesses laws, rules, judicial decisions, and ethics
opinions issued by other jurisdictions to identify topics for interpretation under
the D.C. Rules. Sundermeyer says social media, for example, has generated a
host of ethics issues for lawyers. In November 2016 the Legal Ethics Committee
issued two opinions dealing with social media use for marketing and personal
purposes, as well as in the provision of legal services.
When the committee reaches a consensus that an issue is appropriate for the
issuance of an ethics opinion, the topic goes through research and analysis,
draft writing and rewriting, debate, and editing by the entire committee.
"When editing by committee, we think very carefully about specific wording
because a characterization might work in one context but might not in
another," says Sundermeyer. "That's the beauty of having all the different
perspectives. Different members can identify various contexts in which a particular word or phrase is incorrect or unclear."
Sundermeyer says the Bar's legal ethics counsel, with their breadth of expertise,
play a key role in the process. "Everyone calls on Hope, Saul, and Erika. They're
really the premier experts on the application of the rules and how to practice
law ethically in the District," he says.

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL
CONDUCT REVIEW COMMITTEE
Established in 1994, the Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee
(Rules Review Committee) is a 15-member standing committee of the D.C. Bar
dedicated to examining and recommending amendments to the D.C. Rules
of Professional Conduct. Proposed changes are brought before the Board of
Governors and, if approved, are ultimately submitted to the D.C. Court of
Appeals, which has the authority to amend the Rules.
Thomas B. Mason, courtesy of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

OTHER REGULATION
COUNSEL PROGRAMS
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ADVISORY SERVICE
The D.C. Bar Practice Management Advisory Service (PMAS)
provides resources for attorneys seeking to improve their
business skills in the practice of law. The PMAS also offers
confidential assessments and guidance, courses and trainings,
and more. For more information on the PMAS, check out
the April 2019 issue of Washington Lawyer.

LAWYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program assists D.C. attorneys,
law students, and judges who are dealing with substance
abuse, mental health, and stress-related issues. Read the
January/February 2019 issue of Washington Lawyer for more
in-depth coverage on the program and its services.

GLOBAL LEGAL PRACTICE COMMITTEE
The Global Legal Practice Committee was created by the Bar's
Board of Governors as successor to the Global Legal Practice
Task Force. It explores globalization in the practice of law and
its impact on Bar members and the Bar as an organization.

The Rules Review Committee stays abreast of the changes in the legal world,
examining court rulings as well as recommendations from Bar members, legal
organizations, and other Bar committees. The committee also regularly reviews
changes to the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
"The committee pools its collective experience, observes what is happening
with the rules nationally, and works to keep our rules in step with the practice of
law," says Thomas B. Mason, a partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP and Rules
Review Committee vice chair. "We want to adapt the rules, maintain standards,
and make them applicable in the modern environment."
Mason says technology certainly has transformed the legal landscape. "Virtual
practice is an example of something everyone is grappling with. Rule drafters
and regulators are still in the process of figuring out how to adapt to that
model," Mason says. "We're noticing it and trying to accommodate for it without
affecting the kinds of standards and conduct we want to see our lawyers
adhere to and engage in."
The committee helps guide and shape the practice of law in the District of
Columbia, says Mason, who has served on both the Bar's Legal Ethics and Rules
Review committees for more than a decade. "Everyone on the committee
understands that they're not the only person who has the right answer, so we
have a diverse group of experienced practitioners who listen to each other's
perspective. We try and craft something that accounts for all of their
perspectives."

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JUNE 2019

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER 19


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Washington Lawyer - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Meet Susan M. Hoffman: 48th President of the D.c. Bar
Regulation Counsel: Ensuring the Highest Ethical Standards
Disciplinary Counsel: Acting on Misconduct Charges
Life After Disciplinary Action
Bar Business: Budget Report
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask the Ethics Experts
Rule Updates: Rule 49 on Pro Bono Attorneys
Disciplinary Summaries
Special Coverage: 2019 Judicial & Bar Conference
Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Meet Susan M. Hoffman: 48th President of the D.c. Bar
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Regulation Counsel: Ensuring the Highest Ethical Standards
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 18
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Disciplinary Counsel: Acting on Misconduct Charges
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Life After Disciplinary Action
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-1
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-2
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-3
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-4
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-5
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-6
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Bar Business: Budget Report
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Rule Updates: Rule 49 on Pro Bono Attorneys
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Special Coverage: 2019 Judicial & Bar Conference
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover4
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