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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct

Statement of Purpose

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.

The Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason. They should be interpreted with reference to the context of legal representation and of law itself. Some of the Rules are imperatives, expressed by the terms "shall" or "shall not". Others, generally expressed by the term "may", are permissive and define areas in which the lawyer may exercise professional judgment.

The Rules are not designed to be a basis for civil liability. The purpose of the Rules can be subverted when the Rules are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. Violation of a Rule should not itself give rise to a cause of action against a lawyer nor should it create any presumption in such a case that a legal duty has been breached. Violation of a Rule does not necessarily warrant any other nondisciplinary remedy, such as disqualification of a lawyer from a position or from pending litigation. Nevertheless, as the Rules establish a standard of conduct for lawyers, a lawyer's violation of a Rule may be evidence of breach of the applicable standard of conduct.

The Rules of Professional Conduct are promulgated and amended by the Supreme Court of the State of New Hampshire with due input from members of the New Hampshire Bar and interested members of the public. Each Rule is published together with the applicable ABA Comment, as adopted by the American Bar Association in conjunction with its Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Preceding the ABA Comment may be found a New Hampshire Comment, which may describe distinctions between the Rule as adopted in New Hampshire and the respective ABA Model Rule. The ABA and New Hampshire Comments are intended to be interpretive, not mandatory. The New Hampshire Comments are provided by the Ethics Committee of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Lawyers have traditionally aspired to higher standards of professionalism than should be made mandatory in the Rules. Professionalism encompasses civility, competence, conscience, contribution to the quality of the legal system including equal access to the courts, and public service.

Rule 1.0. Definitions

(a) "Belief" or "believes" denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question to be true. A person's belief may be inferred from circumstances.

(b) "Confirmed in writing," when used in reference to the informed consent of a person, denotes informed consent that is given in writing by the person or a writing that a lawyer promptly transmits to the person confirming an oral informed consent. See paragraph (e) for the definition of "informed consent." If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the person gives informed consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter.

(c) "Firm" or "law firm" denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law; or lawyers employed in a legal services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization.

(d) "Fraud" or "fraudulent" denotes conduct that is fraudulent under the substantive or procedural law of the applicable jurisdiction and has a purpose to deceive.

(e) "Informed consent" denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.

(f) "Knowingly," "known," or "knows" denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances.

(g) "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership, a shareholder in a law firm organized as a professional corporation, or a member of an association authorized to practice law.

(h) "Reasonable" or "reasonably" when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer denotes the conduct of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer.

(i) "Reasonable belief" or "reasonably believes" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that the lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is reasonable.

(j) "Reasonably should know" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.

(k) "Screened" denotes the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law.

(l) "Substantial" when used in reference to degree or extent denotes a material matter of clear and weighty importance.

(m) "Tribunal" denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity. A legislative body, administrative agency or other body acts in an adjudicative capacity when a neutral official, after the presentation of evidence or legal argument by a party or parties, will render a binding legal judgment directly affecting a party's interests in a particular matter.

(n) "Writing" or "written" denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or video recording and e-mail. A "signed" writing includes an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a writing and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the writing.

[Comment][Narrative]

CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP

Rule 1.1. Competence

(a) A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client.

(b) Legal competence requires at a minimum:

(1) specific knowledge about the fields of law in which the lawyer practices;

(2) performance of the techniques of practice with skill;

(3) identification of areas beyond the lawyer's competence and bringing those areas to the client's attention;

(4) proper preparation; and

(5) attention to details and schedules necessary to assure that the matter undertaken is completed with no avoidable harm to the client's interest.

(c) In the performance of client service, a lawyer shall at a minimum:

(1) gather sufficient facts regarding the client's problem from the client, and from other relevant sources;

(2) formulate the material issues raised, determine applicable law and identify alternative legal responses;

(3) develop a strategy, in consultation with the client, for solving the legal problems of the client; and

(4) undertake actions on the client's behalf in a timely and effective manner including, where appropriate, associating with another lawyer who possesses the skill and knowledge required to assure competent representation.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.2. Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer

(a) Subject to paragraphs (c), (d), and (e), a lawyer shall abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation, and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.

(b) A lawyer's representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views or activities.

