. Legal ethics

TN Supreme Court Vacates Formal Ethics Opinion.

I wrote a little bit about Formal Ethics Opinion 2017-F-163 a couple of years ago when it was first issued. I haven’t said anything here about it since then because I ended up being retained by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference to challenge the opinion.

Having obtained permission from my client to do so, I’m posting a copy for you of today’s Tennessee Supreme Court opinion vacating Formal Ethics Opinion 2017-F-163.

As the conclusion portion of the opinion sums up, the ruling not only vacates the FEO but weighs in on what RPC 3.8(d) means in Tennessee:

For the reasons stated above, we vacate the Board’s Formal Ethics Opinion 2017-F-163. We also hold that, except as provided otherwise in this opinion, the ethical obligations under Rule 3.8(d) of Tennessee’s Rules of Professional Conduct are coextensive in scope with the obligations of a prosecutor as provided by applicable statute, rules of criminal procedure, our state and federal constitutions, and case law.

You can download a copy of the opinion using the button below.

One reply on “TN Supreme Court Vacates Formal Ethics Opinion.”

[…] Some may recall that a couple of years ago now, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order vacating a Formal Ethics Opinion. It was, I believe, only the second time in history that occurred in Tennessee, and it involved a Formal Ethics Opinion the Board of Professional Responsibility had issued regarding the duties of a prosecutor under RPC 3.8(d). For those who want to fully refresh your recollection of the event, you can do so here. […]

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