STATE BAR OF SOUTH DAKOTA

ETHICS COMMITTEE

GUIDELINES FOR REQUESTS

Your Ethics Committee is available to assist you in resolving difficult ethical concerns related to your practice. To serve the members of the Bar, the Ethics Committee abides by the following guidelines:

PURPOSE:

The Ethics Committee shall provide professional opinions to members of the South Dakota Bar Association to resolve ethical questions related to his/her prospective professional activity.

TO UTILIZE THE COMMITTEE:

Provide to the Committee Chair or any member a written inquiry including, at a minimum, the following information:

1) A concise, but complete, statement of facts which give rise to the ethical question. The Committee will absolutely rely on the completeness and accuracy of the statement for its opinion.
2) Clearly state the ethical question you wish answered.
3) Identify which South Dakota Rule(s) of Professional Conduct you feel are implicated.
4) Provide citation to any relevant authority you have located in your research.
5) Fairly state the contentions of all interested parties, if any.
6) Identify any time constraints you are under if you need this question expedited.

THE COMMITTEE WILL:

Circulate the request. Confer and generate a confidential Committee opinion representing the consensus of the members for the use of the requesting lawyer. The Committee's opinions are provided to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Bar and if the opinion is deemed of general interest, it may be published in the Bar Newsletter without identification of the person(s) requesting the opinion.

THE COMMITTEE CANNOT:

1. Accept requests from persons not members of the State Bar of South Dakota;
2. Resolve factual disputes;
3. Opine on substantive law;
4. Opine on conduct of a lawyer other than the requesting lawyer; or
5. Opine on a question pending in a forum with jurisdiction to resolve the inquiry.