(c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent In providing limited representation, the lawyer's responsibilities to the client, the court and third parties remain as defined by these Rules as viewed in the context of the limited scope of the representation itself; and court rules when applicable.

(d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.

(e) It is not inconsistent with the lawyer’s duty to seek the lawful objectives of a client through reasonably available means, for the lawyer to accede to reasonable requests of opposing counsel that do not prejudice the rights of the client, avoid the use of offensive or dilatory tactics, or treat opposing counsel or an opposing party with civility.

(f) In addition to requirements set forth in Rule 1.2(c),

(1) a lawyer may provide limited representation to a client who is or may become involved in a proceeding before a tribunal (hereafter referred to as litigation), provided that the limitations are fully disclosed and explained, and the client gives informed consent to the limited representation. The form set forth in section (g) of this Rule has been created to facilitate disclosure and explanation of the limited nature of representation in litigation. Although not prohibited, the provision of limited representation to a client who is involved in litigation and who is entitled as a matter of law to the appointment of counsel is discouraged.

(2) a lawyer who has not entered an applicable limited appearance, and who provides assistance in drafting pleadings, shall advise the client to comply with any rules of the tribunal regarding participation of the lawyer in support of a pro se litigant.

(g) Sample form.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.3. Diligence

A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

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.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.5. Fees

(a) A lawyer shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal or unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee or expenses include the following:

(1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly.

(2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer.

(3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services.

(4) the amount involved and the results obtained.

(5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances.

(6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client.

(7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services.

(8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent; and

(b) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation.

(c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by law or these rules. A contingent fee agreement shall be in writing signed by the client and shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal, litigation and other expenses for which the client will be liable whether or not the client is the prevailing party, and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter, the lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, if there is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination.

(d)(1) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect any fee in a divorce or other domestic relations matter, which is contingent on:

(i) securing a divorce;

(ii) establishing or modifying a child support, alimony, property division, or other financial order; or

(iii) obtaining any specific non-financial relief.

(2) However, a contingent fee arrangement is permissible, subject to 1.5(c) above, in domestic relations matters regarding:

(i) enforcing a property division order or an accrued obligation for child support or alimony;

(ii) enforcing any other financial order; or

(iii) obtaining a property division of assets hidden during the divorce.

(e) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement to charge or collect a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case.

(f) A division of fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:

(1) the division is made either:

(i) in reasonable proportion to the services performed or responsibility or risks assumed by each, or

(ii) based on an agreement with the referring lawyer;

(2) in either case above, the client agrees in a writing signed by the client to the division of fees;

(3) in either case, the total fee charged by all lawyers is not increased by the division of fees and is reasonable.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.6. Confidentiality of Information

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal such information to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm or to prevent the client from committing a criminal act that the lawyer believes is likely to result in substantial injury to the financial interest or property of another; or

(2) to secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules; or

(3) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client; or

(4) to comply with other law or a court order.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.7. Conflicts of Interest

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:

(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or

(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.

(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:

(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client;

(2) the representation is not prohibited by law;

(3) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal; and

(4) each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.8. Conflict of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules

(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless:

(1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;

(2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel on the transaction; and

(3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client in the transaction.

(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, except as permitted or required by these Rules.

(c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. For purposes of this paragraph, related persons include a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or other relative or individual with whom the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial relationship.

(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation.

(e) A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation, except that:

(1) a lawyer may advance court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and

(2) a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client.

(f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:

(1) the client gives informed consent;

(2) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship; and

(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.

(g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.

(h) A lawyer shall not:

(1) make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer's liability to a client for malpractice unless the client is independently represented in making the agreement; or

(2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel in connection therewith.

(i) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:

(1) acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses; and

(2) contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.

(j) A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.

(k) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing paragraphs (a) through (i) that applies to any one of them shall apply to all of them.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.9. Duties to Former Clients

(a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person's interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

(b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously represented a client:

(1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and

(2) about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter; unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:

(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known; or

(2) reveal information relating to the representation except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.10. Imputation Of Conflicts Of Interest: General Rule

(a) While lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless the prohibition is based on a personal interest of the prohibited lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm.

(b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:

(1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client; and

(2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter.

