NYSBA Ethics Opinions are authored by the Committee on Professional Ethics and are available free to all attorneys in New York as well as to the public.  Click here to search Ethics Opinions: https://nysba.org/category/ethics-opinions/

Opinions of the committee are advisory and are issued only to attorneys concerning their own proposed conduct, not past conduct or the conduct of another attorney. The committee does not pass upon questions of law or matters which are in litigation; such matters are within the authority of the court to determine. The committee does not consider anonymous inquiries, hypothetical inquiries, or inquiries which have also been submitted to another bar association’s ethics committee.

Inquiries may be e-mailed to [email protected]. Please include in all inquiries your name, mailing address, and telephone number.

NYSBA does not maintain a live ethics hotline.

Stated Purpose | Committee on Professional Ethics | Formed: June 1, 1952

The Committee on Professional Ethics, in its discretion, shall answer inquiries as to whether conduct of a member of the legal profession complies with the applicable New York rules of legal or judicial ethics and may issue sua sponte opinions on issues of ethics if it believes guidance on such issues would benefit the profession.  The committee normally shall answer questions only from members of the legal profession about their own proposed conduct, but it also may answer inquiries from members of the judiciary about lawyer conduct.  Each response must be approved at a meeting of the committee and concurred in by a majority of the committee; provided that, between meetings of the committee, any such response may be approved it if is concurred in by a majority of the committee, and no non-concurring member has requested discussion of the proposed response at a meeting of the committee.  The committee may publish its opinions, including on the website of the Association, if, in its opinion, such publication would not violate the confidence of the inquiries. The Committee also may sponsor or participate in educational programs. With the approval of the Executive Committee, the committee may take original action, and may cooperate with the other committees of the association and with other bar associations or federations in taking action, to maintain high ethical standards among the members of the legal profession.  The jurisdiction of the committee shall extend to the code of judicial conduct as well as to the rules of professional conduct.

Revised 11.19.14

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