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District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct
As a result of the Court Reorganization Act of 1970, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals was given disciplinary authority over lawyers practicing in the District. That authority, which was previously exercised by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, was officially transferred to the Court of Appeals on April 1, 1972. On that date all members of the Bar of the District Court for the District of Columbia were automatically enrolled as members of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and were made subject to its disciplinary jurisdiction. Pursuant to its new disciplinary jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals in 1972 adopted the American Bar Association's (ABA's) Model Code of Professional Responsibility, promulgated by the ABA in 1969, with certain amendments that were voted on by members of the Bar and approved by a wide margin. These changes included the deletion of DR 1-102(A)(6), the modification of DR 1-103, and the substitution of Canon 20 for DR 7-107(G) and (H).
One additional change made in 1972 was considered to be of major significance. The Court of Appeals deleted from DR 7-102(B)(1) a clause that appeared to require the lawyer to reveal that the lawyer's client has perpetrated a fraud on the tribunal. This amendment anticipated the ABA's 1974 amendment to DR 7-102(B)(1), stating that the lawyer need not reveal the client's fraud when that information is protected as a "privileged communication," and the ABA's later holding that the "privileged communications" protected by the new clause included all client "confidences and secrets" required to be preserved under the confidentiality rule set forth in DR 4-101 of the Code. ABA Formal Opinion 341 (Sept. 30, 1975). The ABA also explained in Opinion 341 that the amendment had been merely a clarifying one, intended to reflect the original intention of DR 7-102((B)(1).
Over the years, the code was amended further by the Court of Appeals. See, e.g., DR 5-103(B) (revised April 18, 1980); DR 2-103(E) (added on June 11, 1981). Major changes in Canon 2's provisions regarding publicity and advertising, professional notices and letterheads, solicitation, and limitation of practice were made in 1978. And in 1982, following several years of debate and study of the "revolving door" between government and nongovernment practice, Canon 9 was modified extensively, with major changes in DR 9-101, and the addition of a new DR 9-102 dealing with imputed disqualification.
On February 22, 1985, the court added DR 9-103(C), authorizing certain clients' funds to be placed in interest-bearing accounts benefiting a court-approved Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program.
Also during the years, certain amendments to the ABA code were automatically incorporated in the District of Columbia version by virtue of an adoption provision contained in the court's Rule X. Examples include amendments to DR 2-102(C) and DR 3-102(A)(3).
On August 2, 1983, the ABA House of Delegates adopted the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. On August 15, 1983, David B. Isbell, then president of the District of Columbia Bar, recommended to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that the new Model Rules not be adopted automatically and recommended procedures for consideration of the ABA proposals by the District of Columbia Bar and the court. With the approval of the court, the Board of Governors of the Bar established the District of Columbia Bar Model Rules of Professional Conduct Committee to make recommendations to the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar regarding adoption of the Model Rules. The committee, chaired by Robert E. Jordan III, Esq., sought comments from members of the Bar and, after almost two years of detailed and intensive review of the ABA's proposal, issued a report recommending adoption of a number of the ABA proposals, adoption of others with minor changes, and substantial modifications, additions, or deletions with respect to other portions of the ABA proposal. The committee's report was transmitted to the Board of Governors of the Bar in September 1985.
In the October/November 1985 issue of Bar Report, the Board of Governors solicited comments to the committee report from the public and Bar members. The board received comments from over 35 organizations, law firms, and individuals. Many commentators addressed a number of different Rules.
The Board of Governors made a detailed review of the committee proposal and the comments received. The board discussed the Rules at its regular meetings on September 10, 1985, October 8, 1986, November 12, 1986, February 4, 1986, March 11, 1986, April 8, 1986, June 17, 1986, and July 15, 1986. In addition, the board held a series of special meetings exclusively devoted to the Rules. These special meetings were held on December 16, 1986, January 28, 1986, February 25, 1986, March 25, 1986, May 1, 1986, May 9, 1986, May 23, 1986, May 28, 1986, and June 5, 1986.
A public meeting was held to discuss the committee proposal on May 1, 1986. Certain Rules were also the focus of discussion at the midyear meeting of the District of Columbia Bar on March 4, 1986, and the annual meeting on June 25, 1986.
During its discussion of the proposed Rules and Comments, the Board of Governors recognized the need for special study of potentially unique problems associated with applying rules of professional conduct to Bar members who are serving as lawyers for governments. As recommended by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, the board appointed a special committee known as the Special Committee on Government Lawyers and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, chaired by Joe Sims, Esq. This committee began its consideration of situations unique to the role of government lawyers.
By petition dated November 19, 1986, the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar requested that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals adopt Rules of Professional Conduct and Related Comments as set forth in recommendations attached to the petition. Subsequently, while the petition of November 19, 1986, was pending with the court, the Board of Governors submitted three petitions supplementing or amending the November 19 petition. These further petitions were dated March 13, 1987 (seeking modifications to Rules 1.6 and 1.10 and Related Comments), September 11, 1987 (seeking modifications to Rule 5.4 and Related Comments), and June 30, 1988, (seeking modifications to Rules 1.7 and 1.6 and Related Comments, and to the Comments to Rule 8.3).