(c) A disqualification prescribed by this rule may be waived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.11. Special Conflicts Of Interest For Former And Current Government Officers And Employees

(a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer who has formerly served as a public officer or employee of the government:

(1) is subject to Rule 1.9(c); and

(2) shall not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.

(b) When a lawyer is disqualified from representation under paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:

(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.

(c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer knows is confidential government information about a person acquired when the lawyer was a public officer or employee, may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person in a matter in which the information could be used to the material disadvantage of that person. As used in this Rule, the term "confidential government information" means information that has been obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this Rule is applied, the government is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose and which is not otherwise available to the public. A firm with which that lawyer is associated may undertake or continue representation in the matter only if the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.

(d) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee:

(1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9; and

(2) shall not:

(i) participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing; or

(ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).

(e) As used in this Rule, the term “matter” includes:

(1) any judicial or other proceeding involving a specific party or parties, including an application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other proceeding; and

(2) any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of the appropriate government agency.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.11A. Conduct of Lawyer-Officials

(a) Definitions. As used in this rule:

lawyer-official means a lawyer actively engaged in the practice of law, who is a member of a governmental body;

governmental body means any state or local governmental agency, board, body, council or commission, including any advisory committee established by any of such entities;

related body means a governmental body whose members are appointed or elected by the lawyer-official or the governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member;

interest means a direct, personal and pecuniary interest, individually or on a client’s behalf, in a matter which is under consideration by either the governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member, or by a related body; and

advisory committee means any committee, council, commission, or other like body whose primary purpose is to consider an issue or issues designated by the appointing authority so as to provide such authority with advice or recommendations concerning the formulation of any public policy or legislation that may be promoted, modified, or opposed by such authority.

(b) No lawyer-official shall:

(1) participate in any hearing, debate, discussion or vote, or in any manner otherwise attempt to influence the outcome of a matter in which the lawyer-official has an interest;

(2) utilize information obtained in such capacity for his or her own personal benefit or that of his or her clients or the clients of the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated;

(3) appear on behalf of a client before any governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member or any  related body;

(4) accept anything of value from any person or organization when the lawyer-official knows or reasonably should know that the offer is for the purpose of influencing the lawyer-official's actions or decisions as a lawyer-official;

(5) use his or her official position to influence or to attempt to influence either the governmental body of which the lawyer is a member or a related body to act in favor of the lawyer-official or the lawyer-official’s clients or clients of the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated.

(c) Other lawyers in the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated may appear on behalf of clients before the governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member, if the lawyer-official publicly disqualifies himself or herself and refrains from participation in the matter in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule and otherwise conducts himself or herself with respect to the matter in question in accordance with paragraph (b) of this Rule. Other lawyers in the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated may appear on behalf of clients before a related body, if the lawyer-official conducts himself or herself with respect to the matter in question in accordance with paragraph (b) of this Rule.

Rule 1.12. Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator Or Other Third-Party Neutral

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or law clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral.

(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge or other adjudicative officer may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge or other adjudicative officer.

(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:

(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(2) written notice is promptly given to the parties and any appropriate tribunal to enable them to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.

(d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimember arbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.12A. Part-Time Judge

A lawyer who serves as a part-time judge may not practice in a court where he or she regularly serves as a part-time judge.

Rule 1.13. Organization as Client

(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through its duly authorized constituents.

(b) If a lawyer for an organization knows that an officer, employee or other person associated with the organization is engaged in action, intends to act or refuses to act in a matter related to the representation that is a violation of a legal obligation to the organization, or a violation of law that reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and that is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer shall proceed as is reasonably necessary in the best interest of the organization. Unless the lawyer reasonably believes that it is not necessary in the best interest of the organization to do so, the lawyer shall refer the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the circumstances, to the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization as determined by applicable law.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d), if

(1) despite the lawyer's efforts in accordance with paragraph (b) the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization insists upon or fails to address in a timely and appropriate manner an action, or a refusal to act, that is clearly a violation of law, and

(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the violation is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation whether or not Rule 1.6 permits such disclosure, but only if and to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to prevent substantial injury to the organization.

(d) Paragraph (c) shall not apply with respect to information relating to a lawyer’s representation of an organization to investigate an alleged violation of law, or to defend the organization or an officer, employee or other constituent associated with the organization against a claim arising out of an alleged violation of law.

