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Ethics Hotline

New York lawyers faced with ethical questions regarding their own prospective conduct can reach the Ethics Hotline at 212.382.6624.

The Ethics Hotline is operated and staffed by members of the Committee on Professional Ethics (the "Committee"). These volunteers respond to inquiries made by lawyers admitted in New York who face ethical questions regarding their own prospective conduct.  The purpose of the Hotline is to provide informal guidance to callers in accordance with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (the "New York Rules"). Any information provided in response to a Hotline inquiry is merely the opinion of the Committee member answering the call. It is not the opinion of the Committee as a whole. The information provided in response to a Hotline inquiry does not constitute legal advice. If the matter involves complex issues, or implicates a substantive area of law, you may wish to retain professional ethics counsel.

Callers should be aware of the following guidelines before calling the Ethics Hotline:

  1. The Hotline only provides guidance to New York lawyers about the New York Rules.
  2. The Hotline only provides guidance concerning the caller's own prospective conduct. We do not answer questions about past conduct or the conduct of other lawyers.
  3. The Hotline does not provide legal advice or answer questions of law.
  4. The Hotline provides general guidance. Due to the limited information we can obtain during a brief and informal telephone conversation, we cannot provide a definitive answer to Hotline questions.
  5. The Hotline does not answer questions that are the subject of a pending legal proceeding or are before a grievance committee.
  6. Although it is the Committee's policy to maintain confidentiality of all Hotline inquiries, callers should be aware that the information is not protected by the attorney-client privilege or RPC 1.6.
  7. The Ethics Hotline does not respond to complaints or inquiries regarding unethical conduct of other lawyers. Any such complaints or inquiries should be addressed to the Grievance or Disciplinary Committee for the county in which the lawyer practices (see http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/grievance/).
  8. Lawyers who call the Ethics Hotline are required to provide their full name and telephone numbers.

 

Before making a call to the Hotline, a lawyer may wish to refer to the Frequently Asked Ethics Questions section ("FAQs") of the New York City Bar Association Ethic's webpage. Please note that the FAQs are intended to provide general guidance on ethical questions.

If, after speaking with someone on the Hotline, a New York lawyer wishes to obtain a written informal opinion from the Committee, he or she may submit a written request. As with Hotline questions, the Committee's informal opinions are limited to interpreting the New York Rules. Please be aware that the Committee cannot provide a concrete timeline for responding to written requests. If your matter is urgent, you may wish to retain professional ethics counsel.