While the court was considering the Bar's various petitions, the Sims Committee completed its work, and its report was transmitted to the Board of Governors. After consideration by the Board of Governors, the Sims Committee's report was forwarded to the court on December 1, 1988.
Between November 19, 1986, and September 1, 1988, the Board of Judges met on numerous occasions to consider the pending petitions of the District of Columbia Bar. As a result of its deliberations and discussions at these meetings, the Board of Judges determined to make proposed additions, deletions, and modifications to the language of the proposed Rules and Comments, subject to publication, for comment by members of the Bar and the public, of a version of the Rules and Comments that reflected such tentative modifications.
On September 1, 1988, the court ordered that the following proposed Rules of Professional Conduct and Related Comments be published in Bar Report issue of August/September 1988 for comment by interested members of the Bar and other persons, such comments to be filed with the clerk of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on or before December 1, 1988.
More than 50 comments, many of considerable length and detail, were received in response to the court's order publishing the proposed Rules and Comments for comment. The court requested that Robert E. Jordan III, chair of the D.C. Bar Model Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, furnish the court an analysis of the comments received. Mr. Jordan's analysis was submitted to the court on May 3, 1989. Thereafter, the Board of Judges met on a number of occasions to consider the comments received. A number of modifications to provisions of the Rules and Comments were made in response to the comments received by the court.
The court had also been considering the report of the Sims Committee, and during meetings of the Board of Judges in the fall of 1989, various recommendations of the Sims Committee were adopted and incorporated in the Rules and Comments along with the changes resulting from consideration of the December 1988 comments filed with the court.
On March 1, 1990, the court entered an order promulgating this Preface, the Scope and Terminology sections that follow, and the Rules and Comments that are set forth below as Rules of Professional Conduct Applicable to Members of the District of Columbia Bar, with an effective date of January 1, 1991. The order of March 1, 1990, also specified that, effective January 1, 1991, the Code of Professional Responsibility as in effect on December 31, 1990, was rescinded. The court's order also provided, however, that as to conduct occurring prior to the rescission of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the provisions of that code in effect on the date of the conduct in question would apply as the governing rules of decision for Bar Counsel, the hearing panels of the Board on Professional Responsibility, the Board on Professional Responsibility, and the court in disciplinary proceedings.
The Rules provide standards for the professional conduct of members of the District of Columbia Bar. In the absence of uniform rules in the states, the court recognized the importance of responding to the recommendations and comments of its bar. As a result, the court--like the highest courts of many other jurisdictions--has departed in some respects from the model professional rules promulgated by the American Bar Association in August 1983, while adopting many of the association's proposals designed to improve the disciplinary system. The court has carefully considered the recommendations of the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar as well as the comments of members of the Bar on the proposed rules that were published in September 1988. The new Rules, however, will not meet everyone's concerns or objections--an impossibility given conflicting positions--and the court anticipates that, as in the past, experience will demonstrate that further modifications may be appropriate.
Over the course of the next year, the District of Columbia Bar will sponsor a series of educational workshops on the new Rules. All members of the Bar are encouraged to attend, for the Rules are complex and comprehensive. All members of the Bar, of course, will be subject to the Rules whether or not they attend a workshop.
Finally, the court and the Bar have been assisted throughout their consideration of the Rules by Robert E. Jordan III, Esq. His effort has immeasurably facilitated the court's review of the Board of Governors' proposals and the comments received by the court after publication of the proposed Rules in September 1988. The court accordingly wishes to acknowledge Mr. Jordan's outstanding contribution in addressing both the concerns of the Bar and the interests of the community served by lawyers. The court also recognizes the contributions of the members of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct Committee chaired by Mr. Jordan, of the District of Columbia Bar Special Committee on Government Lawyers and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, chaired by Joe Sims, Esq., of the members of the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar, and of the many individuals, law firms, and government agencies affording the court the benefit of their comments.
 The Rules of Professional Conduct (Rules) are rules of reason. They should be interpreted with reference to the purposes of legal representation and of the law itself. Some of the Rules are imperatives, cast in the terms "shall" or "shall not." These define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline. Others, generally cast in the term "may," are permissive and define areas under the Rules in which the lawyer has professional discretion. No disciplinary action should be taken when the lawyer chooses not to act or acts within the bounds of such discretion. Other Rules define the nature of relationships between the lawyer and others. The Rules are thus partly obligatory and disciplinary and partly constitutive and descriptive in that they define a lawyer's professional role. Many of the Comments use the term "should." Comments do not add obligations to the Rules but provide guidance for interpreting the Rules and practicing in compliance with them.
 The Rules presuppose a larger legal context shaping the lawyer's role. That context includes court rules and statutes relating to matters of licensure, laws defining specific obligations of lawyers, and substantive and procedural law in general. Compliance with the Rules, as with all law in an open society, depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon reinforcement by peer and public opinion, and finally, when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary proceedings. The Rules do not, however, exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform a lawyer, for no worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by legal rules. The Rules simply provide a framework for the ethical practice of law.
 Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a rule is a basis for invoking the disciplinary process. The Rules presuppose that disciplinary assessment of a lawyer's conduct will be made on the basis of the facts and circumstances as they existed at the time of the conduct in question and in recognition of the fact that a lawyer often has to act upon uncertain or incomplete evidence of the situation. Moreover, the Rules presuppose that whether or not discipline should be imposed for a violation, and the severity of a sanction, depend on all the circumstances, such as the willfulness and seriousness of the violation, extenuating factors and whether there have been previous violations.
 Nothing in these Rules, the Comments associated with them, or this Scope section is intended to enlarge or restrict existing law regarding the liability of lawyers to others or the requirements that the testimony of expert witnesses or other modes of proof must be employed in determining the scope of a lawyer's duty to others. Moreover, nothing in the Rules or associated Comments or this Scope section is intended to confer rights on an adversary of a lawyer to enforce the Rules in a proceeding other than a disciplinary proceeding. Some judicial decisions have considered the standard of conduct established in these Rules in determining the standard of care applicable in a proceeding other than a disciplinary proceeding. A tribunal presented with claims that the conduct of a lawyer appearing before that tribunal requires, for example, disqualification of the lawyer and/or the lawyer's firm may take such action as seems appropriate in the circumstances, which may or may not involve disqualification.
 In interpreting these Rules, the specific shall control the general in the sense that any rule that specifically addresses conduct shall control the disposition of matters and the outcome of such matters shall not turn upon the application of a more general rule that arguably also applies to the conduct in question. In a number of instances, there are specific rules that address specific types of conduct. The rule of interpretation expressed here is meant to make it clear that the general rule does not supplant, amend, enlarge, or extend the specific rule. So, for instance, the general terms of Rule 1.3 are not intended to govern conflicts of interest, which are particularly discussed in Rules 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9. Thus, conduct that is proper under the specific conflicts rules is not improper under the more general rule of Rule 1.3. Except where the principle of priority stated here is applicable, however, compliance with one rule does not generally excuse compliance with other rules. Accordingly, once a lawyer has analyzed the ethical considerations under a given rule, the lawyer must generally extend the analysis to ensure compliance with all other applicable rules.
 The Comment accompanying each Rule explains and illustrates the meaning and purpose of the Rule. This note on Scope provides general orientation and general rules of interpretation. The Comments are intended as guides to interpretation, but the text of each Rule is controlling.
(b) "Consult" or "consultation" denotes communication of information reasonably sufficient to permit the client to appreciate the significance of the matter in question.
(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 but does not include a government agency or other government entity. See Comment, Rule 1.10.
(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.
(g) "Law clerk" denotes a person, typically a recent law school graduate, who acts, typically for a limited period, as confidential assistant to a judge or judges of a court; to an administrative law judge or a similar administrative hearing officer; or to the head of a governmental agency or to a member of a governmental commission, either of which has authority to adjudicate or to promulgate rules or regulations of general application.
(h) "Matter" means any litigation, administrative proceeding, lobbying activity, application, claim, investigation, arrest, charge or accusation, the drafting of a contract, a negotiation, estate or family relations practice issue, or any other representation, except as expressly limited in a particular rule.
(i) "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership, a shareholder in a law firm organized as a professional corporation or professional limited liability company, or a member of an association authorized to practice law.
(k) "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.
(l) "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.
(n) "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.
(o) "Writing" or "written" denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photo stating, 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.
(a) A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
(a) A lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation, subject to paragraphs (c), (d), and (e), and 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. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision whether to accept an offer of settlement of a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial, and whether the client will testify.
(c) A lawyer may limit the objective of the representation if the client gives informed consent.
(e) 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.
(f) When a lawyer knows that a client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law, the lawyer shall consult with the client regarding the relevant limitations on the lawyer's conduct.
(1) Fail to seek the lawful objectives of a client through reasonably available means permitted by law and the disciplinary rules; or
(c) A lawyer shall act with reasonable promptness in representing a client.
(a) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
(a) A lawyer's fee shall be reasonable. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
(b) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee, the scope of the lawyer’s representation, and the expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client, 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 paragraph (d) or other law. A contingent fee agreement shall be in writing 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, other expenses to be deducted from the recovery, whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated, and whether the client will be liable for expenses regardless of the outcome of the matter. 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.
(e) A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:
(2) The client is advised, in writing, of the identity of the lawyers who will participate in the representation, of the contemplated division of responsibility, and of the effect of the association of lawyers outside the firm on the fee to be charged;
(3) The client gives informed consent to the arrangement; and
(4) The total fee is reasonable.
(a) Except when permitted under paragraph (c), (d), or (e), a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(b) "Confidence" refers to information protected by the attorney-client privilege under applicable law, and "secret" refers to other information gained in the professional relationship that the client has requested be held inviolate, or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing, or would be likely to be detrimental, to the client.