(e) A lawyer who reasonably believes that he or she has been discharged because of the lawyer’s actions taken pursuant to paragraphs (b) or (c), or who withdraws under circumstances that require or permit the lawyer to take action under either of those paragraphs, shall proceed as the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to assure that the organization’s highest authority is informed of the lawyer’s discharge or withdrawal.

(f) In dealing with an organization's directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the organization's interests are adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing.

(g) A lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of its directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, subject to the provisions of Rule 1.7.  If the organization's consent to the dual representation is required by Rule 1.7, the consent shall be given by an appropriate official of the organization other than the individual who is to be represented, or by the shareholders.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.14. Client With Diminished Capacity

(a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.

(b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.

(c) Information relating to the representation of a client with diminished capacity is protected by Rule 1.6. When taking protective action pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized under Rule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the client's interests.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.15. Safekeeping Property

(a) Property of clients or third persons which a lawyer is holding in the lawyer's possession in connection with a representation shall be held separate from the lawyer's own property. Funds shall be deposited in one or more clearly designated trust accounts in accordance with the provisions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules. All other property shall be identified as property of the client, promptly upon receipt, and safeguarded.

(b) Records shall be maintained by the lawyer of the handling, maintenance and disposition of all funds and other property of the client at any time in the lawyer's possession from the time of receipt to the time of final distribution and shall be preserved for a period of six years after final distribution of such funds or other property or any portion thereof. The lawyer shall maintain the minimum financial records specified in the New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules and shall comply with every other aspect of those Rules.

(c) A lawyer may deposit the lawyer's own funds in a client trust account for the sole purpose of paying bank service charges on that account, but only in an amount appropriate for that purpose.

(d) A lawyer shall deposit into a client trust account legal fees and expenses that have been paid in advance, to be withdrawn by the lawyer only as fees are earned or expenses incurred.

(e) Funds may be disbursed from lawyer trust accounts upon (A) (i) deposit, receipt of which is acknowledged by the receiving financial institution, of cash, bank cashier's check, certified check, or electronic transfer of funds at least equal to the sum of such disbursements, or (ii) clearance of any other form of deposit by such receiving financial institution, and (B) availability of such funds to the lawyer from the receiving financial institution.

(f) Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third person. Except as stated in this rule or otherwise permitted by law or by agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and upon request by the client or third person, shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such property.

(g) When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which two or more persons (one of whom may be the lawyer) claim interests, the property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved. The lawyer shall promptly distribute all portions of the property as to which the interests are not in dispute.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.16. Declining or Terminating Representation

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:

(1) the representation will result in violation of the rules of professional conduct or other law;

(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client;  or

(3) the lawyer is discharged.

(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:

(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client;

(2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;

(3) the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud;

(4) the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement;

(5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;

(6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client;  or

(7) other good cause for withdrawal exists.

(c) A lawyer must comply with the applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.

(d) As a condition to termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice of the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by law.

(e) The representation of a lawyer having entered a limited appearance as authorized by the tribunal under a limited representation agreement under Rule 1.2(f)(1), shall terminate upon completion of the agreed representation, without the necessity of leave of court, upon providing notice of completion of the limited representation to the court.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.17. Sale Of Law Practice

A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area of law practice, including good will, if each of the following conditions is satisfied:

(a) The seller ceases to engage in the private practice of law, or in the area of practice that has been sold, within the State of New Hampshire;

(b) The entire practice, or the entire area of practice (subject to the clients’ rights under Rule 1.17(c)(2)), is sold to one or more lawyers or law firms;

(c) The seller gives written notice to each of the active and inactive clients of the practice or practice area being sold regarding:

(1) the proposed sale;

(2) the client's right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and

(3) the fact that the client's consent to the transfer of the client's files will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within ninety (90) days of receipt of the notice.

(d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale;

(e) If a client cannot be given notice described in section (c), the representation of that client shall be transferred to the successor lawyer or law firm for the limited purpose of protecting the interests of that client as and to the same extent as the selling or prior lawyer was required to do by these Rules, and the successor lawyer or law firm shall have a continuing obligation to reasonably attempt to provide the client with such notice to the same extent as may be required by these Rules; and

(f) The successor lawyer or law firm shall take possession of all the inactive or archival files of the practice or practice area being sold, and shall store, handle, or destroy them in accordance with the normal operating procedures of the successor lawyer or law firm and these Rules. Notice of the transfer of the inactive and archival files shall be published in an appropriate newspaper of local circulation and shall be provided to the New Hampshire Bar Association.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.18. Duties To Prospective Client

(a) A person who provides information to a lawyer regarding the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.

