The Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation handles thousands of calls regarding potential ethical complaints each year. But going forward, the office will take a more proactive approach in its regulatory work.
The state Supreme Court is slowly rolling out a proactive program focused on education, which it refers to as its “Proactive Management-Based Program Initiative.” The initiative includes a way for attorneys to do a self-assessment in order to determine whether they have any red flags in their own practices that could lead to ethics violations, and by fall, those assessments will be made available online to make them easily accessible to all of the states 40,000 attorneys.
“It transforms what the court’s role has been in the legal community for this office from one that has been disciplinary and investigatory to one that is a partner with lawyers and helping them successfully navigate the practice,” staff attorney Jonathan White said.
That transformation is actually a long, slow evolution of the office, as well as of regulatory bodies in the legal profession across the country. Attorney Regulation Counsel Jim Coyle said that the move is part of an international trend to move its regulatory offices more toward education than discipline.