(2) to prevent the bribery or intimidation of witnesses, jurors, court officials, or other persons who are involved in proceedings before a tribunal if the lawyer reasonably believes that such acts are likely to result absent disclosure of the client's confidences or secrets by the lawyer.
(2) to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client’s commission of the crime or fraud.
(1) with the informed consent of the client;
(B) if a government lawyer, when permitted or authorized by law;
(3) to the extent reasonably necessary to establish a defense to a criminal charge, disciplinary charge, or civil claim, formally instituted against the lawyer, based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to the extent reasonably necessary to respond to specific allegations by the client concerning the lawyer's representation of the client;
(f) A lawyer shall exercise reasonable care to prevent the lawyer's employees, associates, and others whose services are utilized by the lawyer from disclosing or using confidences or secrets of a client, except that such persons may reveal information permitted to be disclosed by paragraphs (c), (d), or (e).
(i) For purposes of this rule, a lawyer who serves as a member of the D.C. Bar Lawyer Counseling Committee, or as a trained intervenor for that committee, shall be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with respect to any lawyer-counselee being counseled under programs conducted by or on behalf of the committee. Information obtained from another lawyer being counseled under the auspices of the committee, or in the course of and associated with such counseling, shall be treated as a confidence or secret within the terms of paragraph (b). Such information may be disclosed only to the extent permitted by this rule.
(j) For purposes of this rule, a lawyer who serves as a member of the D.C. Bar Practice Management Service Committee, formerly known as the Lawyer Practice Assistance Committee [see footnote], or a staff assistant, mentor, monitor or other consultant for that committee, shall be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with respect to any lawyer-counselee being counseled under programs conducted by or on behalf of the committee. Communications between the counselor and the lawyer being counseled under the auspices of the committee, or made in the course of and associated with such counseling, shall be treated as a confidence or secret within the terms of paragraph (b). Such information may be disclosed only to the extent permitted by this rule. However, during the period in which the lawyer-counselee is subject to a probationary or monitoring order of the Court of Appeals or the Board on Professional Responsibility in a disciplinary case instituted pursuant to Rule XI of the Rules of the Court of Appeals Governing the Bar, such information shall be subject to disclosure in accordance with the order.
(a) A lawyer shall not advance two or more adverse positions in the same matter.
(b) Except as permitted by paragraph (c) below, a lawyer shall not represent a client with respect to a matter if:
(1) That matter involves a specific party or parties, and a position to be taken by that client in that matter is adverse to a position taken or to be taken by another client in the same matter, even though that client is unrepresented or represented by a different lawyer;
(4) The lawyer's professional judgment on behalf of the client will be or reasonably may be adversely affected by the lawyer's responsibilities to or interests in a third party or the lawyer's own financial, business, property, or personal interests.
(1) Each potentially affected client provides informed consent to such representation after full disclosure of the existence and nature of the possible conflict and the possible adverse consequences of such representation; and
(d) If a conflict not reasonably foreseeable at the outset of representation arises under paragraph (b)(1) after the representation commences, and is not waived under paragraph (c), a lawyer need not withdraw from any representation unless the conflict also arises under paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(3), or (b)(4).
(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 to the client in a manner which can be reasonably understood by the client;
(2) The client is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent counsel in the transaction; and
(b) A lawyer shall not prepare an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, except where the client is related to the donee. 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.
(c) 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.
(d) While representing a client in connection with contemplated or pending litigation or administrative proceedings, a lawyer shall not advance or guarantee financial assistance to the client, except that a lawyer may pay or otherwise provide:
(2) Other financial assistance which is reasonably necessary to permit the client to institute or maintain the litigation or administrative proceedings.
(3) Information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.
(f) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims for 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 after consultation, including disclosure of the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.
(2) Settle a claim or potential claim for malpractice arising out of the lawyer’s past conduct with unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking the advice of independent legal counsel and is given a reasonable opportunity to do so in connection therewith.
(h) A lawyer related to another lawyer as parent, child, sibling, or spouse shall not represent a client in a representation directly adverse to a person who the lawyer knows is represented by the other lawyer except upon informed consent by the client after consultation regarding the relationship.
(i) A lawyer may acquire and enforce a lien granted by law to secure the lawyer's fees or expenses, but a lawyer shall not impose a lien upon any part of a client's files, except upon the lawyer's own work product, and then only to the extent that the work product has not been paid for. This work product exception shall not apply when the client has become unable to pay, or when withholding the lawyer's work product would present a significant risk to the client of irreparable harm.
(j) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing paragraphs (a) through (g) and (i) that applies to any one of them shall apply to all of them.
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.
(1) the prohibition of the individual lawyer’s representation is based on an
interest of the lawyer described in Rule 1.7(b)(4) and that interest does not present a significant
risk of adversely affecting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm;
(2) the representation is permitted by Rules 1.11, 1.12, or 1.18.
