Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #1987/8-17

May 10, 1988


The ABA Model Code Comments were not adopted or approved by the NH Supreme Court and are therefore only aspirational, and the suggestion that the attorney “conscientiously consider” participation in a fee dispute resolution procedure is a partial retreat from the EC 2-23.  (Terminology, Rule 1.5)

An attorney is not required under the Rules to participate under the NHBA’s Fee Dispute Resolution Committee.  Because the Committee is not the client, an attorney is not required to provide the Committee with requested information.  (Rule 1.4)


  1. Regarding New Hampshire Rule for Professional Conduct No. 1.5, does the ABA Model Code Comment which pertains to “disputes over fees” apply to New Hampshire? More particularly, does the ABA requirement that an attorney “conscientiously consider” participation in an established fee dispute resolution procedure apply to New Hampshire lawyers dealing with the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Fee Dispute Resolution Committee?
  2. What effect, if any, does Rule No. 1.4 (a) (duty to keep client reasonably informed and to promptly comply with reasonable request for information) have on the attorney’s duty to provide information to the Fee Dispute Resolution Committee?

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