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Rule 6.5: Nonprofit And Court-Annexed Limited ...

ABA RULE 6.5


Adopted, Effective Jan. 1, 2008

PUBLIC SERVICE
Rule 6.5: Nonprofit And Court-Annexed Limited Legal Services Programs

(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by the New Hampshire Bar Association, a nonprofit organization or court, provides one-time consultation with a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:

     (1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; and

     (2) is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representationgoverned by this Rule.

(c)  Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) are applicable to a representation governed by this Rule.

NEW HAMPSHIRE COMMENT  

1.  New Hampshire’s version differs from the Model Rule as follows
 

   
a.  Application of this Rule in (a) is limited to a “one time consultation with a client” instead of the ABA’s version “short-term limited legal services to a client”.

   
b.  Section (c) is added.

 2.  The change in (a) is intended to give the attorney some clarity as to the scope of this Rule.  This Rule relaxes certain of the normal conflicts limitations to allow this important pro bono service;  this Rule applies only under circumstances where it is not reasonably possible for the attorney to otherwise comply with normal conflict of interest records checks procedures.  Therefore, the situation where an attorney provides repeated services for the same client, and not a “one time consultation”, would not permit any deviation from the normal conflicts rules.

3.  The addition of Section (c) is intended simply to emphasize the attorney's continuing responsibility to maintain confidences under Rule 1.6, and the attorney's duties to a former client under Rule 1.9(c).  This inclusion raises this language, already contained in ABA Comment [2], to Rule status. 

4.  The value of the services rendered to the public in this pro bono context is important enough to justify carving out a special exception to the normal conflicts rules applicable in general client representation.  In this special context, not even the protective “screening” rules, such as those adopted in 1.11(b), were employed.

5.  Should a lawyer participating in a one-time consultation under this Rule later discover that the lawyer's firm was representing or later undertook the representation of an adverse client, the prior participation of the attorney will not preclude the lawyer's firm from continuing or undertaking representation of such adverse client.  But the participating lawyer will be disqualified and must be screened from any involvement with the firm's adverse client.  SeeABA Comment [4].


ABA RULE 6.5

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