87-F-48(a) - Vacated*

*Vacated by the Board of Professional Responsibility on September 11, 2015 due to changes in the law or rules.

FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 87-F-48(a)


Formal Ethics Opinion 83-F-48, relieving official members of the
Nashville Bar Association Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee of their
obligation to report ethical violations discovered while helping attorneys
with chemical dependency, is expanded to include all participants; and, to
include participants of programs sponsored by the Tennessee Bar
Association, the Memphis-Shelby County Bar Association and the
Knoxville Bar Association.


Formal Ethics Opinion 83-F-48 issued by the Board on May 23, 1983 relieved official
members of the Nashville Bar Association Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee of their
obligation to report ethical violations discovered while attempting to help attorneys with
chemical dependency. The program has now completed its fourth year of operation and
has been very successful. More than ten attorneys have sought and received help through
the program. The Nashville program has become a pilot program for other organized Bar
groups.
Formal Ethics Opinion 83-F-48 states, in part:
... only the members of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Committee ... officially elected by the Board of the
Nashville Bar Association are relieved from their Canon 1
obligation to report ethical violations which come to their
attention from any source in connection with, and only
during the time involved, and for the limited purpose of
carrying out their stated obligation to attempt to help
attorneys with alcohol or drug abuse problems.
The Nashville Bar Association, and other Bar groups, are interested in formulating
committees with memberships consisting of lawyers knowledgeable about chemical
dependency and its treatment, including recovering lawyers and other lawyers interested
in the program goals. These members may become involved in the program in
connection with the education process, in identifying lawyers who may be chemically
dependent, in verifying a lawyer's chemical dependence, in confronting identified lawyers
about their chemical dependency, in referral of lawyers for treatment, and in supporting
the rehabilitation of lawyers who are chemically dependent.
During the confrontation process, a team composed of two or more lawyers appropriately
trained for intervention confrontation to confront the
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lawyer with the facts as known and will encourage the impaired lawyer to obtain help.
The confrontation team will point out how dependency may be affecting the lawyer's
professional activities and relationships. Treatment alternatives will be discussed.
The Nashville Bar Association has requested that Formal Ethics Opinion 83-F-48 be
expanded to provide immunity for all participants of the program from their obligation to
report ethical violations discovered while engaged in the program. Formal Ethics
Opinion 83-F-48, therefore, is expanded to include all Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Committee members, and all participants of the program who may volunteer their
services even though not officially elected by the Board of the respective approved bar
organizations. They are immune from their obligation to report ethical violations
discovered while engaged in the program.
This opinion further expands the previous ethics opinion to include the Alcohol and Drug
Abuse Committees and participants of programs sponsored by the Tennessee Bar
Association, the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association and the Knoxville Bar
Association.
This 10th day of June , 1987.
ETHICS COMMITTEE:
W. J. Flippin
Henry H. Hancock
Edwin C. Townsend
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD