[See order of amendment. Amended 06/25/2013, effective 01/01/2014]
Adopted and Promulgated by
the Supreme Court
of the State of Hawaiʻi
December 6, 1993
Effective January 1, 1994
With Amendments as Noted
State of Hawai‘i
HAWAI‘I RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Table of Contents
PREAMBLE: A LAWYER'S RESPONSIBILITIES
Rule 1.1. Competence
Rule 1.2. Scope of Representation
Rule 1.3. Diligence
Rule 1.4. Communication
Rule 1.5. Fees
Rule 1.6. Confidentiality of Information
Rule 1.7. Conflict of Interest: General Rule
Rule 1.8. Conflict of Interest: Prohibited Transactions
Rule 1.9. Conflict of Interest: Former Client
Rule 1.10. Imputed Disqualification: General Rule
Rule 1.11. Successive Government and Private Employment
Rule 1.12. Former Judge or Arbitrator
Rule 1.13. Organization as Client
Rule 1.14. Client under a Disability
Rule 1.15. Preserving Identity of Funds and Property of a Client or Third Person
Rule 1.16. Declining or Terminating Representation
Rule 1.17. Sale of Law Practice
Rule 2.1. Advisor
Rule 2.2. Intermediary
Rule 2.3. Evaluation for Use by Third Persons
Rule 3.1. Meritorious Claims and Contentions
Rule 3.2. Expediting Litigation
Rule 3.3. Candor Toward the Tribunal
Rule 3.4. Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel
Rule 3.5. Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
(a) Influencing Decision Maker
(b) Harassing or Embarrassing Decision Maker
(c) Disruption of Tribunal
(d) Communication with a Judge or Official
(e) Communication with Jurors
Rule 3.6. Trial Publicity
Rule 3.7. Lawyer as Witness
Rule 3.8. Performing the Duty of Public Prosecutor or Other Government
Rule 3.9. Advocate in Non-adjudicative Proceedings
TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS OTHER THAN CLIENTS
Rule 4.1. Truthfulness in Statements to Others
Rule 4.2. Communication with Person Represented by Counsel
Rule 4.3. Dealing with Unrepresented Person
Rule 4.4. Respect for Rights of Third Persons
LAW FIRMS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Rule 5.1. Responsibilities of a Partner or Supervisory Lawyer
Rule 5.2. Responsibilities of a Subordinate Lawyer
Rule 5.3. Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants
Rule 5.4. Professional Independence of a Lawyer
Rule 5.5. Unauthorized Practice of Law
Rule 5.6. Restrictions on Right to Practice
Rule 6.1. Pro Bono Service
Rule 6.2. Accepting Appointments
Rule 6.3. Membership in Legal Services Organization
Rule 6.4. Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests
Rule 6.5. Nonprofit and Court-Annexed Limited Legal Services Programs
INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES
Rule 7.1. Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services
Rule 7.2. Advertising
Rule 7.3. Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
Rule 7.4. Communication of Fields of Practice and Certification
Rule 7.5. Firm Names and Letterheads
MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION
Rule 8.1. Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters
Rule 8.2. Judicial Officials
Rule 8.3. Reporting Professional Misconduct
Rule 8.4. Misconduct
Rule 8.5. Jurisdiction
EXHIBIT A HAWAI‘I RULES OF
Adopted December 6, 1993;
effective January 1, 1994.
PREAMBLE: A LAWYER'S
[See order of amendement. Amended 06/25/2013, effective 01/01/2014]
 A lawyer is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system, and a public citizen
having special responsibility for the quality of justice.
 As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As advisor, a lawyer
provides a client with an informed understanding of the client's legal rights and obligations and
explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client's position under
the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the client but
consistent with requirements of honest dealing with others. As intermediary between clients, a lawyer
seeks to reconcile their divergent interests as an advisor and, to a limited extent, as a spokesperson for
each client. A lawyer acts as evaluator by examining a client's legal affairs and reporting about them
to the client or to others.
 In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer
should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation. A lawyer should keep in
confidence information relating to representation of a client except insofar as disclosure is required
or permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
 A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service
to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law's procedures
only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate
respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public
officials. While it is a lawyer's duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it
is also a lawyer's duty to uphold legal process.
 As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, the administration of justice
and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a
lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in
reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies
in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor,
cannot afford adequate legal assistance, and should therefore devote professional time and civic
influence in their behalf. A lawyer should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and
should help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.
 Many of a lawyer's professional responsibilities are prescribed in the Rules of Professional
Conduct, as well as substantive and procedural law. However, a lawyer is also guided by personal
conscience and the approbation of professional peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest level
of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession and to exemplify the legal profession's ideals of
 A lawyer's responsibilities as a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system, and a
public citizen are usually harmonious. Thus, when an opposing party is well represented, a lawyer can
be a zealous advocate on behalf of a client and at the same time assume that justice is being done. So
also, a lawyer can be sure that preserving client confidences ordinarily serves the public interest
because people are more likely to seek legal advice, and thereby heed their legal obligations, when
they know their communications will be private.
 In the nature of law practice, however, conflicting responsibilities are encountered. Virtually
all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between a lawyer's responsibilities to clients, to the
legal system, and to the lawyer's own interest in remaining an upright person while earning a
satisfactory living. The Rules of Professional Conduct prescribe terms for resolving such conflicts.
Within the framework of these rules many difficult issues of professional discretion can arise. Such
issues must be resolved through the exercise of sensitive professional and moral judgment guided by
the basic principles underlying the rules.
 The legal profession is largely self-governing. Although other professions also have been
granted powers of self-government, the legal profession is unique in this respect because of the close
relationship between the profession and the processes of government and law enforcement. This
connection is manifested in the fact that ultimate authority over the legal profession is vested largely
in the courts.
 To the extent that lawyers meet the obligations of their professional calling, the occasion for
government regulation is obviated. Self-regulation also helps maintain the legal profession's
independence from government domination. An independent legal profession is an important force
in preserving government under law, for abuse of legal authority is more readily challenged by a
profession whose members are not dependent on government for the right to practice.
 The legal profession's relative autonomy carries with it special responsibilities of self-government. The profession has a responsibility to assure that its regulations are conceived in the
public interest and not in furtherance of parochial or self-interested concerns of the bar. Every lawyer
is responsible for observance of the Rules of Professional Conduct. A lawyer should also aid in
securing the observance of the rules by other lawyers. Neglect of these responsibilities compromises
the independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.
 Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires
an understanding by lawyers of their relationship to our legal system. The Rules of Professional
Conduct, when properly applied, serve to define that relationship.
 The Rules of Professional Conduct 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" or "should" 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 practicing in compliance with the rules.
 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.
 Furthermore, for purposes of determining the lawyer's authority and responsibility, principles
of substantive law external to these rules determine whether a client-lawyer relationship exists. Most
of the duties flowing from the client-lawyer relationship attach only after the client has requested the
lawyer to render legal services and the lawyer has agreed to do so. But there are some duties, such as
that of confidentiality under Rule 1.6, that may attach when the lawyer agrees to consider whether a
client-lawyer relationship shall be established. Whether a client-lawyer relationship exists for any
specific purpose can depend on the circumstances and may be a question of fact.
 Under various legal provisions, including constitutional, statutory, and common law, the
responsibilities of government lawyers may include authority concerning legal matters that ordinarily
reposes in the client in private client-lawyer relationships. See, e.g., State v. Klattenhoff, 71 Haw. 598,
801 P.2d 548 (1990); Sapienza v. Heen, 57 Haw. 284, 554 P.2d 1128 (1976); Island-Gentry Joint
Venture v. State, 57 Haw. 259, 554 P.2d 761 (1976). For example, a lawyer for a government agency
may have authority on behalf of the government to decide upon settlement or whether to appeal from
an adverse judgment. See, e.g., Island-Gentry Joint Venture v. State, 57 Haw. 259, 264-65, 554 P.2d
761, 765 (1976) (recognizing Attorney General's "exclusive [statutory] authority to control and
manage for the State all phases of civil litigation in which the State has an interest"). Such authority
in various respects is generally vested in the attorney general and the state's attorney in state
government, and their federal counterparts, and the same may be true of other government law
officers. Also, lawyers under the supervision of these officers may be authorized to represent several
government agencies in intragovernmental legal controversies in circumstances where a private lawyer
could not represent multiple private clients. They also may have authority to represent the "public
interest" in circumstances where a private lawyer would not be authorized to do so. These rules do not
abrogate any such authority.
 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
 Violation of a rule should not give rise to a cause of action nor should it create any
presumption that a legal duty has been breached. The rules are designed to provide guidance to
lawyers and to provide a structure for regulating conduct through disciplinary agencies. They are not
designed to be a basis for civil liability. Furthermore, the purpose of the rules can be subverted when
they are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a rule is a just basis for a
lawyer's self-assessment, or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary
authority, does not imply that an antagonist in a collateral proceeding or transaction has standing to
seek enforcement of the rule. Accordingly, nothing in the rules should be deemed to augment any
substantive legal duty of lawyers or the extra-disciplinary consequences of violating such a duty.
 Moreover, these rules are not intended to govern or affect judicial application of either the
attorney-client or work product privilege except insofar as those rules provide otherwise. Those
privileges were developed to promote compliance with law and fairness in litigation. In reliance on
the attorney-client privilege, clients are entitled to expect that communications within the scope of the
privilege will be protected against compelled disclosure. The attorney-client privilege is that of the
client and not of the lawyer. The fact that in exceptional situations the lawyer under the rules has a
limited discretion to disclose a client confidence does not vitiate the proposition that, as a general
matter, the client has a reasonable expectation that information relating to the client will not be
voluntarily disclosed and that disclosure of such information may be judicially compelled only in
accordance with recognized exceptions to the attorney-client and work product privileges.
 The lawyer's exercise of discretion not to disclose information under Rule 1.6 should not be
subject to reexamination. Permitting such reexamination would be incompatible with the general
policy of promoting compliance with law through assurances that communications will be protected
 The comment accompanying each rule explains and illustrates the meaning and purpose of the
rule. The Preamble and this note on Scope provide general orientation. The comments are intended
as guides to interpretation, but the text of each rule is authoritative.
 "Belief " or "believes" denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question
to be true. A person's belief may be inferred from circumstances.
 "Consult" or "consultation" denotes communication of information reasonably sufficient to
permit the client to appreciate the significance of the matter in question.
 "Firm" or "law firm" denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a private firm, lawyers employed in the
legal department of a corporation or other organization and lawyers employed in a legal services
organization. See Comment, Rule 1.10.
 "Fraud" or "fraudulent" denotes conduct having a purpose to deceive and not merely negligent
misrepresentation or failure to apprise another of relevant information.
 "Knowingly," "known," or "knows" denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A
person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances.
 "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership and a shareholder in a law firm organized as a
 "Reasonable" or "reasonably" when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer denotes the conduct
of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer.
 "Reasonable belief " or "reasonably believes" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that
the lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is
 "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.
 "Substantial" when used in reference to degree or extent denotes a material matter of clear
and weighty importance.
 "Qualified legal assistance organization" means a legal aid, public defender, or military
assistance office; or a bona fide organization that recommends, furnishes, or pays for legal services
to its members or beneficiaries, provided the office, service, or organization receives no profit from
the rendition of legal services, is not designed to procure financial benefit or legal work for a lawyer
as a private practitioner, does not infringe the individual member's freedom as a client to challenge
the approved counsel or to select outside counsel at the client's expense, is not in violation of any
(Amended effective November 18, 1994.)
HAWAI‘I RULES OF PROFESSIONAL
Rule 1.1. COMPETENCE.
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the
legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
Legal Knowledge and Skill
 In determining whether a lawyer employs the requisite knowledge and skill in a particular matter,
relevant factors include the relative complexity and specialized nature of the matter, the lawyer's general
experience, the lawyer's training and experience in the field in question, the preparation and study the lawyer
is able to give the matter, and whether it is feasible to refer the matter to, or associate, or consult with, a
lawyer of established competence in the field in question. In many instances, the required proficiency is that
of a general practitioner. Expertise in a particular field of law may be required in some circumstances.
 A lawyer need not necessarily have special training or prior experience to handle legal problems of
a type with which the lawyer is unfamiliar. A newly admitted lawyer can be as competent as a practitioner with
long experience. Some important legal skills, such as the analysis of precedent, the evaluation of evidence,
and legal drafting, are required in all legal problems. Perhaps the most fundamental legal skill consists of
determining what kind of legal problems a situation may involve, a skill that necessarily transcends any
particular specialized knowledge. A lawyer can provide adequate representation in a wholly novel field
through necessary study. Competent representation can also be provided through the association of a lawyer
of established competence in the field in question.
 In an emergency a lawyer may give advice or assistance in a matter in which the lawyer does not have
the skill ordinarily required where referral to or consultation or association with another lawyer would be
impractical. Even in an emergency, however, assistance should be limited to that reasonably necessary in the
circumstances, for ill-considered action under emergency conditions can jeopardize the client's interest.
 A lawyer may accept representation where the requisite level of competence can be achieved by
reasonable preparation. This applies as well to a lawyer who is appointed as counsel for an unrepresented
person. See also Rule 6.2.
Thoroughness and Preparation
 Competent handling of a particular matter includes inquiry into and analysis of the factual and legal
elements of the problem, and use of methods and procedures meeting the standards of competent practitioners.
It also includes adequate preparation. The required attention and preparation are determined in part by what
is at stake; major litigation and complex transactions ordinarily require more elaborate treatment than
matters of lesser consequence.
 To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should engage in continuing study and
education. If a system of peer review has been established, the lawyer should consider making use of it in
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 6-101(A)(1) provided that a lawyer shall not handle a matter "which he [or she] knows or should know
that he [or she] is not competent to handle, without associating himself [or herself] with a lawyer who is
competent to handle it." DR 6-101(A)(2) required "preparation adequate in the circumstances." Rule 1.1 more
fully particularizes the elements of competence. Whereas DR 6-101(A)(3) prohibited the "[N]eglect of a legal
matter," Rule 1.1 does not contain such a prohibition. Instead, Rule 1.1 affirmatively requires the lawyer to
Rule 1.2. SCOPE OF 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 the objectives
are to be pursued. 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.
(b) A lawyer's representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not
constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views or activities.
(c) A lawyer may limit the objectives of the representation if the client consents after consultation.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
Scope of Representation
 Both lawyer and client have authority and responsibility in the objectives and means of representation.
The client has ultimate authority to determine the purposes to be served by legal representation, within the
limits imposed by law and the lawyer's professional obligations. Within those limits, a client also has a right
to consult with the lawyer about the means to be used in pursuing those objectives. At the same time, a lawyer
is not required to pursue objectives or employ means simply because a client may wish that the lawyer do so.
A clear distinction between objectives and means sometimes cannot be drawn, and in many cases the
client-lawyer relationship partakes of a joint undertaking. In questions of means, the lawyer should assume
responsibility for technical and legal tactical issues, but should defer to the client regarding such questions
as the expense to be incurred and concern for third persons who might be adversely affected. Law defining
the lawyer's scope of authority in litigation varies among jurisdictions.
 In a case in which the client appears to be suffering mental disability, the lawyer's duty to abide by
the client's decisions is to be guided by reference to Rule 1.14.
Independence from Client's Views or Activities
 Legal representation should not be denied to people who are unable to afford legal services, or whose
cause is controversial or the subject of popular disapproval. By the same token, representing a client does not
constitute approval of the client's views or activities.
Services Limited in Objectives or Means
 The objectives or scope of services provided by a lawyer may be limited by agreement with the client
or by the terms under which the lawyer's services are made available to the client. For example, a retainer
may be for a specifically defined purpose. Representation provided through a legal aid agency may be subject
to limitations on the types of cases the agency handles. When a lawyer has been retained by an insurer to
represent an insured, the representation may be limited to matters related to the insurance coverage. The
terms upon which representation is undertaken may exclude specific objectives or means. Such limitations may
exclude objectives or means that the lawyer regards as repugnant or imprudent.
 An agreement concerning the scope of representation must accord with the Rules of Professional
Conduct and other law. Thus, the client may not be asked to agree to representation so limited in scope as to
violate Rule 1.1, or to surrender the right to terminate the lawyer's services or the right to settle litigation that
the lawyer might wish to continue. This rule does not affect a lawyer's right to withdraw under Rule 1.16.
Criminal, Fraudulent and Prohibited Transactions
 A lawyer is required to give an honest opinion about the actual consequences that appear likely to
result from a client's conduct. The fact that a client uses advice in a course of action that is criminal or
fraudulent does not, of itself, make a lawyer a party to the course of action. However, a lawyer may not
knowingly assist a client in criminal or fraudulent conduct. There is a critical distinction between presenting
an analysis of legal aspects of questionable conduct and recommending the means by which a crime or fraud
might be committed with impunity.
 When the client's course of action has already begun and is continuing, the lawyer's responsibility is
especially delicate. The lawyer is not permitted to reveal the client's wrongdoing, except where permitted or
required by Rule 1.6 or Rule 4.1. However, the lawyer is required to avoid furthering the purpose, for example,
by suggesting how it might be concealed. A lawyer may not continue assisting a client in conduct that the
lawyer originally supposes is legally proper but then discovers is criminal or fraudulent. Withdrawal from the
representation, therefore, may be required.
 Where the client is a fiduciary, the lawyer may be charged with special obligations in dealings with
 Paragraph (d) applies whether or not the defrauded party is a party to the transaction. Hence, a
lawyer should not participate in a sham transaction; for example, a transaction to effectuate criminal or
fraudulent escape of tax liability. Paragraph (d) does not preclude undertaking a criminal defense incident
to a general retainer for legal services to a lawful enterprise. The last clause of paragraph (d) recognizes that
determining the validity or interpretation of a statute or regulation may require a course of action involving
disobedience of the statute or regulation or of the interpretation placed upon it by governmental authorities.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a) has no counterpart in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 7-7 stated: "In
certain areas of legal representation not affecting the merits of the cause or substantially prejudicing the
rights of a client, a lawyer is entitled to make decisions on his [or her] own. But otherwise the authority to
make decisions is exclusively that of the client. . . ." EC 7-8 stated that "[i]n the final analysis, however, the
. . . decision whether to forego legally available objectives or methods because of nonlegal factors is
ultimately for the client. . . . In the event that the client in a nonadjudicatory matter insists upon a course of
conduct that is contrary to the judgment and advice of the lawyer but not prohibited by Disciplinary Rules,
the lawyer may withdraw from the employment." DR 7-101(A)(1) provided that a lawyer "shall not
intentionally . . . fail to seek the lawful objectives of his [or her] client through reasonably available means
permitted by law. . . . A lawyer does not violate this Disciplinary Rule, however, by . . . avoiding offensive
tactics. . . ."
Paragraph (b) has no counterpart in the Hawai‘i Code.
With regard to paragraph (c), DR 7-101(B)(1) provided that a lawyer may, "where permissible, exercise
his [or her] professional judgment to waive or fail to assert a right or position of his [or her] client."
With regard to paragraph (d), DR 7-102(A)(7) provided that a lawyer shall not "counsel or assist [the
lawyer's] client in conduct that the lawyer knows to be illegal or fraudulent." DR 7-102(A)(6) provided that
a lawyer shall not "participate in the creation or preservation of evidence when [the lawyer] knows or it is
obvious that the evidence is false." DR 7-106 provided that a lawyer shall not "advise his [or her] client to
disregard a standing rule of a tribunal or a ruling of a tribunal . . . but [the lawyer] may take appropriate
steps in good faith to test the validity of such rule or ruling." EC 7-5 stated that a lawyer "should never
encourage or aid [the lawyer's] client to commit criminal acts or counsel [the lawyer's] client on how to
violate the law and avoid punishment therefor."
With regard to paragraph (e), DR 2-110(C)(1)(c) provided that a lawyer may withdraw from
representation if a client "insists" that the lawyer engage in "conduct that is illegal or that is prohibited under
the Disciplinary Rules." DR 9-101(C) provided that "a lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to
influence improperly . . . any tribunal, legislative body or public official."
Rule 1.3. DILIGENCE.
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
 A lawyer should pursue a matter on behalf of a client despite opposition, obstruction or personal
inconvenience to the lawyer, and may take whatever lawful and ethical measures are required to vindicate a
client's cause or endeavor. A lawyer should act with commitment and dedication to the interests of the client
and with zeal in advocacy upon the client's behalf. However, a lawyer is not bound to press for every
advantage that might be realized for a client. A lawyer has professional discretion in determining the means
by which a matter should be pursued. See Rule 1.2. A lawyer's workload should be controlled so that each
matter can be handled adequately.
 Perhaps no professional shortcoming is more widely resented than procrastination. A client's interests
often can be adversely affected by the passage of time or the change of conditions; in extreme instances, as
when a lawyer overlooks a statute of limitations, the client's legal position may be destroyed. Even when the
client's interests are not affected in substance, however, unreasonable delay can cause a client needless
anxiety and undermine confidence in the lawyer's trustworthiness.
 Unless the relationship is terminated as provided in Rule 1.16, a lawyer should carry through to
conclusion all matters undertaken for a client. If a lawyer's employment is limited to a specific matter, the
relationship terminates when the matter has been resolved. If a lawyer has served a client over a substantial
period in a variety of matters, the client sometimes may assume that the lawyer will continue to serve on a
continuing basis unless the lawyer gives notice of withdrawal. Doubt about whether a client-lawyer
relationship still exists should be clarified by the lawyer, preferably in writing, so that the client will not
mistakenly suppose the lawyer is looking after the client's affairs when the lawyer has ceased to do so. For
example, if a lawyer has handled a judicial or administrative proceeding that produced a result adverse to
the client but has not been specifically instructed concerning pursuit of an appeal, the lawyer should advise
the client of the possibility of appeal before relinquishing responsibility for the matter.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 6-101(A) (3) required that a lawyer not "[n]eglect a legal matter entrusted to him [or her]. EC 6-4
stated that a lawyer should "give appropriate attention to his [or her] legal work." Canon 7 stated that "a
lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law." DR 7-101(A) (1) provided that a
lawyer "shall not intentionally . . . fail to seek the lawful objectives of [the lawyer's] client through reasonably
available means permitted by law and the Disciplinary Rules. . . ." DR 7-101(A) (3) provided that a lawyer
"shall not intentionally . . . [p]rejudice or damage his [or her] client during the course of the professional
relationship. . . ."
Rule 1.4. COMMUNICATION.
(a) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly
comply with reasonable requests for information. A lawyer who receives a written offer of settlement
in a civil controversy or a proffered plea bargain in a criminal case shall promptly inform the client
of its substance unless prior discussions with the client have left it clear that the proposal will be
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make
informed decisions regarding the representation.
 The client should have sufficient information to participate intelligently in decisions concerning the
objectives of the representation and the means by which the objectives are to be pursued, to the extent the
client is willing and able to do so. For example, a lawyer negotiating on behalf of a client should provide the
client with facts relevant to the matter, inform the client of communications from another party and take other
reasonable steps that permit the client to make a decision regarding a serious offer from another party. A
lawyer who receives an oral offer of settlement in a civil controversy or a proffered plea bargain in a criminal
case should promptly inform the client of its substance unless prior discussions with the client have left it clear
that the proposal will be unacceptable. See Rule 1.2(a). Even when a client delegates authority to the lawyer,
the client should be kept advised of the status of the matter.
 Adequacy of communication depends in part on the kind of advice or assistance involved. For example,
in negotiations where there is time to explain a proposal the lawyer should review all important provisions
with the client before proceeding to an agreement. In litigation a lawyer should explain the general strategy
and prospects of success and ordinarily should consult the client on tactics that might injure or coerce others.
On the other hand, a lawyer ordinarily cannot be expected to describe trial or negotiation strategy in detail.
The guiding principle is that the lawyer should fulfill reasonable client expectations for information consistent
with the duty to act in the client's best interests, and the client's overall requirements as to the character of
 Ordinarily, the information to be provided is that appropriate for a client who is a comprehending and
responsible adult. However, fully informing the client according to this standard may be impracticable, for
example, where the client is a child or suffers from mental disability. See Rule 1.14. When the client is an
organization or group, it is often impossible or inappropriate to inform every one of its members about its
legal affairs; ordinarily, the lawyer should address communications to the appropriate officials of the
organization. See Rule 1.13. Where many routine matters are involved, a system of limited or occasional
reporting may be arranged with the client. Practical exigency may also require a lawyer to act for a client
without prior consultation.
 Rules or court orders governing litigation may provide that information supplied to a lawyer may not
be disclosed to the client. Rule 3.4(e) directs compliance with such rules or orders.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Rule 1.4 has no direct counterpart in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. DR 6-101(A) (3)
provided that a lawyer shall not "[n]eglect a legal matter entrusted to [the lawyer]." DR 9-102(B) (1)
provided that a lawyer shall "[p]romptly notify a client of the receipt of his [or her] funds, securities, or other
properties." EC 7-8 stated that a lawyer "should exert his [or her] best efforts to insure that decisions of [the
lawyer's] client are made only after the client has been informed of relevant considerations." EC 9-2 stated
that "a lawyer should fully and promptly inform [the lawyer's] client of material developments in the matters
being handled for the client."
(Amended effective November 18, 1994.)
Rule 1.5. FEES.
(a) A lawyer's fee shall be reasonable. The factors to be considered in determining the
reasonableness of a fee include the following:
(1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill
requisite to perform the legal service properly;
(2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will
preclude other employment by the lawyer;
(3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
(4) the amount involved and the results obtained;
(5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
(6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
(7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services;
(8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent, and in contingency fee cases the risk of no recovery and
the conscionability of the fee in light of the net recovery to the client;
(9) the relative sophistication of the lawyer and the client; and
(10) the informed consent of the client to the fee agreement.
(b) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee shall be
communicated to the client, preferably 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 and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery, and whether such expenses
are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. 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.
(d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:
(1) any fee, payment or amount of which is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the
amount of alimony or support, or property settlement in lieu thereof; or
(2) a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case.
(e) A division of fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:
(1) the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer and, by written
agreement with the client, each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation;
(2) the client is advised of and does not object to the participation of all the lawyers involved; and
(3) the total fee is reasonable.
(f) This rule does not prohibit payment to a former partner or associate pursuant to a separation
or retirement agreement.
Basis or Rate of Fee
 When the lawyer has regularly represented a client, the lawyer and the client ordinarily will have
evolved an understanding concerning the basis or rate of the fee. In a new client-lawyer relationship, however,
an understanding as to the fee should be promptly established. It is not necessary to recite all the factors that
underlie the basis of the fee, but only those that are directly involved in its computation. It is sufficient, for
example, to state that the basic rate is an hourly charge or a fixed amount or an estimated amount, or to
identify the factors that may be taken into account in finally fixing the fee. When developments occur during
the representation that render an earlier estimate substantially inaccurate, a revised estimate should be
provided to the client. A written statement concerning the fee reduces the possibility of misunderstanding.
Furnishing the client with a simple memorandum or a copy of the lawyer's customary fee schedule is sufficient
if the basis or rate of the fee is set forth.
Terms of Payment
 A lawyer may require advance payment of a fee, but is obliged to return any unearned portion. See
Rule 1.16(d). A lawyer may accept property in payment for services, such as an ownership interest in an
enterprise, providing this does not involve acquisition of a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject
matter of the litigation contrary to Rule 1.8(j). However, a fee paid in property instead of money may be
subject to special scrutiny because it involves questions concerning both the value of the services and the
lawyer's special knowledge of the value of the property.
 An agreement may not be made whose terms might induce the lawyer improperly to curtail services
for the client or perform them in a way contrary to the client's interest. For example, a lawyer should not enter
into an agreement whereby services are to be provided only up to a stated amount when it is foreseeable that
more extensive services probably will be required, unless the situation is adequately explained to the client.
Otherwise, the client might have to bargain for further assistance in the midst of a proceeding or transaction.
However, it is proper to define the extent of services in light of the client's ability to pay. A lawyer should not
exploit a fee arrangement based primarily on hourly charges by using wasteful procedures. When there is
doubt whether a contingent fee is consistent with the client's best interest, the lawyer should offer the client
alternative bases for the fee and explain their implications. Applicable law may impose limitations on
contingent fees, such as Haw. Rev. Stat. § 607-15.5.
 Contingency fee agreements may be proper in proceedings to enforce or satisfy a judgment for
property distribution or past due alimony or child support.
Division of Fee
 A division of fee is a single billing to a client covering the fee of two or more lawyers who are not in
the same firm. A division of fee facilitates association of more than one lawyer in a matter in which neither
alone could serve the client as well, and most often is used when the fee is contingent and the division is
between a referring lawyer and a trial specialist. Paragraph (e) does not require disclosure to the client of
the share that each lawyer is to receive. Joint responsibility for the representation entails the obligations
stated in Rule 5.1 for purposes of the matter involved.
Disputes over Fees
 If a procedure has been established for resolution of fee disputes, such as an arbitration or mediation
procedure established by the bar, the lawyer should conscientiously consider submitting to it. Law may
prescribe a procedure for determining a lawyer's fee, for example, in representation of an executor or
administrator, a class or a person entitled to a reasonable fee as part of the measure of damages. The lawyer
entitled to such a fee and a lawyer representing another party concerned with the fee should comply with the
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 2-106(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal
or clearly excessive fee." DR 2-106(B) provided that a fee is "clearly excessive when after a review of the
facts, a lawyer of ordinary prudence would be left with a definite and firm conviction that the fee is in excess
of a reasonable fee." EC 2-17 stated that a lawyer "should not charge more than a reasonable fee. . . ."
There was no counterpart to paragraph (b) in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 2-19 stated
that it is "usually beneficial to reduce to writing the understanding of the parties regarding the fee,
particularly when it is contingent."
There was also no counterpart to paragraph (c) in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 2-20
provided that "[c]ontingent fee arrangements in civil cases have long been commonly accepted in the United
States," but that "a lawyer generally should decline to accept employment on a contingent fee basis by one
who is able to pay a reasonable fixed fee. . . ."
With regard to paragraph (d), DR 2-106(C) prohibited "a contingent fee in a criminal case." EC 2-20
provided that "contingent fee arrangements in domestic relation cases are rarely justified."
With regard to paragraph (e), DR 2-107(A) permitted division of fees only if: "(1) The client consents to
employment of the other lawyer after a full disclosure that a division of fees will be made. (2) The division is
in proportion to the services performed and responsibility assumed by each. (3) The total fee does not exceed
clearly reasonable compensation. . . . "
Rule 1.6. CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION.
(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to representation of a client unless the client
consents after consultation, except for disclosures that are impliedly authorized in order to carry out
the representation, and except as stated in paragraphs (b) and (c).
(b) A lawyer shall reveal information which clearly establishes a criminal or fraudulent act of the
client in the furtherance of which the lawyer's services had been used, to the extent reasonably
necessary to rectify the consequences of such act, where the act has resulted in substantial injury to
the financial interests or property of another.
(c) A lawyer may reveal information relating to representation of a client to the extent the lawyer
reasonably believes necessary:
(1) to prevent the client from committing a criminal or fraudulent act that the lawyer reasonably
believes is likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm, or in substantial injury to the financial
interests or property of another;
(2) to rectify the consequences of a client's act which the lawyer reasonably believes to have been
criminal or fraudulent and in the furtherance of which the lawyer's services had been used;
(3) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and
the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge, civil claim, or disciplinary complaint against the
lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any
proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client; or
(4) to prevent a public official or public agency from committing a criminal or illegal act that a
government lawyer reasonably believes is likely to result in harm to the public good;
(5) to rectify the consequences of a public official's or a public agency's act which the government
lawyer reasonably believes to have been criminal or illegal and harmful to the public good; or
(6) to comply with other law or court order.
 The lawyer is part of a judicial system charged with upholding the law. One of the lawyer's functions
is to advise clients so that they avoid any violation of the law in the proper exercise of their rights.
 The observance of the ethical obligation of a lawyer to hold inviolate confidential information of the
client not only facilitates the full development of facts essential to proper representation of the client but also
encourages people to seek early legal assistance.
 Almost without exception, clients come to lawyers in order to determine what their rights are and what
is, in the maze of laws and regulations, deemed to be legal and correct. The common law recognizes that the
client's confidences must be protected from disclosure. Based upon experience, lawyers know that almost all
clients follow the advice given, and the law is upheld.
 A fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that the lawyer maintain confidentiality
of information relating to the representation. The client is thereby encouraged to communicate fully and
frankly with the lawyer even as to embarrassing or legally damaging subject matter.
 The principle of confidentiality is given effect in two related bodies of law, the attorney-client privilege
(which includes the work product doctrine) in the law of evidence and the rule of confidentiality established
in professional ethics. The attorney-client privilege applies in judicial and other proceedings in which a
lawyer may be called as a witness or otherwise required to produce evidence concerning a client. The rule
of client-lawyer confidentiality applies in situations other than those where evidence is sought from the lawyer
through compulsion of law. The confidentiality rule applies not merely to matters communicated in confidence
by the client but also to all information relating to the representation, whatever its source. A lawyer may not
disclose such information except as authorized or required by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
See also Scope.
 The requirement of maintaining confidentiality of information relating to representation applies to
government lawyers who may disagree with the policy goals that their representation is designed to advance.
 A lawyer is impliedly authorized to make disclosures about a client when appropriate in carrying out
the representation, except to the extent that the client's instructions or special circumstances limit that
authority. In litigation, for example, a lawyer may disclose information by admitting a fact that cannot
properly be disputed, or in negotiation by making a disclosure that facilitates a satisfactory conclusion.
 Lawyers in a firm may, in the course of the firm's practice, disclose to each other information relating
to a client of the firm, unless the client has instructed that particular information be confined to specified
Disclosure Adverse to Client
 The confidentiality rule is subject to limited exceptions. In becoming privy to information about a
client, a lawyer may realize that the client has used or intends to use the lawyer's services in the furtherance
of criminal or fraudulent conduct. Several situations are addressed by other rules. The lawyer may not counsel
or assist a client in conduct that is criminal or fraudulent. See Rule 1.2(d). Similarly, a lawyer has a duty
under Rule 3.3(a)(4) not to use false evidence. This duty is essentially a special instance of the duty prescribed
in Rule 1.2(d) to avoid assisting a client in criminal or fraudulent conduct.
 The lawyer may have been innocently involved in past conduct by the client that was criminal or
fraudulent. In such a situation the lawyer has not violated Rule 1.2(d), because to "counsel or assist" criminal
or fraudulent conduct requires knowing that the conduct is of that character. Nevertheless, to extend the
protection of Rule 1.6 to information possessed by the lawyer with respect to such conduct would have the
effect of assisting the client in such conduct in violation of the policy expressed in Rule 1.2(d).
 Where the lawyer's information clearly establishes a criminal or fraudulent act by the client, the
mandatory disclosure requirement of Rule 1.6(b) may be applicable. Where the lawyer's information falls short
of clearly establishing the criminal or fraudulent act, but supports a reasonable belief by the lawyer that a
criminal or fraudulent act has occurred, the discretionary disclosure provisions of Rule 1.6(c)(2) may be
applicable. The requirement that the lawyer's services must have been used by the client in the furtherance
of the criminal or fraudulent act means that the services must have been a substantial element in enabling the
client to accomplish the criminal or fraudulent enterprise. The extent of the disclosure will necessarily vary
according to the circumstances. The term "rectify" is taken from former DR 7-102(B)(1).
 The lawyer may learn that a client intends prospective conduct that is criminal or fraudulent and
likely to result in death, substantial bodily harm, or substantial injury to the financial interests or property
of another. As stated in Rule 1.6(c)(1), the lawyer has professional discretion to reveal information in order
to prevent such consequences. The lawyer may make a disclosure in order to prevent such consequences which
the lawyer reasonably believes are intended by a client. It is very difficult for a lawyer to "know" when such
a heinous purpose will actually be carried out, for the client may have a change of mind.
 The lawyer's exercise of discretion requires consideration of such factors as the nature of the
lawyer's relationship with the client and with those who might be injured by the client, the lawyer's own
involvement in the transaction, and factors that may extenuate the conduct in question. Where practical, the
lawyer should seek to persuade the client to take suitable action. If such action is taken, the need for disclosure
abates. A lawyer's decision not to take preventive action permitted by paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) does not
violate this rule.
 If the lawyer's services will be used by the client in materially furthering a course of criminal or
fraudulent conduct, the lawyer must withdraw, as stated in Rule 1.16(a)(1).
 After withdrawal the lawyer is required to refrain from making disclosure of the clients' confidences,
except as otherwise provided in Rule 1.6. Neither this rule nor Rule 1.8(b) nor Rule 1.16(d) prevents the
lawyer from giving notice of the fact of withdrawal, and the lawyer may also withdraw or disaffirm any
opinion, document, affirmation, or the like.
 Where the client is an organization, the lawyer may be in doubt whether contemplated conduct will
actually be carried out by the organization. Where necessary to guide conduct in connection with this rule,
the lawyer may make inquiry within the organization as indicated in Rule 1.13(b).
Dispute Concerning Lawyer's Conduct
 Where a legal claim or disciplinary charge alleges complicity of the lawyer in a client's conduct or
other misconduct of the lawyer involving representation of the client, the lawyer may respond to the extent the
lawyer reasonably believes necessary to establish a defense. The same is true with respect to a claim involving
the conduct or representation of a former client. The lawyer's right to respond arises when an assertion of
such complicity has been made. Paragraph (c)(3) does not require the lawyer to await the commencement of
an action or proceeding that charges such complicity, so that the defense may be established by responding
directly to a third party who has made such an assertion. The right to defend, of course, applies where a
proceeding has been commenced. Where practicable and not prejudicial to the lawyer's ability to establish
the defense, the lawyer should advise the client of the third party's assertion and request that the client
respond appropriately. In any event, disclosure should be no greater than the lawyer reasonably believes is
necessary to vindicate innocence, the disclosure should be made in a manner which limits access to the
information to the tribunal or other persons having a need to know it, and appropriate protective orders or
other arrangements should be sought by the lawyer to the fullest extent practicable.
 If the lawyer is charged with wrongdoing in which the client's conduct is implicated, the rule of
confidentiality should not prevent the lawyer from defending against the charge. Such a charge can arise in
a civil, criminal or professional disciplinary proceeding, and can be based on a wrong allegedly committed
by the lawyer against the client, or on a wrong alleged by a third person; for example, a person claiming to
have been defrauded by the lawyer and client acting together. A lawyer entitled to a fee is permitted by
paragraph (c)(3) to prove the services rendered in an action to collect it. This aspect of the rule expresses the
principle that the beneficiary of a fiduciary relationship may not exploit it to the detriment of the fiduciary.
As stated above, the lawyer must make every effort practicable to avoid unnecessary disclosure of information
relating to a representation, to limit disclosure to those having the need to know it, and to obtain protective
orders or make other arrangements minimizing the risk of disclosure.
Disclosures Otherwise Required or Authorized
 The attorney-client privilege is differently defined in various jurisdictions. If a lawyer is called as
a witness to give testimony concerning a client, absent waiver by the client, Rule 1.6(a) requires the lawyer
to invoke the privilege when it is applicable. Under Rule 1.6(c)(6) the lawyer must comply with the final orders
of a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction requiring the lawyer to give information about the client.
 The Rules of Professional Conduct in various circumstances permit or require a lawyer to disclose
information relating to the representation. See Rules 2.2, 2.3, 3.3 and 4.1. In addition to these provisions, a
lawyer may be obligated or permitted by other provisions of law to give information about a client. Whether
another provision of law supersedes Rule 1.6 is a matter of interpretation beyond the scope of these rules, but
Rule 1.6(c)(4) permits the lawyer to make a disclosure to comply with other law.
 The duty of confidentiality continues after the client-lawyer relationship has terminated.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Rule 1.6 eliminates the two-pronged duty under the Hawai‘i Code in favor of a single standard protecting
all information about a client "relating to representation." Under DR 4-101, the requirement applied only to
information protected by the attorney-client privilege and to 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." EC 4-4 added that the duty differed from the evidentiary
privilege in that it existed "without regard to the nature or source of information or the fact that others share
the knowledge." Rule 1.6 imposes confidentiality on information relating to the representation even if it is
acquired before or after the relationship existed. It does not require the client to indicate information that is
to be confidential, or permit the lawyer to speculate whether particular information might be embarrassing
Paragraph (a) permits a lawyer to disclose information where impliedly authorized to do so in order to
carry out the representation. Under DR 4-101(B) and (C), a lawyer was not permitted to reveal "confidences"
unless the client first consented after disclosure.
DR 7-102(B)(1) required a lawyer to reveal fraud perpetrated by the client upon a person or tribunal in
the course of the representation. Paragraph (b) of Rule 1.6 redefines this obligation so as to apply to criminal
and fraudulent acts furthered by use of the lawyer's services which result in substantial injury to financial
interests or property, and so to extend so far as reasonably necessary to rectify the consequences.
Paragraph (c) redefines the discretionary exceptions to the requirement of confidentiality. DR 4-101(C)(3)
provided that, without regard to the seriousness of the crime, a lawyer "may reveal [t]he intention of [the
lawyer's] client to commit a crime and the information necessary to prevent the crime." Paragraph (c)(1)
confines discretionary disclosure of prospective client crime or fraud to acts believed likely to result in
substantial injury to persons or property. Paragraph (c)(2) permits a lawyer to take steps to rectify the
consequences where the lawyer reasonably believes the lawyer's services had been used for crime or fraud
although not required by paragraph (b) to do so.
With regard to paragraph (c)(3), DR 4-101(C)(4) provided that a lawyer may reveal "[c]onfidences or
secrets necessary to establish or collect [the lawyer's] fee or to defend himself [or herself] or his [or her]
employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct." Paragraph (c)(3) enlarges the exception
to include disclosure of information relating to claims by the lawyer other than for the lawyer's fee; for
example, recovery of property from the client.
(Amended effective November 18, 1994.)
Rule 1.7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: GENERAL RULE.
(a) A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client will be directly adverse
to another client, unless:
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not adversely affect the relationship with
the other client; and
(2) each client consents after consultation.
(b) A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client may be materially
limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or to a third person, or by the lawyer's own
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not be adversely affected; and
(2) the client consents after consultation. When representation of multiple clients in a single matter
is undertaken, the consultation shall include explanation of the implications of the common
representation and the advantages and risks involved.
Loyalty to a Client
 Loyalty is an essential element in the lawyer's relationship to a client. An impermissible conflict of
interest may exist before representation is undertaken, in which event the representation should be declined.
The lawyer should adopt reasonable procedures, appropriate for the size and type of firm and practice, to
determine in both litigation and non-litigation matters the parties and issues involved and to determine
whether there are actual or potential conflicts of interest.
 If such a conflict arises after representation has been undertaken, the lawyer should withdraw from
the representation. See Rule 1.16. Where more than one client is involved and the lawyer withdraws because
a conflict arises after representation, whether the lawyer may continue to represent any of the clients is
determined by Rule 1.9. See also Rule 2.2(c). As to whether a client-lawyer relationship exists or, having once
been established, is continuing, see Comment to Rule 1.3 and Scope.
 As a general proposition, loyalty to a client prohibits undertaking representation directly adverse to
that client without that client's consent. Paragraph (a) expresses that general rule. Thus, a lawyer ordinarily
may not act as advocate against a person the lawyer represents in some other matter, even if it is wholly
unrelated. On the other hand, simultaneous representation in unrelated matters of clients whose interests are
only generally adverse, such as competing economic enterprises, does not require consent of the respective
clients. Paragraph (a) applies only when the representation of one client would be directly adverse to the
 Loyalty to a client is also impaired when a lawyer cannot consider, recommend or carry out an
appropriate course of action for the client because of the lawyer's other responsibilities or interests. The
conflict in effect forecloses alternatives that would otherwise be available to the client. Paragraph (b)
addresses such situations. A possible conflict does not itself preclude the representation. The critical questions
are the likelihood that a conflict will eventuate and, if it does, whether it will materially interfere with the
lawyer's independent professional judgment in considering alternatives or foreclose courses of action that
reasonably should be pursued on behalf of the client. Consideration should be given to whether the client
wishes to accommodate the other interest involved.
Consultation and Consent
 A client may consent to representation notwithstanding a conflict. However, as indicated in paragraph
(a)(1) with respect to representation directly adverse to a client, and paragraph (b)(1) with respect to material
limitations on representation of a client, when a disinterested lawyer would conclude that the client should
not agree to the representation under the circumstances, the lawyer involved cannot properly ask for such
agreement or provide representation on the basis of the client's consent. When more than one client is
involved, the question of conflict must be resolved as to each client. Moreover, there may be circumstances
where it is impossible to make the disclosure necessary to obtain consent. For example, when the lawyer
represents different clients in related matters and one of the clients refuses to consent to the disclosure
necessary to permit the other client to make an informed decision, the lawyer cannot properly ask the latter
to consent. The concept of consent includes a knowledgeable and informed waiver. The process of obtaining
informed consent will vary greatly from case to case, and in some instances will require a recommendation
to consult independent counsel.
 The lawyer's own interests should not be permitted to have adverse effect on representation of a client.
For example, a lawyer's need for income should not lead the lawyer to undertake matters that cannot be
handled competently and at a reasonable fee. See Rules 1.1 and 1.5. If the probity of a lawyer's own conduct
in a transaction is in serious question, it may be difficult or impossible for the lawyer to give a client detached
advice. A lawyer may not allow related business interests to affect representation, for example, by referring
clients to an enterprise in which the lawyer has an undisclosed interest.