(b) When a lawyer becomes associated with a firm, the firm may not knowingly represent a person in a matter which is the same as, or substantially related to, a matter with respect to which the lawyer had previously represented a client whose interests are materially adverse to that person and about whom the lawyer has in fact acquired information protected by Rule 1.6 that is material to the matter. The firm is not disqualified if the lawyer participated in a previous representation or acquired information under the circumstances covered by Rule 1.6(h) or Rule 1.18.
(c) 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 who was represented by the formerly associated lawyer during the association and is not currently represented by the firm, unless:
(d) A disqualification prescribed by this rule may be waived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.
(e) A lawyer who, while affiliated with a firm, is made available to assist the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia in providing legal services to that agency is not considered to be associated in a firm for purposes of paragraph (a), provided,
(a) A lawyer shall not accept other employment in connection with a matter which is the same as, or substantially related to, a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee. Such participation includes acting on the merits of a matter in a judicial or other adjudicative capacity.
(b) If a lawyer is required to decline or to withdraw from employment under paragraph (a) on account of a personal and substantial participation in a matter, no partner or associate of that lawyer, or lawyer with an of counsel relationship to that lawyer, may knowingly accept or continue such employment except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) below. The disqualification of such other lawyers does not apply if the sole form of participation was as a judicial law clerk.
(c) The prohibition stated in paragraph (b) shall not apply if the personally disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any form of participation in the matter or representation as the case may be, and from sharing in any fees resulting therefrom, and if the requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) are satisfied.
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (e), when any of counsel, lawyer, partner, or associate of a lawyer personally disqualified under paragraph (a) accepts employment in connection with a matter giving rise to the personal disqualification, the following notifications shall be required:
(1) The personally disqualified lawyer shall submit to the public department or agency by which the lawyer was formerly employed and serve on each other party to any pertinent proceeding a signed document attesting that during the period of disqualification the personally disqualified lawyer will not participate in any manner in the matter or the representation, will not discuss the matter or the representation with any partner, associate, or of counsel lawyer, and will not share in any fees for the matter or the representation.
(2) At least one affiliated lawyer shall submit to the same department or agency and serve on the same parties a signed document attesting that all affiliated lawyers are aware of the requirement that the personally disqualified lawyer be screened from participating in or discussing the matter or the representation and describing the procedures being taken to screen the personally disqualified lawyer.
(e) If a client requests in writing that the fact and subject matter of a representation subject to paragraph (d) not be disclosed by submitting the signed statements referred to in paragraph (d), such statements shall be prepared concurrently with undertaking the representation and filed with Bar Counsel under seal. If at any time thereafter the fact and subject matter of the representation are disclosed to the public or become a part of the public record, the signed statements previously prepared shall be promptly submitted as required by paragraph (d).
(f) Signed documents filed pursuant to paragraph (d) shall be available to the public, except to the extent that a lawyer submitting a signed document demonstrates to the satisfaction of the public department or agency upon which such documents are served that public disclosure is inconsistent with Rule 1.6 or other applicable law.
(g) This rule applies to any matter involving a specific party or parties.
(h) A lawyer who participates in a program of temporary service to the Office of the Disctrict of Columbia Attorney General of the kind described in Rule 1.10(e) shall be treated as having served as a public officer or employee for purposes of paragraph (a), and the provisions of paragraphs (b)-(e) shall apply to the lawyer and to lawyers affiliated with the lawyer.
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (e), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral, unless all parties to the proceedings give their informed consent after disclosure.
(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as a lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as an arbitrator, mediator or other third party neutral.
(1) The disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(d) If a client requests in writing that the fact and subject matter of a representation subject to paragraph (a) not be disclosed by submitting the signed statements referred to in paragraph (c), such statements shall be prepared concurrently with undertaking the representation and filed with Bar Counsel under seal. If at any time thereafter the fact and subject matter of the representation are disclosed to the public or become a part of the public record, the signed statements previously prepared shall be promptly submitted as required by paragraph (c).
(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, or a violation of law which reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, 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) In dealing with an organization's directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders, or other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when it is apparent that the organization's interests may be adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing.
(d) 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.
(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 typical 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 surrogate decision-maker.
(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.
(a) A lawyer shall hold property of clients or third persons that is in the lawyer's possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer's own property. Funds shall be kept in a separate account maintained in a financial institution which is authorized by federal, District of Columbia, or state law to do business in the jurisdiction where the account is maintained and which is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or successor agencies. Other property shall be identified as such and appropriately safeguarded; provided, however, that funds need not be held in an account in a financial institution if such funds (1) are permitted to be held elsewhere or in a different manner by law or court order, or (2) are held by a lawyer under an escrow or similar agreement in connection with a commercial transaction. Complete records of such account funds and other property shall be kept by the lawyer and shall be preserved for a period of five years after termination of the representation.
(b) 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, subject to Rule 1.6.
(c) When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which interests are claimed by the lawyer and another person, or by two or more persons to each of whom the lawyer may have an obligation, the property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until there is an accounting and severance of interests in the property. If a dispute arises concerning the respective interests among persons claiming an interest in such property, the undisputed portion shall be distributed and the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved. Any funds in dispute shall be deposited in a separate account meeting the requirements of paragraph (a).
