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Bar Seeks Comment on Proposed Amendments to D.C. Rule 1.15

December 15, 2022

The D.C. Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee is seeking public comment on a proposal to amend D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(e) and related commentary. Comments are due by close of business on January 31, 2023.

Before submission to the Bar’s Board of Governors, the committee requests comment on the proposed amendments summarized below. The Board, in turn, may then recommend changes to the D.C. Court of Appeals, which promulgates the D.C. Rules.

The Rules Review Committee proposes that Rule 1.15(e) be amended to expressly state: (1) that a flat or fixed fee is an advance fee subject to entrustment consistent with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals holding in In re Mance, 980 A.2d 1196 (D.C. Ct. App. 2009), as amended (Oct. 29, 2009); and (2) that informed consent to waive entrustment of advance fees pursuant to Rule 1.15(e) must be “confirmed in writing” consistent with the court’s holding in In re Ponds, 279 A.3d 357 (D.C. Ct. App. 2022).

Additionally, the committee proposes (1) the adoption of additional explanatory language in existing Comment [9] to Rule 1.15 regarding flat or fixed fees, and (2) that a new Comment [10] be adopted that clarifies the requirements for informed consent to waive entrustment of advance fees under Rule 1.15(e), including the five factors delineated by the Court of Appeals in In re Mance.

The committee’s draft report can be found at here.

Written comments should be submitted by email to the Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee at [email protected], c/o Hope C. Todd, no later than January 31, 2023.

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