Conflicts in Litigation
 Paragraph (a) prohibits representation of opposing parties in litigation. Simultaneous representation
of parties whose interests in litigation may conflict, such as co-plaintiffs or co-defendants, is governed by
paragraph (b). An impermissible conflict may exist by reason of substantial discrepancy in the parties'
testimony, incompatibility in positions in relation to an opposing party or the fact that there are substantially
different possibilities of settlement of the claims or liabilities in question. Such conflicts can arise in criminal
cases as well as civil. The potential for conflict of interest in representing multiple defendants in a criminal
case is so grave that ordinarily a lawyer should decline to represent more than one co-defendant. On the other
hand, common representation of persons having similar interests is proper if the risk of adverse effect is
minimal and the requirements of paragraph (b) are met. Compare Rule 2.2 involving intermediation between
 Ordinarily, a lawyer may not act as advocate against a client the lawyer represents in some other
matter, even if the other matter is wholly unrelated. However, there are circumstances in which a lawyer may
act as advocate against a client. For example, a lawyer representing an enterprise with diverse operations
may accept employment as an advocate against the enterprise in an unrelated matter if doing so will not
adversely affect the lawyer's relationship with the enterprise or conduct of the suit and if both clients consent
upon consultation. By the same token, government lawyers in some circumstances may represent government
employees in proceedings in which a government agency is the opposing party. The propriety of concurrent
representation can depend on the nature of the litigation. For example, a suit charging fraud entails conflict
to a degree not involved in a suit for a declaratory judgment concerning statutory interpretation.
 A lawyer may represent parties having antagonistic positions on a legal question that has arisen in
different cases, unless representation of either client would be adversely affected. Thus, it is ordinarily not
improper to assert such positions in cases pending in different trial courts, but it may be improper to do so
in cases pending at the same time in an appellate court.
Interest of Person Paying for a Lawyer's Service
 A lawyer may be paid from a source other than the client, if the client is informed of that fact and
consents and the arrangement does not compromise the lawyer's duty of loyalty to the client. See Rule 1.8(f).
For example, when an insurer and its insured have conflicting interests in a matter arising from a liability
insurance agreement, and the insurer is required to provide special counsel for the insured, the arrangement
should assure the special counsel's professional independence. So also, when a corporation and its directors
or employees are involved in a controversy in which they have conflicting interests, the corporation may
provide funds for separate legal representation of the directors or employees, if the clients consent after
consultation and the arrangement ensures the lawyer's professional independence.
Other Conflict Situations
 Conflicts of interest in contexts other than litigation sometimes may be difficult to assess. Relevant
factors in determining whether there is potential for adverse effect include the duration and intimacy of the
lawyer's relationship with the client or clients involved, the functions being performed by the lawyer, the
likelihood that actual conflict will arise and the likely prejudice to the client from the conflict if it does arise.
The question is often one of proximity and degree.
 For example, a lawyer may not represent multiple parties to a negotiation whose interests are
fundamentally antagonistic to each other, but common representation is permissible where the clients are
generally aligned in interest even though there is some difference of interest among them.
 Conflict questions may also arise in estate planning and estate administration. A lawyer may be
called upon to prepare wills for several family members, such as husband and wife, and, depending upon the
circumstances, a conflict of interest may arise. In estate administration the identity of the client may be
unclear under the law of a particular jurisdiction. Under one view, the client is the fiduciary; under another
view the client is the estate or trust, including its beneficiaries. The lawyer should make clear the relationship
to the parties involved.
 A lawyer for a corporation or other organization who is also a member of its board of directors
should determine whether the responsibilities of the two roles may conflict. The lawyer may be called on to
advise the corporation in matters involving actions of the directors. Consideration should be given to the
frequency with which such situations may arise, the potential intensity of the conflict, the effect of the lawyer's
resignation from the board and the possibility of the corporation's obtaining legal advice from another lawyer
in such situations. If there is material risk that the dual role will compromise the lawyer's independence of
professional judgment, the lawyer should not serve as a director.
Conflict Charged by an Opposing Party
Resolving questions of conflict of interest is primarily the responsibility of the lawyer undertaking the
representation. In litigation, a court may raise the question when there is reason to infer that the lawyer has
neglected the responsibility. In a criminal case, inquiry by the court is generally required when a lawyer
represents multiple defendants. Where the conflict is such as clearly to call in question the fair or efficient
administration of justice, opposing counsel may properly raise the question. Such an objection should be
viewed with caution, however, for it can be misused as a technique of harassment. See Scope.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 5-101(A) provided that "[e]xcept with the consent of his client after full disclosure, a lawyer shall not
accept employment if the exercise of [the lawyer's] professional judgment on behalf of the client will be or
reasonably may be affected by [the lawyer's] own financial, business, property, or personal interests." DR
5-105(A) provided that a lawyer "shall decline proffered employment if the exercise of his independent
professional judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by the acceptance of the
proffered employment, except to the extent permitted under DR 5-105(C)." DR 5-105(C) provided that "a
lawyer may represent multiple clients if it is obvious that [the lawyer] can adequately represent the interest
of each and if each consents to the representation after full disclosure of the possible effect of such
representation on the exercise of [the lawyer's] independent professional judgment on behalf of each." DR
5-107(B) provided that 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
Rule 1.7 clarifies DR 5-105(A) by requiring that, when the lawyer's other interests are involved, not only
must the client consent but also that, independent of such consent, the representation reasonably appears not
to be adversely affected by the lawyer's other interests. This requirement appears to be the intended meaning
of the provision in DR 5-105(C) that "it is obvious that [the lawyer] can adequately represent" the client, and
was implicit in EC 5-2, which stated that a lawyer "should not accept proffered employment if [the lawyer's]
personal interests or desires will, or there is a reasonable probability that they will, affect adversely the advice
to be given or services to be rendered the prospective client."
Rule 1.8. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: PROHIBITED TRANSACTIONS.
(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
(3) the client consents in writing thereto.
(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of
the client unless the client consents after consultation, except as permitted or required by Rule 1.6,
Rule 3.3, or Rule 4.1.
(c) A lawyer shall not prepare an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer
as parent, child, sibling, or spouse any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift,
except where the client is related to the donee.
(d) 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.
(e) A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or
contemplated litigation, except that:
(1) a lawyer may advance court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be
contingent on the outcome of the matter; and
(2) a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on
behalf of the client.
(f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client
(1) the client consents after consultation;
(2) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with the
client-lawyer relationship; and
(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.
(g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate
settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to
guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client consents after consultation, including disclosure of
the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in
(h) A lawyer shall not make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer's liability to a client
for malpractice and shall not settle a claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former
client without first advising that person in writing that independent representation is appropriate in
(i) 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 consent by the client after consultation regarding the relationship.
(j) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of
litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:
(1) acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses; and
(2) contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.
Transactions Between Client and Lawyer
 As a general principle, all transactions between client and lawyer should be fair and reasonable to
the client. In such transactions a review by independent counsel on behalf of the client is often advisable.
Furthermore, a lawyer may not exploit information relating to the representation to the client's disadvantage.
For example, a lawyer who has learned that the client is investing in specific real estate may not, without the
client's consent, seek to acquire nearby property where doing so would adversely affect the client's plan for
investment. Paragraph (a) does not, however, apply to standard commercial transactions between the lawyer
and the client for products or services that the client generally markets to others, for example, banking or
brokerage services, medical services, products manufactured or distributed by the client, and utilities services.
In such transactions, the lawyer has no advantage in dealing with the client, and the restrictions in paragraph
(a) are unnecessary and impracticable.
 A lawyer may accept a gift from a client if the transaction meets general standards of fairness. For
example, a simple gift such as a present given at a holiday or as a token of appreciation is permitted. If
effectuation of a substantial gift requires preparing a legal instrument such as a will or conveyance, however,
the client should have the detached advice that another lawyer can provide. Paragraph (c) recognizes an
exception where the client is a relative of the donee or the gift is not substantial.
 An agreement by which a lawyer acquires literary or media rights concerning the conduct of the
representation creates a conflict between the interests of the client and the personal interests of the lawyer.
Measures suitable in the representation of the client may detract from the publication value of an account of
the representation. Paragraph (d) does not prohibit a lawyer representing a client in a transaction concerning
literary property from agreeing that the lawyer's fee shall consist of a share in ownership in the property, if
the arrangement conforms to Rule 1.5 and paragraph (j).
Person Paying for Lawyer's Services
 Rule 1.8(f) requires disclosure of the fact that the lawyer's services are being paid for by a third party.
Such an arrangement must also conform to the requirements of Rule 1.6 concerning confidentiality and Rule
1.7 concerning conflict of interest. Where the client is a class, consent may be obtained on behalf of the class
by court-supervised procedure.
Family Relationships Between Lawyers
 Rule 1.8(i) applies to related lawyers who are in different firms. Related lawyers in the same firm are
governed by Rules 1.7, 1.9, and 1.10. The disqualification stated in Rule 1.8(i) is personal and is not imputed
to members of firms with whom the lawyers are associated.
Acquisition of Interest in Litigation
 Paragraph (j) states the traditional general rule that lawyers are prohibited from acquiring a
proprietary interest in litigation. This general rule, which has its basis in common law champerty and
maintenance, is subject to specific exceptions developed in decisional law and continued in these rules, such
as the exception for reasonable contingent fees set forth in Rule 1.5 and the exception for certain advances
of the costs of litigation set forth in paragraph (e).