(d) Advances of unearned fees and unincurred costs shall be treated as property of the client pursuant to paragraph (a) until earned or incurred unless the client gives informed consent to a different arrangement. Regardless of whether such consent is provided, Rule 1.16(d) applies to require the return to the client of any unearned portion of advanced legal fees and unincurred costs at the termination of the lawyer's services in accordance with Rule 1.16(d).
(e) Nothing in this rule shall prohibit a lawyer or law firm from placing clients' funds which are nominal in amount or to be held for a short period of time in one or more interest-bearing accounts for the benefit of the charitable purposes of a court-approved "Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA)" program. The IOLTA program rules are set forth in Appendix – to Rule X [sic] of the Court's Rules Governing the Bar of the District of Columbia, and are hereby incorporated into these rules.
(f) Nothing in this rule shall prohibit a lawyer from placing a small amount of the lawyer's funds into a trust account for the sole purpose of defraying bank charges that may be made against that account.
(2) The client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud;
(3) 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;
(c) A lawyer must comply with 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) In connection with any termination of representation, a lawyer shall take timely steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to 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 Rule 1.8(i).
A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area of law practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:
(c) The seller gives a written notice to each of the seller’s clients regarding:
(3) the fact that the client’s consent to the transfer to the purchasing lawyer or law firm of the client’s files, of the representation and of any client funds held by the selling lawyer or law firm 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. If a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client may be transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizing by a court having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court in camera information relating to the representation only to the extent necessary to obtain an order authorizing the transfer of a file. Once a client has consented to the transfer to the purchasing lawyer or law firm of the client’s files, funds and representation or the client fails to take action or otherwise object within ninety (90) days of the notice, then the purchasing lawyer is responsible for the client’s matter(s).
(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer 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 had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as permitted by Rule 1.6.
(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 a confidence or secret from the prospective client, 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 a confidence or secret from the prospective client, representation is permissible if:
(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, or
(2) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter.
(a) Funds coming into the possession of a lawyer that are required by these Rules to be segregated from the lawyer's own funds (such segregated funds hereinafter being referred to as "trust funds") shall be deposited in one or more specially designated accounts at a financial institution. The title of each such account shall contain the words "Trust Account" or "Escrow Account," as well as the lawyer's or the lawyer's law firm's identity.
(b) The accounts required pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be maintained only in institutions that are listed as "D.C. Bar approved depositories" on a list maintained for this purpose by the Board on Professional Responsibility, unless (1) the account is permitted to be held elsewhere or in a different manner by law or court order, or (2) a lawyer holds trust funds under an escrow or similar agreement in connection with a commercial transaction. If a lawyer is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and practices law outside the District of Columbia, D.C. Bar approved depositories shall be used for deposit of any: (1) trust funds received by the lawyer in the District of Columbia; (2) trust funds received by the lawyer from, or for the benefit of, parties or persons located in the District of Columbia; and/or (3) trust funds received by the lawyer that arise from transactions negotiated or consummated in the District of Columbia.
To be listed as an approved depository, a financial institution shall file an undertaking with the Board on Professional Responsibility, on a form to be provided by the board's office, agreeing promptly to report to the Office of Bar Counsel each instance in which an instrument that would properly be payable if sufficient funds were available has been presented against a lawyer's or law firm's specially designated account at such institution at a time when such account contained insufficient funds to pay such instrument, whether or not the instrument was honored and irrespective of any overdraft privileges that may attach to such account. In addition to undertaking to make the above-specified reports, approved depositories, wherever they are located, shall also undertake to respond promptly and fully to subpoenas from the Office of Bar Counsel that seek a lawyer's or law firm's specially designated account records, notwithstanding any objections that might be raised based upon the territorial limits on the effectiveness of such subpoenas or upon the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to enforce them. Such undertaking shall apply to all branches of the financial institution and shall not be canceled by the institution except upon thirty (30) days written notice to the Office of Bar Counsel. The failure of an approved depository to comply with its undertaking hereunder shall be grounds for immediate removal of such institution from the list of D.C. Bar approved depositories.
(2) In the case of an instrument that was presented against insufficient funds but was honored, the report shall identify the depository, the lawyer or law firm maintaining the account, the account number, the date of presentation for payment and the payment date of the instrument, as well as the amount of overdraft created thereby.
The report to the Office of Bar Counsel shall be made simultaneously with, and within the time period, if any, provided by law for notice of dishonor. If an instrument presented against insufficient funds was honored, the institution's report shall be mailed to Bar Counsel within five (5) business days of payment of the instrument.
(d) The establishment of a specially designated account at an approved depository shall be conclusively deemed to be consent by the lawyer or law firm maintaining such account to that institution's furnishings to the Office of Bar Counsel all reports and information required hereunder. No approved depository shall incur any liability by virtue of its compliance with the requirements of this rule, except as might otherwise arise from bad faith, intentional misconduct, or any other acts by the approved depository or its employees which, unrelated to this rule, would create liability.
