The complete text of the Rules as currently amended, and all of the comments thereto, as approved by the North Carolina Supreme Court, follows this note. Correlation tables appear above. These tables cross-reference the 2003 and 1997 versions of the Revised Rules with the comparable provisions of the superseded 1985 Rules of Professional Conduct and 1973 Code of Professional Conduct.
Each rule is followed by annotations of cases and ethics opinions of the State Bar that apply or interpret the rule. In the annotations, the terms "CPR" and "RPC" designate formal ethics opinions adopted under the superseded 1973 Code of Professional Responsibility and 1985 Rules of Professional Conduct respectively. These opinions still provide guidance on issues of professional conduct except to the extent that a particular opinion is overruled by a subsequent opinion or by a provision of the current Rules of Professional Conduct. Ethics opinions rendered invalid by subsequent opinion or by the current Rules are generally not annotated. (A CPR opinion may be obtained by calling the ethics department at the State Bar.) An ethics opinion promulgated under the current or 1997 versions of the Rules is designated as a "Formal Ethics Opinion."
The case notes reprinted or quoted verbatim are taken from the General Statutes of North Carolina, Annotated Rules of North Carolina, Copyright 2003, by Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., and are reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final orders in recent disciplinary cases can be found here.
The primary source material for the revisions to the Rules in 2003 was the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the "Model Rules"). The comment to Rule 1.19 draws heavily from the text of ABA Formal Opinion 92-364, "Sexual Relations with Clients," adopted by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility on July 6, 1992. Appreciation is expressed to the ABA and to other state bars and regulatory agencies for assistance and materials.