Bar News - February 8, 2008
Did You Know?
The NHBA Ethics Committee provides an informal advisory service for members who need assistance in interpreting the NH Rules of Professional Conduct.
The Committee has two primary functions: first, it provides opinions interpreting the Rules of Professional Conduct (the Ethics Rules), and second, it proposes amendments to the Ethics Rules.
Interpretation of the Ethics Rules comes in a variety of formats.
- The Ethics Committee Formal Opinions and Practical Ethics articles, which appear in Bar News and are also available on-line under Legal Links. “Practical Ethics” articles are intended to provide interpretation and guidance that may go beyond the scope of an individual ethics query, which usually forms the basis for an Opinion.
- Formal Opinions are those which the Ethics Committee deems to be of widespread interest.
- Advisory Opinions are those which the Ethics Committee has deemed not to have significance to the Bar as a whole, where the applicable Ethics Rules are relatively clear, or where existing New Hampshire Formal Opinions on the same subject require no action by the Ethics Committee beyond citation and explanation.
- 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. Tentative Advisory Opinions are not binding on the Ethics Committee. Finally, 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 Rose Anocibar, NHBA Staff Liaison to the Ethics Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If a member’s question is time-sensitive, please indicate your interest in speaking to a member of the Ethics Committee on an informal basis.
The Ethics Committee has no disciplinary function. To register complaints of violations of the Ethics Rules by members of the New Hampshire Bar, contact the Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Conduct at (603) 224-5828.