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Professional Responsibility Research Guide

Primary Sources

Professional Responsibilities Regulations

Primary Sources 

Codes of Conduct and Codes of Ethics

The regulation of the legal profession is largely left to the bar associations that operate in each jurisdiction. Most state bar associations have Codes of Ethics to which members of that bar must adhere. In addition, many jurisdictions publish State Bar Ethics Opinions which describe the application of specific portions of the Codes to real situations. In most cases, these are advisory opinions. The ABA (American Bar Association) maintains both a Model Code of Ethics and a Model Code of Professional Responsibility which are meant to resolve differences between state codes of conduct and as models for individual state bar association codes.  Most jurisdictions and the ABA also publish Codes of Judicial Conduct which regulate the judiciary. 


The ABA Model Code of Ethics and the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility can be found on Westlaw and Lexis. This resource is available to Current Delaware Law students, faculty, and staff only.


The Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct and other disciplinary materials are published by the Delaware Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel and can be found here.


Pennsylvania's Rules of Professional Conduct are found in their administrative regulatory compilation, The Pennsylvania Code. These regulations can be found here.

Case Law

Finding Case Law Using the West Topic and Key Number System
To find case law pertaining to Professional Responsibility, look under the West topic of "Attorney and Client"  The topic is broken down into the following key number (K) ranges: K1-61 Office of the Attorney, K62-104 Retainer and Authority, K105-129.5 Duties and Liabilities of Attorney to Client,  K130-170 Compensation, K171-192 Lein. Browse the Attorney and Client outline to find the specific key number you'd like to research.

In Westlaw, perform a search in the jurisdiction of your choice using the following search query:


"45" is the topic number for "Attorney and Client" and the aterisk * is a place holder for the key number of your choice.