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Bar News - September 22, 2006

Did You Know? - Ethics Rules

That advice on the interpretation of the Rules of Professional Conduct is available from the NH Bar Ethics Committee on an informal basis?


The Ethics Committee’s primary functions are to provide guidance on the interpretation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (the Ethics Rules) and to propose amendments to the Ethics Rules.


Interpretation of the Ethics Rules comes in a variety of formats. The Ethics Committee’s Formal Opinions and Practical Ethics articles, which appear in Bar News, are also available at under Legal Links/Ethics Opinions.


Formal Opinions and Practical Ethics articles (which range more broadly than a specific query) are published because the Ethics Committee deems them to be of widespread interest. Also, the Committee issues Advisory Opinions that are of more narrow interest, or where the applicable Ethics Rules are relatively clear. The Ethics Committee Chair may also issue Tentative Advisory Opinions in cases where the inquirer cannot wait for a formal response from the Ethics Committee.


Members of the Ethics Committee often provide immediate responses by telephone or e-mail for inquirers seeking an immediate sounding board; such responses are not binding on the Ethics Committee and generally represent off-the-cuff “reality checks” primarily helpful in directing the further research of the inquirer.


The Ethics Committee encourages Bar members to submit questions concerning the Ethics Rules.  Bar members seeking a written opinion may direct their inquiries, in the form of a written hypothetical, to Denice DeStefano, NHBA staff liaison to the Ethics Committee, at


To speak with an Ethics Committee member for an informal consultation on ethics issues, contact Denice DeStefano or Rose Anocibar at 603-224-6942, and they will direct you to a committee member with knowledge in that area of law.


If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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