Formal Ethics Opinions

The Committee on Professional Ethics issues two types of advisory opinions. Formal Opinions, published below, provide general guidance to lawyers admitted to practice in New York state concerning their obligations under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (the "New York Rules"). Informal Opinions are issued in response to specific inquiries by lawyers admitted to practice in New York state, and are not published on the New York City Bar website. For information on how to request an Informal Opinion, please click here.

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Formal Opinion 2010-3: Settlement Agreements Requiring the Financial Assistance of Counsel

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Formal Opinion 2010-2: Obtaining Evidence From Social Networking Websites

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Formal Opinion 2010-1: Use of Client Engagement Letters To Authorize the Return or Destruction of Client Files at the Conclusion of a Matter

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Formal Opinion 2009-5: Discouraging Unrepresented Witnesses from Voluntarily Cooperating with Adversaries

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Formal Opinion 2009-4: Payments for Pro Bono Referrals

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Formal Opinion 2009-3: Conflicts Arising When Hiring Law School Graduates Who Participate in Law School Legal Clinics

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Formal Opinion 2009-2: Ethical Duties Concerning Self-represented Persons

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Formal Opinion 2009-1: The No-contact Rule and Communications Sent Simultaneously to Represented Persons and Their Lawyers

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Formal Opinion 2008-2: Corporate Legal Departments and Conflicts of Interest Between Represented Corporate Affiliates

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Formal Opinion 2008-1: A Lawyer’s Ethical Obligations to Retain and to Provide a Client with Electronic Documents Relating to a Representation

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Formal Opinion 2007-3: Corporate-family conflicts; duty of loyalty; duty to preserve confidences and secrets

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Formal Opinion 2007-2: Secondment of law firm attorneys; association with a law firm

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