Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #2011-12/04
By the NHBA Ethics Committee
A lawyer may not condition settlement of a dispute with a client upon the client agreeing not to file professional conduct complaint against the lawyer.
A lawyer may not condition a settlement of a dispute between the lawyer and the client upon an agreement that the client will not file a professional conduct complaint against the lawyer.
Permitting such settlements is prohibited because the ethics rules serve a purpose beyond rectifying a particular wrong to an individual client. The rules are designed to protect the bar and public generally.
A question exists about whether a lawyer-mediator may be subject to discipline for failure to report a professional conduct violation by another lawyer if the violation rises to the thresholds set forth in NHRPC 8.3(a).