The Idaho State Bar Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued formal ethics opinions from 1944 until the Committee was suspended by the Board of Commissioners in 1994. The last formal ethics opinion issued by the Committee was in 1992. The Idaho State Bar Board of Commissioners issued one formal ethics opinion in 1999.
The Committee was suspended in 1994 and its continued viability was referred to a Long Range Planning Committee of the Idaho State Bar. The Long Range Planning Committee met between 1995 and 1999, and evidently concluded that the Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility was no longer viable, because it was discontinued.
The following formal ethics opinions, although dated, remain formal ethics opinions of the Idaho State Bar. Since the current format of the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct were adopted in 1986, and have been amended a number of times since 1986, most of the formal ethics opinions do not address the current Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct. Please note that many of these formal opinions have been designated obsolete, disavowed, overruled, superceded by another formal opinion or subsequently addressed by an ABA ethics opinion. The Notes column on the Formal Ethics Opinions List, the front page of the link to these formal ethics opinions, should therefore be consulted with respect to the subsequent treatment of any particular formal opinion. However, the principles addressed in the formal opinions, to the extent they remain applicable and consistent with the current Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct are still utilized to interpreting the current Rules.
If you have any questions about the applicability of any formal opinion to an issue you are addressing, please feel free to contact Brad Andrews, Bar Counsel, at (208) 334-4500.
Because of the discontinuance of the Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, the current process to request a formal ethics opinion of the Idaho State Bar is to make that request to the Idaho State Bar Board of Commissioners, c/o of Bar Counsel, P.O. Box 895, Boise, Idaho 83701. The Idaho State Bar Board of Commissioners, in its discretion, decides whether any particular topic merits a formal ethics opinion, and if it does, will issue a formal ethics opinion. The general standards that the Idaho State Bar Board of Commissioners generally considers are whether a request for a formal opinion is of general application to the members of the Idaho State Bar, as opposed to responsive to a specific, unique set of facts or circumstances and whether the request is of sufficient breadth and interest to the Bar as a whole. As noted above, very few requests for formal opinions are granted.
Formal Ethics Opinions