In 2005 paragraph (j) was amended to substitute the word “authorized” for the word “granted.” As
explained in ABA Formal Ethics Opinon 02-427, the rule is intended to permit any legally recognized lien
to secure fees to be acquired in property that is the subject of litigation. The rule should not be applied to
prohibit otherwise legally and ethically obtained liens. Authorized liens may include liens granted by statute,
liens originating in common law, and liens acquired by contract with the client. Liens may also be authorized
by court rules or orders, subject to applicable law. See also, ¶  of the Scope provision of these rules
(noting violation of Rules of Professional Conduct should not give rise to a cause of action or create a
presumption that a legal duty has been breached).
 This rule is not intended to apply to customary qualification and limitations in legal opinions
 See Rule 1.7, comment 5.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), DR 5-104(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not enter into a business
transaction with a client if they have differing interests therein and if the client expects the lawyer to
exercise his [or her] professional judgment therein for the protection of the client, unless the client
has consented after full disclosure." EC 5-3 stated that a lawyer "should not seek to persuade his [or
her] client to permit [the lawyer] to invest in an undertaking of his [or her] client nor make improper
use of [the lawyer's] professional relationship to influence his [or her] client to invest in an enterprise
in which the lawyer is interested."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 4-101(B)(3) provided that a lawyer should not use "a
confidence or secret of his [or her] client for the advantage of [the lawyer], or of a third person,
unless the client consents after full disclosure."
There was no counterpart to paragraph (c) in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 5-5
stated that a lawyer "should not suggest to his [or her] client that a gift be made to [the lawyer] or
for his [or her] benefit. If a lawyer accepts a gift from his [or her] client, [the lawyer] is peculiarly
susceptible to the charge that [the lawyer] unduly influenced or overreached the client. If a client
voluntarily offers to make a gift to his [or her] lawyer, the lawyer may accept the gift, but before
doing so, [the lawyer] should urge that the client secure disinterested advice from an independent,
competent person who is cognizant of all the circumstances. Other than in exceptional circumstances,
a lawyer should insist that an instrument in which his [or her] client desires to name [the lawyer]
beneficially be prepared by another lawyer selected by the client."
Paragraph (d) is substantially similar to DR 5-104(B), but refers to "literary or media" rights, a
more generally inclusive term than "publication" rights.
Paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) are nearly identical to DR 5-103(B)(1) and (2).
Paragraph (f) is substantially identical to DR 5-107(A)(1).
Paragraph (g) is substantially identical to DR 5-106.
The first clause of paragraph (h) is similar to DR 6-102(A). There was no counterpart in the
Hawai‘i Code to the second clause of paragraph (h).
Paragraph (i) has no counterpart in the Hawai‘i Code.
Paragraph (j) is substantially identical to DR 5-103(A).
(Rule and commentary amended February 1, 2005, effective July 1, 2005)
Rule 1.9. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: FORMER CLIENT.
(a) 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 consents after
(b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter
in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously represented a client
(1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and
(2) about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is
material to the matter; unless the former client consents after consultation.
(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has
formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:
(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except
as Rule 1.6 or Rule 3.3 would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has
become generally known; or
(2) reveal information relating to the representation except as Rule 1.6 or Rule 3.3 would permit
or require with respect to a client.
 After termination of a client-lawyer relationship, a lawyer may not represent another client except in
conformity with this rule. The principles in Rule 1.7 determine whether the interests of the present and former
client are adverse. Thus, a lawyer could not properly seek to rescind on behalf of a new client a contract
drafted on behalf of the former client. So also a lawyer who has prosecuted an accused person could not
properly represent the accused in a subsequent civil action against the government concerning the same
 The scope of a "matter" for purposes of this rule may depend on the facts of a particular situation or
transaction. The lawyer's involvement in a matter can also be a question of degree. When a lawyer has been
directly involved in a specific transaction, subsequent representation of other clients with materially adverse
interests clearly is prohibited. On the other hand, a lawyer who recurrently handled a type of problem for a
former client is not necessarily precluded from later representing another client in a wholly distinct problem
of that type even though the subsequent representation involves a position adverse to the prior client. Similar
considerations can apply to the reassignment of military lawyers between defense and prosecution functions
within the same military jurisdiction. The underlying question is whether the lawyer was so involved in the
matter that the subsequent representation can be justly regarded as a changing of sides in the matter in
Lawyers Moving Between Firms
 When lawyers have been associated within a firm but then end their association, the question of
whether a lawyer should undertake representation is more complicated. There are several competing
considerations. First, the client previously represented by the former firm must be reasonably assured that
the principle of loyalty to the client is not compromised. Second, the rule should not be so broadly cast as to
preclude other persons from having reasonable choice of legal counsel. Third, the rule should not
unreasonably hamper lawyers from forming new associations and taking on new clients after having left a
previous association. In this connection, it should be recognized that today many lawyers practice in firms,
that many lawyers to some degree limit their practice to one field or another, and that many move from one
association to another several times in their careers. If the concept of imputation were applied with
unqualified rigor, the result would be radical curtailment of the opportunity of lawyers to move from one
practice setting to another and of the opportunity of clients to change counsel.
 Reconciliation of these competing principles in the past has been attempted under two rubrics. One
approach has been to seek per se rules of disqualification. For example, it has been held that a partner in a
law firm is conclusively presumed to have access to all confidences concerning all clients of the firm. Under
this analysis, if a lawyer has been a partner in one law firm and then becomes a partner in another law firm,
there may be a presumption that all confidences known by the partner in the first firm are known to all
partners in the second firm. This presumption might properly be applied in some circumstances, especially
where the client has been extensively represented, but may be unrealistic where the client was represented
only for limited purposes. Furthermore, such a rigid rule exaggerates the difference between a partner and
an associate in modern law firms.
 The other rubric formerly used for dealing with disqualification is the appearance of impropriety
proscribed in Canon 9 of the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility. This rubric has a two-fold
problem. First, the appearance of impropriety can be taken to include any new client-lawyer relationship that
might make a former client feel anxious. If that meaning were adopted, disqualification would become little
more than a question of subjective judgment by the former client. Second, since "impropriety" is undefined,
the term "appearance of impropriety" is question-begging. It therefore has to be recognized that the problem
of disqualification cannot be properly resolved either by simple analogy to a lawyer practicing alone or by
the very general concept of appearance of impropriety.
 Preserving confidentiality is a question of access to information. Access to information, in turn, is
essentially a question of fact in particular circumstances, aided by inferences, deductions or working
presumptions that reasonably may be made about the way in which lawyers work together. A lawyer may have
general access to files of all clients of a law firm and may regularly participate in discussions of their affairs;
it should be inferred that such a lawyer in fact is privy to all information about all the firm's clients. In
contrast, another lawyer may have access to the files of only a limited number of clients and participate in
discussions of the affairs of no other clients; in the absence of information to the contrary, it should be
inferred that such a lawyer in fact is privy to information about the clients actually served but not those of
 Application of paragraph (b) depends on a situation's particular facts. In such an inquiry, the burden
of proof should rest upon the firm whose disqualification is sought.
 Paragraph (b) operates to disqualify the lawyer only when the lawyer involved has actual knowledge
of information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(b). Thus, if a lawyer while with one firm acquired no knowledge
or information relating to a particular client of the firm, and that lawyer later joined another firm, neither the
lawyer individually nor the second firm is disqualified from representing another client in the same or a
related matter even though the interests of the two clients conflict. See Rule 1.10(b) for the restrictions on a
firm once a lawyer has terminated association with the firm.
 Independent of the question of disqualification of a firm, a lawyer changing professional association
has a continuing duty to preserve confidentiality of information about a client formerly represented. See Rules
1.6 and 1.9.
 The second aspect of loyalty to a client is the lawyer's obligation to decline subsequent
representations involving positions adverse to a former client arising in substantially related matters. This
obligation requires abstention from adverse representation by the individual lawyer involved, but does not
properly entail abstention of other lawyers through imputed disqualification. Hence, this aspect of the problem
is governed by Rule 1.9(a). Thus, if a lawyer left one firm for another, the new affiliation would not preclude
the firms involved from continuing to represent clients with adverse interests in the same or related matters,
so long as the conditions of paragraphs (b) and (c) concerning confidentiality have been met.
 Information acquired by the lawyer in the course of representing a client may not subsequently be
used or revealed by the lawyer to the disadvantage of the client. However, the fact that a lawyer has once
served a client does not preclude the lawyer from using generally known information about that client when
later representing another client.
 Disqualification from subsequent representation is for the protection of former clients and can be
waived by them. A waiver is effective only if there is disclosure of the circumstances, including the lawyer's
intended role in behalf of the new client.
 With regard to an opposing party's raising a question of conflict of interest, see comment to Rule 1.7.
With regard to disqualification of a firm with which a lawyer is or was formerly associated, see Rule 1.10.
 See Rule 1.7, comment 5.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this Rule in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. Representation
adverse to a former client was sometimes dealt with under the rubric of Canon 9 of the Model Code, which
provided: "A lawyer should avoid even the appearance of impropriety." Also applicable were EC 4-6 which
stated that the "obligation of a lawyer to preserve the confidences and secrets of [the lawyer's] client
continues after the termination of [the lawyer's] employment" and Canon 5 which stated that "[a] lawyer
should exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of a client."
Rule 1.9(a) codifies the holding and analysis of Otaka v. Klein, 71 Haw. 326, 791 P.2d 713 (1990).
The provision for waiver by the former client in paragraphs (a) and (b) is similar to DR 5-105(C).
