Are you considering applying for the Sandbox? Here are a few things to consider.
The Sandbox is for innovative services models that cannot otherwise be offered under the traditional Rules of Professional Conduct or are considered the unauthorized practice of law.
There are a few qualifications to this mandate:
- Disbarred lawyers are barred from holding an ownership interest of greater than 10% in any Sandbox entity.
- The Sandbox is not meant to be a mechanism by which out-of-state lawyers can practice in Utah without otherwise completing the requirements imposed by the Utah State Bar.
- The Sandbox has nothing to do with selling services to the Utah State Court system. Authorization in the Sandbox does not make you a preferred vendor to or for the court system and will not have any influence on how the court system may or may not enter into business arrangements with your organization.
- The Sandbox does not and cannot impact requirements imposed by other applicable Utah or federal laws, the laws or requirements imposed by other jurisdictions, or the requirements imposed by other regulatory bodies. Authorization to practice law in Utah through the Sandbox does not release any entity or individual therein from conforming to all other applicable laws and regulations.
- As Rule 5.4 and Standing Order No. 15 make clear, lawyers working with or in entities participating in the Sandbox are required to maintain their duties under the Rules of Professional Conduct unless an entity’s authorization contains an explicit waiver of a particular rule to enable the business model. If your business model needs a specific waiver of one of the rules of professional conduct, you should set that out clearly in your application.
- Nonlawyer providers within your proposed model are not required to conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, you should consider and be clear about how you will ensure that the services provided by nonlawyers (whether human or software) will not cause consumer harm.
Your application will be made publicly available. You will have the opportunity to make a claim of business confidentiality for specific information that would qualify for protection under Grama Section 63G-2-305. Making false or materially misleading statements in this application is grounds for loss of authorization to practice within the Sandbox. Other criminal and civil sanctions may also apply.
Should your answers to any of the application questions change, you are responsible for updating the information with the Innovation Office. Failure to promptly update information will be considered relevant to your regulatory status.
Below you will find FAQs, a sample application from one of our authorized entities, and a link into the application portal.