(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has received and reviewed information from a prospective client shall not use or reveal that information except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.

(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received and reviewed information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the matter, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).

(d) When the lawyer has received and reviewed disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:

(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing, or:

(2) the lawyer who received and reviewed the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and

(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 1.19. Disclosure of Information to the Client

(a) A lawyer shall inform a client at the time of the client's engagement of the lawyer or at any time subsequent to the engagement of the lawyer if the lawyer does not maintain professional liability insurance in the amounts of at least one hundred thousand dollars per occurrence and three hundred thousand dollars in the aggregate or if the lawyer's professional liability insurance ceases to be in effect. The notice shall be provided to the client on a separate form set forth following this rule and shall be signed by the client.

(b) A lawyer shall maintain a copy of the notice signed by the client for five years after termination of representation of the client.

(c) The notice required by paragraph (a) of this rule shall not apply to a lawyer who is engaged in either of the following:

(1) Rendering legal services to a governmental entity that employs the lawyer;

(2) Rendering legal services to an entity that employs the lawyer as in-house counsel.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

COUNSELOR

Rule 2.1. Advisor

In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors that may be relevant to the client's situation.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 2.2. Intermediary [Repealed]

Rule 2.3. Evaluation for Use by Third Persons

(a) A lawyer may provide an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone other than the client if the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects of the lawyer's relationship with the client.

(b) When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the evaluation is likely to affect the client's interests materially and adversely, the lawyer shall not provide the evaluation unless the client gives informed consent.

(c) Except as disclosure is authorized in connection with a report of an evaluation, information relating to the evaluation is otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 2.4. Lawyer Serving as Third-Party Neutral

(a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists two or more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a third-party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in such other capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter.

(b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform all parties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer's role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer's role as one who represents a client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

ADVOCATE

Rule 3.1. Meritorious Claims and Contentions

A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration or institutionalization, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.2. Expediting Litigation

A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.3. Candor Toward the Tribunal

(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:

(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;

(2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel;  or

(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and comes to know if its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.

(b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.

(c) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

(d) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.4. Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel

A lawyer shall not:

(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;

(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or offer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law;

(c) knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists;

(d) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party;

(e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness, or state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of an accused;  or

(f) request a person other than a client to refrain from voluntarily giving relevant information to another party unless:

(1) the person is a relative or an employee or other agent of a client;  and

(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the person's interests will not be adversely affected by refraining from giving such information.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.5. Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal

A lawyer shall not:

(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law;

(b) communicate ex parte with such a person during the proceeding unless authorized to do so by law or court order;

(c) communicate with a juror or prospective juror after discharge of the jury if:

(1) the communication is prohibited by law or court order;

(2) the juror has made known to the lawyer a desire not to communicate; or

(3) the communication involves misrepresentation, coercion, duress or harassment; or

(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.6. Trial Publicity

(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

(b) A statement referred to in paragraph (a) will more likely than not have such an effect when it refers to a civil matter triable to a jury, a criminal matter, or any other proceeding that could result in incarceration, and the statement relates to:

(1) the character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a party, suspect in a criminal investigation or witness, or the identity of a witness, or the expected testimony of a party or witness;

(2) in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration, the possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense or the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by a defendant or suspect or that person's refusal or failure to make a statement;

(3) the performance or results of any examination or test or the refusal or failure of a person to submit to an examination or test, or the identity or nature of physical evidence expected to be presented;

(4) any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of a defendant or suspect in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration;  or

(5) information the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is likely to be inadmissible as evidence in a trial and would if disclosed create a substantial risk of prejudicing an impartial trial.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;

(2) information contained in a public record;

(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;

(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;

(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;

(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest;  and

(7) in a criminal case, in addition to subparagraphs (1) through (6):

(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the victim and the accused;

(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person;

(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest;  and

(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation.

