11. Professional Ethics Commission
(a) Term. Initial members of the Professional Ethics Commission shall serve as follows: Two of its members shall be appointed for a term of 4 years; two of its members for a term of 3 years; two of its members for a term of 2 years; and two of its members for a term of 1 year. Appointments thereafter shall be for terms of 4 years, or where appropriate, for the balance of an unexpired term. No member shall be appointed to more than 2 consecutive full terms, but a member appointed for less than a full term (originally or to fill a vacancy) may serve 2 full terms in addition to such part of a full term, and a former member shall again be eligible for appointment after a lapse of 1 year. The Board shall appoint the Chair of the Professional Ethics Commission each year from among its members.
(b) Quorum and Action. A quorum shall exist for the purposes of the Commission's exercise of its authority and duties when a majority of its members are present. The concurrence of a majority of such members present shall be sufficient for any action taken.
(c) Authority and Duties. The Professional Ethics Commission shall be subject to such rules and procedures as shall be adopted or approved by the Board. The Professional Ethics Commission:
(1) Shall render advisory opinions to the Court, Board, Bar Counsel, and to the Grievance Commission on matters involving the interpretation and application of the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule 3);
(2) May render advisory opinions on ethical questions posed by attorneys involving the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule 3);
(3) Shall maintain, at a location within this State approved by the Board, a library containing opinions on ethical questions which have been rendered by the Professional Ethics Committee of the American Bar Association and by other ethics committees in other jurisdictions, such library to be available for the benefit of the Court, the Board, Bar Counsel, the Grievance Commission, and interested attorneys admitted to the Bar of this State;
(4) May make recommendations to the Board regarding amendments to the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule 3); and
(5) Shall maintain indexed and up-to-date compilations of its opinions in such manner as shall permit the same to be available to the Court, the Board, Bar Counsel, the Grievance Commission, and to such others as the Board shall determine.
(d) Opinions as Evidence. Opinions of the Professional Ethics Commission shall be admissible in any proceeding in which the interpretation or application of a provision of the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule 3) is in issue.
(e) Immunity. [Deleted effective January 1, 1995.]
(f) Confidentiality. With the exception of an advisory opinion finally rendered pursuant to this Rule, all inquiries, replies, records, documents, files, and proceedings pertaining to the interpretation of ethical rules and the rendering of advisory opinions with respect thereto shall be confidential, and, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, shall not be opened to the public, press or any person not involved in the rendering of the advisory opinions, excepting only the staff and members of the Professional Ethics Commission and their professional associates actively involved in working on an advisory opinion for such member, the staff and members of the Grievance Commission, Bar Counsel, the staff and members of the Board, and any justice of the Court. No person shall publicly disclose the identity of another individual whose conduct was the subject of an advisory opinion without the consent of that individual.