The NHBA Ethics Committee produces two types of work product. Opinions of the Committee (below) analyze and apply the Rules to specific situational inquiries submitted to the Committee. Ethics Corner / Practical Ethics articles analyze and apply the Rules to issues or situations determined by the Committee to be of general interest to the Bar. Both receive equal consideration, are the work product of the Committee rather than its individual members, and are received and reviewed by the Board of Governors of the Bar Association.

#2021-22/01 Inactive Lawyers and Referral Fees

An inactive lawyer may not enter into a referral fee agreement with an active New Hampshire lawyer for matters that first arose after the change in status because that would violate the restrictions on the practice of law and present a great risk of misrepresentation.

#2020-21/02 Municipal Representation and Potential Conflicts of Interest

An Attorney who represents a municipal Planning Board and provides advice to the Planning Board on interpreting the Zoning Ordinance in a particular matter, should use extreme caution and carefully evaluate the possibility that a conflict of interest may exist in providing advice to the Zoning Board of Adjustment on the same matter on appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

#2019-20/03 Juror Investigation Using Social Media

Under Rule 3.5, a New Hampshire lawyer may review a juror’s public social media presence online but may not contact the juror and must avoid any notification that the juror’s social media platform has been accessed by the lawyer. While a lawyer must exercise care, a review of a juror’s social media presence may be ethically required in providing competent representation under Rule 1.1.

#2019-20/02 The Prospective Client: Confidentiality and Withdrawal Considerations

When a lawyer receives information from a prospective client which is materially adverse to the interests of the lawyer’s current client, is the lawyer authorized to reveal any information regarding the prospective client to his/her current client, and/or is the lawyer required to withdraw from representing the current client?

Ethics Opinions
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 Articles.

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 the Ethics Committee staff liaison,

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.