(d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyer subject to paragraph (a) shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.7. Lawyer as Witness

(a) A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness unless:

(1) the testimony relates to an uncontested issue;

(2) the testimony relates to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the case;  or

(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work unreasonable hardship on the client.

(b) A lawyer may act as advocate in a trial in which another lawyer in the lawyer's firm is likely to be called as a witness unless precluded from doing so by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.8. Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;

(b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;

(c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;

(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;

(e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:

(1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;

(2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and

(3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;

(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 3.9. Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings

A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a), (b) and (d), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS OTHER THAN CLIENT

Rule 4.1. Truthfulness in Statements to Others

In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:

(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person;  or

(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 4.2. Communication with Person Represented by Counsel

In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order. An otherwise unrepresented party to whom limited representation is being provided or has been provided in accordance with Rule 1.2(f)(1) is considered to be unrepresented for purposes of this Rule, except to the extent the limited representation lawyer provides other counsel written notice of a time period within which other counsel shall communicate only with the limited representation lawyer.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 4.3. Dealing with Unrepresented Person

In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 4.4. Respect for Rights of Third Persons

(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not take any action if the lawyer knows or it is obvious that the action has the primary purpose to embarrass, delay or burden a third person.

(b) A lawyer who receives materials relating to the representation of the lawyer’s client and knows that the material was inadvertently sent shall promptly notify the sender and shall not examine the materials. The receiving lawyer shall abide by the sender’s instructions or seek determination by a tribunal.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 4.5. Subpoenas

A lawyer shall not issue or obtain the issuance of a subpoena without good cause.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

LAW FIRMS AND ASSOCIATIONS

Rule 5.1. Responsibilities Of Partners, Managers, And Supervisory Lawyers

(a) Each partner in a law firm, and each lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(b) Each lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if:

(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or

(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 5.2. Responsibilities of a Subordinate Lawyer

(a) A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted at the direction of another person.

(b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer's reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 5.3. Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants

With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:

(a) Each partner, and each lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer;

(b) Each lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer;  and

(c) a lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that would be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:

(1) the lawyer orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved;  or

(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 5.4. Professional Independence of a Lawyer

(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:

(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons;

(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;

(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and

(4) a lawyer may share legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.

(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.

(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.

(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:

(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;

(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation ; or

(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 5.5. Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice Of Law

(a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.

(b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not:

(1) except as authorized by these Rules or other law, establish an office or other systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law; or

(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.

(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:

(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter;

(2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;

(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.

(d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that:

(1) are provided to the lawyer’s employer or its organizational affiliates and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(2) are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this jurisdiction.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 5.6. Restrictions on Right to Practice

A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:

(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar agreement that restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or

(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 5.7. Responsibilities Regarding Law-Related Services

(a) A lawyer shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to the provision of law-related services, as defined in paragraph (b), if the law-related services are provided:

(1) by the lawyer in circumstances that are not distinct from the lawyer's provision of legal services to clients; or

(2) in other circumstances by an entity controlled by the lawyer individually or with others if the lawyer fails to take reasonable measures to assure that a person obtaining the law-related services knows that the services are not legal services and that the protections of the client-lawyer relationship do not exist.

(b) The term "law-related services" denotes services that might reasonably be performed in conjunction with and in substance are related to the provision of legal services, and that are not prohibited as unauthorized practice of law when provided by a nonlawyer.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

PUBLIC SERVICE

Rule 6.1. Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service

Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (30) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyer should:

(a) provide a substantial majority of the (30) hours of legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:

(1) persons of limited means or

(2) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; and

(b) provide any additional services through:

(1) delivery of legal services at no fee or substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;

(2) delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or

(3) participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession. In addition, a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 6.2. Accepting Appointments

A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:

(a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;

(b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer;  or

(c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 6.3. Membership in Legal Services Organization

A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, notwithstanding that the organization serves persons having interests adverse to a client of the lawyer. The lawyer shall not knowingly participate in a decision or action of the organization:

(a) if participating in the decision or action would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations to a client under Rule 1.7;  or

(b) where the decision or action could have a material adverse effect on the representation of a client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 6.4. Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests

A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer.  When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially affected by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the client.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

Rule 6.5. Nonprofit And Court-Annexed Limited Legal Services Programs

(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by the New Hampshire Bar Association, a nonprofit organization or court, provides one-time consultation with a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:

(1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; and

(2) is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule.