(e) The designation of a financial institution as an approved depository pursuant to this rule shall not be deemed to be a warranty, representation, or guaranty by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia Bar, the Board on Professional Responsibility, or the Office of Bar Counsel as to the financial soundness, business practices, or other attributes of such institution. Approval of an institution under this rule means only that the institution has undertaken to meet the reporting requirements enumerated above.
"Financial Institution" -- Includes banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, savings banks and any other business that accepts for deposit funds held in trust by lawyers which is authorized by federal, District of Columbia, or state law to do business in the District of Columbia or the state in which the financial institution is situated and that maintains accounts which are insured by an agency or instrumentality of the United States.
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.
(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.
(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 unrepresented 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.
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 for the respondent in a proceeding that could result in involuntary institutionalization, shall, if the client elects to go to trial or to a contested fact-finding hearing, nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that the government carry its burden of proof.
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not delay a proceeding when the lawyer knows or when it is obvious that such action would serve solely to harass or maliciously injure another.
(b) A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.
(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, unless correction would require disclosure of information that is prohibited by Rule 1.6;
(2) Counsel or assist a client to engage 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;
(3) Fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction not disclosed by opposing counsel and known to the lawyer to be dispositive of a question at issue and directly adverse to the position of the client; or
(4) Offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false, except as provided in paragraph (b). 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) When the witness who intends to give evidence that the lawyer knows to be false is the lawyer's client and is the accused in a criminal case, the lawyer shall first make a good-faith effort to dissuade the client from presenting the false evidence; if the lawyer is unable to dissuade the client, the lawyer shall seek leave of the tribunal to withdraw. If the lawyer is unable to dissuade the client or to withdraw without seriously harming the client, the lawyer may put the client on the stand to testify in a narrative fashion, but the lawyer shall not examine the client in such manner as to elicit testimony which the lawyer knows to be false, and shall not argue the probative value of the client's testimony in closing argument.
(d) A lawyer who receives information clearly establishing that a fraud has been perpetrated upon the tribunal shall promptly take reasonable remedial measures, including disclosure to the tribunal to the extent disclosure is permitted by Rule 1.6(d).
A lawyer shall not:
(a) Obstruct another party's access to evidence or alter, destroy, or conceal evidence, or counsel or assist another person to do so, if the lawyer reasonably should know that the evidence is or may be the subject of discovery or subpoena in any pending or imminent proceeding. Unless prohibited by law, a lawyer may receive physical evidence of any kind from the client or from another person. If the evidence received by the lawyer belongs to anyone other than the client, the lawyer shall make a good-faith effort to preserve it and to return it to the owner, subject to Rule 1.6;
(d) In pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent efforts 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;
A lawyer shall not:
(d) Engage in conduct intended to disrupt any proceeding of a tribunal, including a deposition.
A lawyer engaged in a case being tried to a judge or jury shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of mass public communication and will create a serious and imminent threat of material prejudice to the proceeding.
(3) Disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.
(b) A lawyer may not act as advocate in a trial in which another lawyer in the lawyer's firm is likely to be called as a witness if the other lawyer would be precluded from acting as advocate in the trial by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9. The provisions of this paragraph (b) do not apply if the lawyer who is appearing as an advocate is employed by, and appears on behalf of, a government agency.
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall not:
(b) File in court or maintain a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;
(c) Prosecute to trial a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie showing of guilt;
(e) Intentionally fail to disclose to the defense, upon request and at a time when use by the defense is reasonably feasible, any evidence or information that the prosecutor knows or reasonably should know tends to negate the guilt of the accused or to mitigate the offense, or in connection with sentencing, intentionally fail to disclose to the defense upon request any unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor and not reasonably available to the defense, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;
(f) Except for statements which are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and which serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, make extrajudicial comments which serve to heighten condemnation of the accused; or
(g) In presenting a case to a grand jury, intentionally interfere with the independence of the grand jury, preempt a function of the grand jury, abuse the processes of the grand jury, or fail to bring to the attention of the grand jury material facts tending substantially to negate the existence of probable cause.
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative or administrative body in a non-adjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3, 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.
In the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) During the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate or cause another to communicate about the subject of the representation with a person known to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the prior consent of the lawyer representing such other person or is authorized by law or a court order to do so.
(b) During the course of representing a client, a lawyer may communicate about the subject of the representation with a nonparty employee of an organization without obtaining the consent of that organization's lawyer. If the organization is an adverse party, however, prior to communicating with any such nonparty employee, a lawyer must disclose to such employee both the lawyer's identity and the fact that the lawyer represents a party that is adverse to the employee's employer.
(c) For purposes of this rule, the term "party" or "person" includes any person or organization, including an employee of an organization, who has the authority to bind an organization as to the representation to which the communication relates.
(d) This rule does not prohibit communication by a lawyer with government officials who have the authority to redress the grievances of the lawyer's client, whether or not those grievances or the lawyer's communications relate to matters that are the subject of the representation, provided that in the event of such communications the disclosures specified in (b) are made to the government official to whom the communication is made.
