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The Ethics Opinions on this page are updated as new Opinions are published. Please note that the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct change over time and these opinions may not reflect the most current version of the Rules. The Opinions, Articles, and Ethics Corners published by the Ethics Committee are NOT binding on the N.H. Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office or the Professional Conduct Committee, and these publications should be viewed as helpful advice and practical information only.

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There are three types of search available. You may use these engines in combination:

  • Search by any Keyword relevant.
  • Search by Rule, multiple rules may be selected.
  • Search by Ethics Subjects. The Ethics Committee has designated Subjects for each opinion. Multiple subjects may be selected.
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Ethics Subjects

A Note About Ethics Materials from the NH Bar Association Ethics Committee:

Care should be exercised in determining which version of a given Rule applies as of a given date, and the extent to which the interpretation of a given opinion or article will apply to such version. Please note that these opinions or articles may not reflect the current rules, comments, or case law as these materials have been published with prior versions of the Rules of Professional Conduct or predecessor rules. Caution should be used before relying on or using the information in the Ethics Committee Opinions or Articles as they are meant to be informative and are not binding upon the Court, the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Professional Conduct Committee, or the Attorney Discipline Office.

Ethics Opinions Older than 2008

 Years 2000 – 2007

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Rules

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Rules: Rule 1.15, Rule 1.15(a), Rule 1.15(e), Rule 1.15(f), Rule 3.3 (a)(1)
Subjects: Abandoned Property, Candor to the Tribunal, Counsel and Third Parties, IOLTA, Nominal in Amount, Safekeeping Property, Statute of Limitations, , UCC
NEW HAMPSHIRE BAR ASSOCIATION Uncashed Trust Account Checks Ethics Committee Opinion #2020-21/01   ABSTRACT: New Hampshire attorneys are obligated under the Supreme Court Rules and the Rules of Professional Conduct to regularly reconcile their trust accounts. Attorneys must promptly follow up on all uncashed checks in their trust accounts. If an attorney is unable to […]
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 3.3, Rule 3.5
Subjects: Competence and Diligence, Duties to Report Fraud, Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal, Juror Contact
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.18, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.9
Subjects: Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, Duties to Former Clients, Duties to Prospective Client
Rules: Rule 1.6
Subjects: Confidentiality
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.6, Rule 8.5
Subjects: Client Communications, Competence and Diligence, Confidentiality, Confidentiality of Information
Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #2018-19/01 by the NHBA Ethics Committee. This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its May 6, 2019 meeting.
Rules: Rule 1.7 (a) (1), Rule 1.7 (a)(2)
Subjects: Waivability of Conflicts of Interest
Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #2017-18/02 by the NHBA Ethics Committee. This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its June 28, 2018 meeting.
Rules: Rule 1.8, Rule 1.8 (a)
Subjects: Barter, Business Transaction with a Client, Conflicts of Interest, Fees
This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its November 16, 2017 meeting.
Rules: Rule 1.16 (d), Rule 1.17, Rule 1.5 (f), Rule 5.4 (a)(1), Rule 5.4(a)(2), Rule 5.4(a)(3), Rule 5.4(b), Rule 5.4(d)
Subjects: Professional Independence of a Lawyer, Sale of Law Practice, , Withdrawal from Representation
This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its April 20, 2017 meeting.
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.1 (c), Rule 1.2 (a), Rule 1.2 (d), Rule 1.2 (f), Rule 1.2 (g), Rule 1.6, Rule 1.7, Rule 3.1, Rule 3.3 (a)(3), Rule 3.4 (d)
Subjects: Candor to the Tribunal, Competence and Diligence, Limited Representation, Meritorious Claims and Contentions, Scope of Representation
This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its March 3, 2016 meeting.