(c) Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) are applicable to a representation governed by this Rule.

[Comment][Narrative][Other Jurisdictions]

INFORMATION REGARDING LEGAL SERVICES

Rule 7.1. Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services

A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, a communication is false or misleading if it:

(a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement, considered in light of all of the circumstances, not materially misleading;

(b) is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or implies that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the rules of professional conduct or other law;  or

(c) compares the lawyer's services with other lawyers' services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated.

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Rule 7.2. Advertising

(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media.

(b) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services except that a lawyer may

(1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule;

(2) pay a fee charged by an organization that is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and

(3) purchase a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17.

(c) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.

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Rule 7.3. Direct Contact With Prospective Clients

(a) A lawyer shall not initiate, by in-person, live voice, recorded or other real-time means, contact with a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment, unless the person contacted:

(1) is a lawyer;

(2) has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer;

(3) is an employee, agent, or representative of a business, non-profit or governmental organization not known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter, and the lawyer seeks to provide services on behalf of the organization; or

(4) is an individual who regularly requires legal services in a commercial context and is not known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter.

(b) A lawyer shall not communicate or knowingly permit any communication to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment if:

(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to receive communications from the lawyer;

(2) the communication involves coercion, duress or harassment; or

(3) the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the physical, mental, or emotional state of the prospective client is such that there is a substantial potential that the person cannot exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer.

(c) Every written, recorded or electronic communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall include the word "Advertising" on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person specified in subsection (a).

(d) The following types of direct contact with prospective clients shall be exempt from subsection (a):

(i) participation in a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person, live voice or other real-time contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.

(ii) initiation of contact for legal services by a non-profit organization.

(iii) contact of those the lawyer is permitted under applicable law to seek to join in litigation in the nature of a class action, if success in asserting rights or defenses of the litigation is dependent upon the joinder of others; and

(iv) requests by a lawyer or the lawyer’s firm for referrals from a lawyer referral service operated, sponsored or approved by a bar association, or cooperation with any other qualified legal assistance organization.

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Rule 7.4. Communications of Fields of Practice

A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.  A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is a specialist except as follows:

(a) a lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "patent attorney" or a substantially similar designation;

(b) a lawyer engaged in admiralty practice may use the designation  "admiralty," "proctor in admiralty" or a substantially similar designation; and

(c) a lawyer who is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law by an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association may hold himself or herself out as a specialist certified by such organization.

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Rule 7.5. Firm Names and Letterheads

(a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.1.  A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.

(b) A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction.

(c) Identification of the lawyers in an office of a law firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.

(d) The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.

(e) Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact.

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MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION

Rule 8.1. Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters

An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:

(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact;  or

(b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority, except that this Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6;  or

(c) fail to attend a hearing when ordered to do so by a disciplinary authority.

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Rule 8.2. Judicial and Legal Officials

(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.

(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

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Rule 8.3. Reporting Professional Misconduct

(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.

(c) This Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6 or information received by lawyers during the course of their work on behalf of the New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics or Lawyers Assistance Committees.

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Rule 8.4. Misconduct

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

(d) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official;

(e) state or imply an ability to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.

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Rule 8.5. Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law; Application of Rules to Nonlawyer Representatives

(a) Disciplinary Authority. A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the lawyer's conduct occurs. A lawyer admitted in another jurisdiction but not admitted in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.

(b) Choice of Law. In any exercise of the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, the rules of professional conduct to be applied shall be as follows:

(1) for conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise; and

(2) for any other conduct, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer's conduct occurred, or, if the predominant effect of the conduct is in a different jurisdiction, the rules of that jurisdiction shall be applied to the conduct. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if the lawyer's conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer's conduct will occur.

(c) Application of Rules to Nonlawyer Representatives. Rules 1.2, 1.31.4, 1.14, 1.15, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 8.2(a), and 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct shall apply to persons who, while not lawyers, are permitted to represent other persons before the courts of this jurisdiction pursuant to RSA 311:1.  The committee on professional conduct shall have jurisdiction to consider grievances alleging violations of these Rules of Professional Conduct by nonlawyer representatives.

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