The complete text of the Rules of Professional Conduct as currently amended, and all of the comments thereto, as approved by the North Carolina Supreme Court, can be found using the search box to the right. Correlation tables appear above. These tables cross-reference the 1997 and 2003 versions of the Rules with the comparable provisions of the superseded 1985 Rules of Professional Conduct (in effect from January 1, 1986, to July 23, 1997) and 1973 Code of Professional Conduct (in effect from April 30, 1974, to December 31, 1985).
A “History Note” after each Rule sets forth the statutory authority for the Rule. The date of original approval of the Rule by the North Carolina Supreme Court is identified as the “Adopted” date. Note that the Rules of Professional Conduct were comprehensively reorganized and renumbered in 1997; therefore, most of the Rules show July 24, 1997, as the date of adoption by the Supreme Court. The date upon which an amendment to a Rule was approved by the Supreme Court is identified as an “Amended” date. There may be multiple dates upon which a particular Rule was amended.
The History Note for each Rule is followed by annotations of 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 In the annotations, the terms "CPR" and "RPC" designate formal ethics opinions adopted under the superseded 1973 Code of Professional Responsibility and 1985 Rules of Professional Conduct respectively.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 1997 Rules and therafter is designated as a "Formal Ethics Opinion."
The primary source material for the comprehensive revisions to the Rules undertaken in both 1997 and 2003 was the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. 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.