Rules:
Subjects:
This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its June 16, 2016 meeting.
Rules: Rule 1.0 (e), Rule 1.16, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.7
Subjects: Joint Representation
This opinion was submitted for publication to the NHBA Board of Governors at its June 18, 2015 meeting.
Rules: Rule 1.4, Rule 1.6
Subjects: Client with Diminished Capacity, Confidentiality
Can an Attorney Disclose Confidential Client Information, Over a Client's Objection, to Protect the Client from Elder Abuse or Other Threats of Substantial Bodily Injury?
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.15, Rule 1.16, Rule 1.18, Rule 1.5, Rule 1.7, Rule 1.9, Rule 5.4, Rule 7.1, Rule 7.2
Subjects:
Rules: Rule 1.1 (b), Rule 1.1 (c), Rule 3.4, Rule 4.1 (a), Rule 4.2, Rule 4.3, Rule 4.4, Rule 5.3, Rule 8.4 (a)
Subjects: Agents of Lawyers; Acting Through Others, Competence and Diligence, Contact with Witnesses, Truthfulness
Rules: Rule 1.0 (e), Rule 1.1, Rule 1.15, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.8 (c), Rule 2.1, Rule 5.3
Subjects: Competence and Diligence, Confidentiality of Information, Informed Consent, Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants, Safekeeping Property
Rules: Rule 1.0 (f), Rule 1.1 (b), Rule 1.7, Rule 1.7 (a)(2), Rule 1.7 (b)(4), Rule 1.8 (c), Rule 2.1
Subjects: Client Gifts to Lawyer, Confirmed in Writing, Conflicts of Interest, Informed Consent
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.2, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.7, Rule 2.1, Rule 5.1, Rule 5.3, Rule 5.4, Rule 5.5, Rule 7.1
Subjects: Competence and Diligence, Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, Fees, Independent Judgment, Outsourcing, Supervision, Unauthorized Practice of Law
Rules: Rule 1.6, Rule 1.7 (a), Rule 1.8 (h), Rule 8.3 (a)
Subjects: Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, Reporting Misconduct, Settling Malpractice Claims
Rules: Rule 1.5, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.9
Subjects: Confidentiality of Information, Duties to Former Clients, Fees
Rules: Rule 1.2, Rule 1.6, Rule 1.7, Rule 1.9, Rule 5.6
Subjects: Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer and Third Parties, Confidentiality of Information, Conflicts of Interest, Duties to Former Clients, Restrictions on Right to Practice
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.4, Rule 1.6
Subjects: Client Communications, Competence and Diligence, Confidentiality, Interpreters
Rules: Rule 1.0 (k), Rule 1.11, Rule 1.18, Rule 1.7, Rule 1.9
Subjects: Conflicts of Interest, Duties to Former Clients, Duties to Prospective Client, Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees
Rules: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.6 (a), Rule 4.4 (b), Rule 5.1, Rule 5.3
Subjects: Attorney-Client Relationship, Client Communications, Conduct Towards Opponent, Confidentiality, Inadvertent Disclosure
Rules: Rule 1.0, Rule 1.6, Rule 3.3, Rule 4.1
Subjects:
A Note About Ethics Materials from the NH Bar Association Ethics Committee

Care should be exercised in determining which version of a given Rule applies as of a given date, and the extent to which the interpretation of a given opinion or article will apply to such version. Many interpretations of New Hampshire ethics law (including many ethics opinions, practical ethics articles, and ethics corner articles issued by the NHBA Ethics Committee) have been published under the prior version of the Rules of Professional Conduct or predecessor rules. Read more.

General Ethics Guidance

Brief Bar News articles by the Ethics Committee examine frequently asked questions on ethics. View Ethics Corner and Practical Ethics articles.

NH Rules of Professional Conduct

The Rules of Professional Conduct constitute the disciplinary standard for New Hampshire lawyers. Together with law and other regulations governing lawyers, the Rules establish the boundaries of permissible and impermissible lawyer conduct. View the rules.

How to Obtain Answers
Can’t Find an NHBA Ethics Opinion on Point?

The Ethics Committee provides several services for members of the Bar. New Hampshire lawyers may contact the Committee for confidential and informal guidance on their own prospective conduct or suggest topics for Ethics Corner.

Members are encouraged to ask the NHBA Ethics Committee questions pertaining to New Hampshire practice. Inquiries and requests for opinions should be directed to staff liaison to the Ethics Committee Robin E. Knippers, 603-715-3259. Learn more.