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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

The Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility practice group counsels, consults, advises and educates lawyers on matters involving professional ethics and responsibility and related issues. These services range from interpretations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, to the defense of lawyers who are the subject of disciplinary action by regulatory authorities and the courts, to providing expert testimony where lawyer professionalism and practice are at issue.

The areas in which this group can provide expert help to other lawyers include not only issues arising under the Rules of Professional Conduct, but related issues of confidentiality, attorney work-product doctrine, attorney-client privilege, actions to dis­qualify lawyers and law firms, and attorney-fee disputes.

This group defends lawyers who are named in complaints filed with the Utah State Bar and in legal malpractice actions. Members of this group also represent clients who have serious legal malpractice claims against lawyers.

Finally, the group can provide preventative educational services such as training and seminars for law firms and corporate counsel in the areas of liability risk-management, internal investigations, various corporate-compliance matters, officer and director responsibilities and conflicts of interest.


  • Gary G. Sackett leads this Litigation Department group, a figure who has been active in the field of legal ethics and professionalism for more than 20 years. From 1989 to 2007, he was an active member of the Utah State Bar’s Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee and was the committee’s chair for 12 years. He currently serves on the Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, having been first appointed in 1994. He has also served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Utah, teaching legal ethics and professional conduct and as a visiting professor of law at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. He also chairs Jones Waldo’s internal ethics committee and represents and consults with lawyers on issues in these general areas.


  • Craig R. Mariger is the former chair of the Utah Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee, having served the committee for 15 years. He is a senior litigator with Jones Waldo who has extensive experience in handling matters involving claims of attorney ethics and professionalism. He previously chaired the firm’s internal ethics committee for many years.


  • James S. Lowrie is an outstanding, veteran litigator who has counseled and represented clients with respect to disciplinary actions, privilege and work-product issues, sanctions, fee litigation and disqualification.

  • Lori W. Nelson is a highly respected litigator who specializes in domestic-relations issues and currently serves as the Utah State Bar President.

Gary G. Sackett (Group Leader)
James S. Lowrie
Craig R. Mariger