Ethics Opinion 177

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinions

Opinion #177 – 03/01/1971 (66-70)

Topic: Duty of an Attorney to Report Misconduct of Another Attorney to the Proper Authority
Digest: An attorney should disclose to the proper authorities information of improprieties concerning another lawyer
Code: EC 1-4; DR 1-102(A), 1-103(A)

QUESTION

Does the attorney for a beneficiary of an estate have a duty to notify the appropriate authorities that the executor (an attorney) has admitted to certain misconduct in handling the assets of the estate?

OPINION

EC 1-4 states that a lawyer should reveal voluntarily to the proper officials all unprivileged knowledge of conduct of lawyers which he believes clearly to be in violation of the disciplinary rules. The integrity of the profession can only be maintained if misconduct of lawyers is brought to the attention of such authorities. See DR 1-102 (A) and DR 1-103(A).

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