OARC Update

A bimonthly newsletter of the
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


In this month’s What You Need to Know, we profile proposed changes to Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8. We also provide an update regarding the Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals Program and the proposed change to Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4.

Court Seeking Comments on Proposed Changes to Rules of Professional Conduct to Address Mushrooms, Referral Fees
There are current opportunities to provide public comments on two proposals to revise the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.
The first proposal would amend comment [14] to Rule 1.2 to reflect Colorado’s regulated legalization of psilocybin and certain other substances through the Colorado Natural Medicine Act of 2022 and related measures.  Because the act allows legal use of certain substances that remain unlawful under federal law, the proposed amendment would add a reference to the Natural Medicine Act in the so-called “marijuana comment” to Rule 1.2 to provide guidance to lawyers advising clients on compliance with state law.  The comment deadline is December 15 at 4 p.m.
The second proposal would amend Rules 1.5 and 1.8 to address treatment of referral fees, which currently are prohibited by Rule 1.5(e).  The blanket prohibition on receiving or giving compensation for client referrals is in tension with current Rule 7.2(b), which allows such fees under certain limited circumstances.  The proposal would delete the blanket prohibition on referral fees in Rule 1.5(e) in favor of a more nuanced approach that would add a new paragraph (c.1) to Rule 1.8.  The new approach would restrict the receipt of compensation for referring a current client, except as allowed by Rule 1.5(d) or Rule 7.2(b), and add a new comment [8A] to Rule 1.8.  The proposal also would add a reference to referral fees to comment [7] in Rule 1.5, such that referral fees could be considered a division of fees under that rule.  The comment deadline is January 10, 2024 at 4 p.m.
Links to both proposals and comment submission instructions can be found at the Court’s website. 
Update on Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals
The application portal to sit for the licensed legal paraprofessional (“LLP”) exam being held April 30, 2024, is now open.  The application deadline is January 5, 2024, with late applications (requiring payment of a late fee) accepted January 6-February 2, 2024.  The application submission portal as well as other application information can be found here. 
No Changes to Colo. RPC 1.4 Communication
As we described earlier this year, the Colorado Supreme Court considered changes to Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4 and the Comments to that Rule, which would have created obligations for lawyers to communicate to clients if the lawyer was not covered by malpractice insurance. Following the public comment period, the Court determined not to adopt the proposed amendments and no changes were made to Rule 1.4.


In recent months, our office has cautioned lawyers about the many scams that are circulating and putting you and your clients at risk. We’re revisiting this topic again, as our office has learned of another scam that is widespread, and was recently perpetrated against Colorado lawyers.
In this latest scam, known as the “phantom hacker” scam, an imposter pretending to be a legitimate source contacts the would-be victim of the fraud and convinces or attempts to convince the individual their funds are at risk and should immediately be moved to a “secure” account. When the imposter is successful, the unwitting victim complies with the imposter’s instructions and is scammed out of their funds.
For more details regarding this scam and what to watch for, see this Public Service Announcement from the FBI: "Phantom Hacker" Scams Target Senior Citizens and Result in Victims Losing their Life Savings (
Our office addressed the topic of financial scams in our September Newsletter last year: “When Things Seem ‘Off’: Are You About to be Scammed?” and in our recent September newsletter “Be On the Lookout” 
Diligence, caution and taking a moment to pause when confronted with one of the scenarios we discuss could make the difference. The moral here: proceed with extreme caution.


Elizabeth Lembo, the Clinical Coordinator at the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program, discusses the importance of sleep hygiene for everyday functioning, and tips for improving the quality of your sleep


“State of the Solo" Survey Currently Open
Are you a solo practitioner wishing the legal profession better understood your practice or was more responsive to your needs?  Check out the "State of the Solo" survey.  This survey is being conducted by Law Week Colorado with the co-sponsorship of Gene Commander Inc.  Among the many informative questions being asked are two that can help the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel make policy and rule suggestions:
  • What would be the most useful resources to help you have a more sustainable law practice?  
  • What rule or regulation changes would help you have a more sustainable practice?
Please complete the survey if you are a solo practitioner!


Important CLE compliance reminder
Nearly 5,000 Colorado attorneys who must comply with their CLE requirements this year have not yet done so.  If your three-year compliance period ends 2023, now is the time to make a plan for compliance by December 31, and to enter your credits by January 31, 2024. 
Here are the key links:
To check your transcript and enter credits, click here 
Attorneys must have 45 credit hours, which includes a minimum of 2 hours of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (“EDI”) credits and a minimum of 5 hours of ethics or legal professionalism credits.  To review the rules, regulations and forms, click here. 
To find EDI-accredited courses, click here and under either the Live or Home Study Courses tab (depending on which you want to take), click on the EDI column heading until courses are sorted by the number of EDI credits given.  If you know part of the course title or provider name, you also can enter those search terms in the search fields provided. You also can click on “Export” to get a searchable spreadsheet of all courses.

Note that a course covering both the Rules of Professional Conduct and diversity in the profession might not give attendees both ethics and EDI credit.  That is because each hour of a course may receive either ethics or EDI accreditation, but not both for the same hour. To ensure the course you are taking satisfies the credits you are seeking (regardless of how it is advertised), check our website to confirm the accreditation.
The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel has a free lawyer self-assessment online CLE program that qualifies for 3 ethics credits if fully completed.  Click here for more information.

Registration Reminder
Annual registration for attorneys begins December 1. Our office is preparing to send out annual registration statements.  Postcard reminders will be mailed the last week of November. Now is a good time to calendar the February 28 deadline to timely register without late fees.
Registration fees for most lawyers are increasing this year for the first time since 2014.  They will be: 
  • $395 for attorneys who have practiced more than three years
  • $160 for inactive attorneys under age 65
  • $190 for attorneys in their first three years of practice (no change from 2014 levels)
  • Free for inactive attorneys age 65 or older
Bar Cards for Inactive Attorneys 65 and older
Inactive attorneys 65 and older, please note that during the 2024 registration period your bar card will only be provided upon request. If you are an inactive attorney, age 65 and older and wish to receive a bar card, please email the Office of Attorney Registration at to request your bar card for 2024. If you have already sent an email requesting a bar card, nothing further is required. Please do not send more than one email request.
Nov. 14 and 15 Ethics Revue by the Law Club, CBA-CLE, Clock Tower, Denver (Jessica Yates)

Nov. 30 Ethics Review for Prosecutors, 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Jessica Yates and Justin Moore)
Dec. 1 Late application filing deadline for February 2024 bar exam

Dec. 6 New Judge Orientation, Working with Attorneys, Denver (Jessica Yates)

Dec. 7 Update and Colo. RPC 3.8(d), Colorado Municipal League, Denver (Jessica Yates)
Dec. 8 Trust Account School, webinar (Margaret Funk and Justin Moore)

Dec. 8 Ethical Issues for New Lawyers, Court Orientation, DBA Young Lawyers Division, Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse (April McMurrey)

Dec. 18 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar

Jan. 8 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Jan. 9 Trust Accounting & Rules of Professional Conduct, Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice Bootcamp, Denver (Justin Moore)

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