Member Groups

The Public Servant
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

November 2000, vol. 2, no. 1


As the issues regarding attorney ethics, including ethical concerns for government lawyers, have expanded over the years, the number of electronic resources for attorneys seeking guidance on ethical issues have likewise increased. In following with this issue's theme of ethics for government attorneys, some sources for guidance that can be found on the World Wide Web are described below.

The American Bar Association ("ABA") maintains a sub-site on its website to assist attorneys seeking guidance on ethical issues. At, attorneys will find two sources for information on ethics questions. Under the ETHICSearch section, attorneys can pose particular factual situations and obtain guidance to relevant ABA ethics opinions and ABA rules of professional conduct that may be useful in resolving ethics questions. The Ethics Department of the Center for Professional Responsibility link connects you to the arm of the ABA that helps develop the model rules of conduct and interprets existing rules of conduct for the ABA, bench, bar and the general public.

The ISBA maintains electronic versions of the advisory ethics opinions it has issued since December 1980. At, the ISBA's ethics opinions can be researched by year of issuance or by subject matter.

The U.S. Department of Justice has an electronic version of its Ethics Handbook as a part of its website at While intended for use by its employees, it does provide insight on the position of the Department of Justice on a number of ethical issues. Yet another position on ethics in government can be obtained from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics at While not specifically addressing issues of legal ethics, the mission of the office is to "prevent conflicts of interest on the part of government employees and help resolve those conflicts when they occur."