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Rule 1.4: Client Communications


Adopted, Effective Jan. 1, 2008

Rule 1.4: Client Communications

(a) A lawyer shall:

    (1)promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent is required by these Rules;

    (2)reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished;

    (3)keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter.

    (4)promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and

    (5)consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

(b) A lawyer shall explain the legal and practical aspects of a matter and alternative courses of action to the extent that such explanation is reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.


    Attorneys seeking to determine the scope of the duty to communicate under this rule should also review ABA Comment 5 to Rule 2.2.  That Comment states that when a matter is likely to involve litigation, Rule 1.4 may require a lawyer "to inform the client of forms of dispute resolution that might constitute reasonable alternatives to litigation."  This comment may prove important given the overlap of Rules 2.2 and 1.4, the increasingly important role of alternative dispute resolution in litigation, and the implications this duty might have for a lawyer's civil liability.


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