Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1985/6-6

June 10, 1986


An attorney shall not knowingly permit a client to falsely testify in a trial.  An attorney shall not knowingly offer evidence at trial that the attorney knows to be false, and is obligated to maintain confidentiality of information revealed to the attorney.  (Rule 1.6; Rule 3.3(a)(3)).

Where a client wishes to testify falsely, at a minimum the attorney’s first duty is to attempt to dissuade the client from presenting false testimony.  If unsuccessful, the appropriate remedy is to withdraw from representation of the client.  (Rule 3.3 with NH Comments.)


  1. Is it a violation of the Rules of Professional Correct for an attorney to permit his client to present false testimony in order to inculpate himself to prevent his wife from being charged with a misdemeanor?

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