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State Bar of Georgia

Republication of Formal Advisory Opinion No. 20-1

Notice of Filing of Formal Advisory Opinion in Supreme Court

Republication of Formal Advisory Opinion No. 20-1
(Redrafted Version of Formal Advisory Opinion No. 94-3)
Republication Date: March 25, 2021

Members of the State Bar of Georgia are hereby NOTIFIED that the Formal Advisory Opinion Board has issued Formal Advisory Opinion No. 20-1, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 4-403 (d) of Chapter 4 of the Rules and Regulations of the State Bar of Georgia approved by order of the Supreme Court of Georgia on May 1, 2002. This opinion will be filed with the Supreme Court of Georgia on or after March 25, 2021. Click HERE to access the full text of Formal Advisory Opinion No. 20-1.

Bar Rule 4-403 (d) states that within 20 days of the filing of the Formal Advisory Opinion or the date the official publication is mailed to the members of the State Bar of Georgia, (if the opinion is published in an official publication of the State Bar of Georgia), or first appears on the website of the State Bar of Georgia (if the opinion is published on the website), whichever is later, the State Bar of Georgia or the person who requested the opinion may file a petition for discretionary review thereof with the Supreme Court of Georgia. The petition shall designate the Formal Advisory Opinion sought to be reviewed and shall concisely state the manner in which the petitioner is aggrieved. If the Supreme Court of Georgia grants the petition for discretionary review or decides to review the opinion on its own motion, the record shall consist of the comments received by the Formal Advisory Opinion Board from members of the State Bar of Georgia. The State Bar of Georgia and the person requesting the opinion shall follow the briefing schedule set forth in Supreme Court of Georgia Rule 10, counting from the date of the order granting review. The final determination may be either by written opinion or by order of the Supreme Court of Georgia and shall state whether the Formal Advisory Opinion is approved, modified, or disapproved, or shall provide for such other final disposition as is appropriate.

In accordance with Bar Rule 4-223 (a) of the Rules and Regulations of the State Bar of Georgia, any Formal Advisory Opinion issued pursuant to Bar Rule 4-403 which is not thereafter disapproved by the Supreme Court of Georgia shall be binding on the State Bar of Georgia, the State Disciplinary Board, and the person who requested the opinion, in any subsequent disciplinary proceeding involving that person.

Pursuant to Bar Rule 4-403 (e) of Chapter 4 of the Rules and Regulations of the State Bar of Georgia, if the Supreme Court of Georgia declines to review the Formal Advisory Opinion, it shall be binding only on the State Bar of Georgia and the person who requested the opinion, and not on the Supreme Court, which shall treat the opinion as persuasive authority only. If the Supreme Court grants review and disapproves the opinion, it shall have absolutely no effect and shall not constitute either persuasive or binding authority. If the Supreme Court approves or modifies the opinion, it shall be binding on all members of the State Bar and shall be published in the official Georgia Court and Bar Rules manual. The Supreme Court shall accord such approved or modified opinion the same precedential authority given to the regularly published judicial opinions of the Court.