(1) Give advice to the unrepresented person other than the advice to secure counsel, if the interests of such person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the lawyer's client; or
(b) 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.
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or knowingly use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person.
(b) A lawyer who receives a writing relating to the representation of a client and knows, before examining the writing, that it has been inadvertently sent, shall not examine the writing, but shall notify the sending party and abide by the instructions of the sending party regarding the return or destruction of the writing.
(a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm or government agency, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm or agency conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(b) A 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.
(2) The lawyer has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer or is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm or government agency in which the other lawyer practices, and knows or reasonably should know of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(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.
With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:
(a) A partner or a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm or government agency shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm or agency has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer;
(b) A 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
(2) The lawyer has direct supervisory authority over the person, or is a partner or a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possess comparable managerial authority in the law firm or government agency in which the person is employed, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(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 undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation which fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer. 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;
(5) A lawyer may share legal fees, whether awarded by a tribunal or received in settlement of a matter, with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained, or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter and that qualifies under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) A lawyer may practice law in a partnership or other form of organization in which a financial interest is held or managerial authority is exercised by an individual nonlawyer who performs professional services which assist the organization in providing legal services to clients, but only if:
(3) The lawyers who have a financial interest or managerial authority in the partnership or organization undertake to be responsible for the nonlawyer participants to the same extent as if nonlawyer participants were lawyers under Rule 5.1;
(4) The foregoing conditions are set forth in writing.
(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.
A lawyer shall not:
A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
(a) A partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the rights of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; 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.
A lawyer should participate in serving those persons, or groups of persons, who are unable to pay all or a portion of reasonable attorney's fees or who are otherwise unable to obtain counsel. A lawyer may discharge this responsibility by providing professional services at no fee, or at a substantially reduced fee, to persons and groups who are unable to afford or obtain counsel, or by active participation in the work of organizations that provide legal services to them. When personal representation is not feasible, a lawyer may discharge this responsibility by providing financial support for organizations that provide legal representation to those unable to obtain counsel.
A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:
(b) Representing the client is likely to result in a substantial and unreasonable burden on the lawyer; or
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 would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations to a client under Rule 1.7; or
(a) A lawyer should assist in improving the administration of justice. A lawyer may discharge this requirement by rendering services in activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession.
(b) 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 benefited by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the client.
(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this rule.
(b) (1) A lawyer shall not seek by in-person contact, employment (or employment of a partner or associate) by a nonlawyer who has not sought the lawyer's advice regarding employment of a lawyer, if:
(A) The solicitation involves use of a statement or claim that is false or misleading, within the meaning of paragraph (a);
(B) The solicitation involves the use of coercion, duress or harassment; or
(C) The potential client is apparently in a physical or mental condition which would make it unlikely that the potential client could exercise reasonable, considered judgment as to the selection of a lawyer.
(2) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person (other than the lawyer’s partner or employee) for recommending the lawyer’s services through in-person contact.
(c) A lawyer shall not knowingly assist an organization that furnishes or pays for legal services to others to promote the use of the lawyer's services or those of the lawyer's partner or associate, or any other lawyer affiliated with the lawyer or the lawyer's firm, as a private practitioner, if the promotional activity involves the use of coercion, duress, compulsion, intimidation, threats, or vexatious or harassing conduct.
(d) No lawyer or any person acting on behalf of a lawyer shall solicit or invite or seek to solicit any person for purposes of representing that person for a fee paid by or on behalf of a client or under the Criminal Justice Act, D.C. Code Ann. §11-2601 (2001) et seq., in any present or future case in the District of Columbia Courthouse, on the sidewalks on the north, south, and west sides of the Courthouse, or within 50 feet of the building on the east side.
(e) Any lawyer or person acting on behalf of a lawyer who solicits or invites or seeks to solicit any person incarcerated at the District of Columbia Jail, the Correctional Treatment Facility or any District of Columbia juvenile detention facility for the purpose of representing that person for a fee paid by or on behalf of that person or under the Criminal Justice Act, D.C. Code Ann. §11-2601 (2001) et seq., in any then-pending criminal case in which that person is represented, must provide timely and adequate notice to the person's then-current lawyer prior to accepting any fee from or on behalf of the incarcerated person.
(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, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.
(c) 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.
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 fact; or
(b) Fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the lawyer or applicant to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond reasonably 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.
(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 other law.
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;
(c) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
(f) Knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law; or
(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 may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction where the lawyer is admitted for the same conduct.
(1) For conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the rules to be applied shall be the rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise, and
(i) If the lawyer is licensed to practice only in this jurisdiction, the rules to be applied shall be the rules of this jurisdiction, and
(ii) If the lawyer is licensed to practice in this and another jurisdiction, the rules to be applied shall be the rules of the admitting jurisdiction in which the lawyer principally practices; provided, however, that if particular conduct clearly has its predominant effect in another jurisdiction in which the lawyer is licensed to practice, the rules of that jurisdiction shall be applied to that conduct.
A lawyer shall not discriminate against any individual in conditions of employment because of the individual's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family responsibility, or physical handicap.