The ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 6th ed.

The ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 6th ed.


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The Sixth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries addresses changes to the estate planning and probate practice, and the practice of law in general, since 2015 when the Fifth Edition was published. In that time period, the worldwide pandemic accelerated the use of technology in the practice and changes to the formalities of document execution that had been in place for centuries. Those developments in turn require reconsideration of the lawyer’s ethical duties when using the new methods of communication. In addition, this Edition has been updated to reflect increasing concern about elder abuse and the dilemma of the client with diminishing capacity. Other changes reflect changes in family law and issues that have been addressed in cases and ethics opinions around the country since the last Edition.

There have not been significant changes to the ABA Model Rules since the last Edition. Other laws may affect and regulate a lawyer’s duties, such as duties regarding reporting of elder abuse or child abuse. There have been no final changes to the regulation of lawyers with respect to financial transaction reporting since the last Edition, but the work of the Financial Action Task Force is ongoing and further regulation is expected. In addition to changes to the Model Rules and applicable state ethics rules and opinions, attorneys must keep up with changes to those other laws, including regulation aimed at combatting money laundering, that affect attorney duties and reporting requirements. The recommendations in this Edition are current as of September 2022, but are likely to be affected by further developments.

As Reporters, we thank the many who contributed to the Sixth Edition but give special acknowledgment to Professor Elizabeth Carter, who served as co-chair of the Commentaries 6th edition subcommittee, Andrew Rothstein, Christopher Gadsden, Janet Montgomery, Kevin McCrindle, Mary Radford, Peter Mott, Richard Gorini, Steven Benefield, Amy Hess, and William Hennessey, who served on the Commentaries 6th edition subcommittee, Linda Retz, who served as Chair of the Professional Responsibility Committee at the beginning of this process, created the plan for the project to be accomplished, and kept the project moving throughout the pandemic, and to all members of the Professional Responsibility Committee of ACTEC for their efforts on this project. We also express appreciation to the reporters for the previous editions: John R. Price, Reporter for the First and Second Editions; Bruce S. Ross, Reporter for the Third Edition; Charles Bennett and Cynda Ottaway, Co-Reporters for the Fourth Edition; and Thomas A. Andrews, Co-Reporter for the Fifth Edition. Finally, we commend and thank the ACTEC Foundation for its ongoing support of the ACTEC Commentaries, which continue to provide important guidance to the bench, bar and public sector.

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The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation


Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

The ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 6th ed.