The exception in the last clause of paragraph (c)(1) permits a lawyer to use information relating to a
former client that is in the "public domain," a use that was also not prohibited by the Hawai‘i Code, which
protected only "confidences and secrets." Since the scope of paragraphs (a) and (b) is much broader than
"confidences and secrets," it is necessary to define when a lawyer may make use of information about a client
after the client-lawyer relationship has terminated.
Rule 1.10. IMPUTED DISQUALIFICATION: GENERAL RULE.
(a) While lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when
any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7, 1.8(c), 1.9 or 2.2.
(b) 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 represented by
the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:
(1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer
represented the client; and
(2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is
material to the matter.
(c) A firm disqualification prescribed by this rule may be waived by the affected client by consent
(d) The disqualifications of Rules 1.7, 1.9(a), 1.9(b), or 1.11(c)(1) shall not be imputed to
government lawyers provided the disqualified government lawyer has been screened from
participation in the matter.
Definition of "Firm"
 For purposes of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the term "firm" includes lawyers in a private firm,
and lawyers in the legal department of a corporation or other organization, or in a legal services
organization. Whether two or more lawyers constitute a firm within this definition can depend on the specific
facts. For example, two practitioners who share office space and occasionally consult or assist each other
ordinarily would not be regarded as constituting a firm. However, if they present themselves to the public in
a way suggesting that they are a firm or conduct themselves as a firm, they should be regarded as a firm for
the purposes of the rules. The terms of any formal agreement between associated lawyers are relevant in
determining whether they are a firm, as is the fact that they have mutual access to information concerning the
clients they serve. Furthermore, it is relevant in doubtful cases to consider the underlying purpose of the rule
that is involved. A group of lawyers could be regarded as a firm for purposes of the rule that the same lawyer
should not represent opposing parties in litigation, while it might not be so regarded for purposes of the rule
that information acquired by one lawyer is attributed to the other.
 With respect to the law department of an organization, there is ordinarily no question that the
members of the department constitute a firm within the meaning of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
However, there can be uncertainty as to the identity of the client. For example, it may not be clear whether
the law department of a corporation represents a subsidiary or an affiliated corporation, as well as the
corporation by which the members of the department are directly employed. A similar question can arise
concerning an unincorporated association and its local affiliates.
 Similar questions can also arise with respect to lawyers in legal aid: Lawyers employed in the same
unit of a legal service organization constitute a firm, but not necessarily those employed in separate units. As
in the case of independent practitioners, whether the lawyers should be treated as associated with each other
can depend on the particular rule that is involved, and on the specific facts of the situation.
 Separate units of a government agency, such as the office of attorney general, may undertake
concurrent representation that would otherwise offend Rule 1.10(a), so long as no prejudice is suffered by any
of the clients. See State v. Klattenhoff, 71 Haw. 598, 801 P.2d 548 (1990).
 Where a lawyer has joined a private firm after having represented the government, the situation is
governed by Rules 1.11(a) and (b); where a lawyer represents the government after having served private
clients, the situation is governed by Rule 1.11(c)(1). The individual lawyer involved is bound by the rules
generally, including Rules 1.6, 1.7 and 1.9.
 Different provisions are thus made for movement of a lawyer from one private firm to another and for
movement of a lawyer between a private firm and the government. The government is entitled to protection
of its client confidences and, therefore, to the protections provided in Rules 1.6, 1.9 and 1.11. However, if the
more extensive disqualification in Rule 1.10 were applied to former government lawyers, the potential effect
on the government would be unduly burdensome. The government deals with all private citizens and
organizations and, thus, has a much wider circle of adverse legal interests than does any private law firm. In
these circumstances, the government's recruitment of lawyers would be seriously impaired if Rule 1.10 were
applied to the government. On balance, therefore, the government is better served in the long run by the
protections stated in Rule 1.11.
Principles of Imputed Disqualification
 The rule of imputed disqualification stated in paragraph (a) gives effect to the principle of loyalty to
the client as it applies to lawyers who practice in a law firm. Such situations can be considered from the
premise that a firm of lawyers is essentially one lawyer for purposes of the rules governing loyalty to the
client, or from the premise that each lawyer is vicariously bound by the obligation of loyalty owed by each
lawyer with whom the lawyer is associated. Paragraph (a) operates only among the lawyers currently
associated in a firm. When a lawyer moves from one firm to another, the situation is governed by Rules 1.9(b)
 Rule 1.10(b) operates to permit a law firm, under certain circumstances, to represent a person with
interests directly adverse to those of a client represented by a lawyer who formerly was associated with the
firm. The rule applies regardless of when the formerly associated lawyer represented the client. However, the
law firm may not represent a person with interests adverse to those of a present client of the firm, which would
violate Rule 1.7. Moreover, the firm may not represent the person where the matter is the same or substantially
related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client and any other lawyer currently
in the firm has material information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c).
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 5-105(D) provided that "[i]f a lawyer is required to decline employment or to withdraw from
employment under DR 5-105, no partner or associate of [the lawyer] or [the lawyer's] firm may accept or
continue such employment."
(Amended effective November 18, 1994; further amended June 8, 2001, effective July 1, 2001.)
Rule 1.11. SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT.
(a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer shall not represent a private client in
connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public
officer or employee. No lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly
undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:
(1) the disqualified lawyer is screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no
part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to ascertain
compliance with the provisions of this rule.
(b) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer
knows is confidential government information about a person acquired when the lawyer was a public
officer or employee, may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person in
a matter in which the information could be used to the material disadvantage of that person. A firm
with which that lawyer is associated may undertake or continue representation in the matter only if
the disqualified lawyer is screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of
the fee therefrom.
(c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer serving as a public officer or employee
(1) participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially while in
private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless under applicable law no one is, or by lawful
delegation may be, authorized to act in the lawyer's stead in the matter; or
(2) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as attorney for
a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a
lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for
private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).
(d) As used in this rule, the term "matter" includes:
(1) any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination,
contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other particular matter
involving a specific party or parties; and
(2) any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of the appropriate government agency.
(e) As used in this rule, the term "confidential government information" means information which
has been obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this rule is applied, the
government is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose,
and which is not otherwise available to the public.
 This rule prevents a lawyer from exploiting public office for the advantage of a private client. It is a
counterpart of Rule 1.10(b), which applies to lawyers moving from one firm to another.
 A lawyer representing a government agency, whether employed or specially retained by the
government, is subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct, including the prohibition against representing
adverse interests stated in Rule 1.7 and the protections afforded former clients in Rule 1.9. In addition, such
a lawyer is subject to Rule 1.11 and to statutes and government regulations regarding conflict of interest. Such
statutes and regulations may circumscribe the extent to which the government agency may give consent under
 Where the successive clients are a public agency and a private client, the risk exists that power or
discretion vested in public authority might be used for the special benefit of a private client. A lawyer should
not be in a position where benefit to a private client might affect performance of the lawyer's professional
functions on behalf of public authority. Also, unfair advantage could accrue to the private client by reason
of access to confidential government information about the client's adversary obtainable only through the
lawyer's government service. However, the rules governing lawyers presently or formerly employed by a
government agency should not be so restrictive as to inhibit transfer of employment to and from the
government. The government has a legitimate need to attract qualified lawyers as well as to maintain high
ethical standards. The provision for screening is necessary to prevent the disqualification rule from imposing
too severe a deterrent against entering public service.
 When the client is an agency of one government, that agency should be treated as a private client for
purposes of this rule if the lawyer thereafter represents an agency of another government, as when a lawyer
represents a city and subsequently is employed by a federal agency.
 Paragraphs (a)(1) and (b) do not prohibit a lawyer from receiving a salary or partnership share
established by prior independent agreement. They prohibit directly relating the attorney's compensation to
the fee in the matter in which the lawyer is disqualified.
 Paragraph (a)(2) does not require that a lawyer give notice to the government agency at a time when
premature disclosure would injure the client; a requirement for premature disclosure might preclude
engagement of the lawyer. Such notice is, however, required to be given as soon as practicable in order that
the government agency will have a reasonable opportunity to ascertain that the lawyer is complying with Rule
1.11 and to take appropriate action if it believes the lawyer is not complying.
 Paragraph (b) operates only when the lawyer in question has knowledge of the information, which
means actual knowledge; it does not operate with respect to information that merely could be imputed to the
 Paragraphs (a) and (c) do not prohibit a lawyer from jointly representing a private party and a
government agency when doing so is permitted by Rule 1.7 and is not otherwise prohibited by law.
 Paragraph (c) does not disqualify other lawyers in the agency with which the lawyer in question has
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a) is similar to DR 9-101(B), except that the latter used the terms "in which [the lawyer] had
substantial responsibility while [the lawyer] was a public employee."
Paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) have no counterparts in the Hawai‘i Code.
Rule 1.12. FORMER JUDGE OR ARBITRATOR.
(a) A lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer
participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer, arbitrator, or law
clerk to such a person, unless all parties to the proceeding consent after disclosure.
(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as
attorney for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a
judge or other adjudicative officer, or arbitrator. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other
adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for employment with a party or attorney involved in
a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has
notified the judge, other adjudicative officer, or arbitrator.
(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is
associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:
(1) the disqualified lawyer is screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no
part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate tribunal to enable it to ascertain compliance
with the provisions of this rule.
 This rule generally parallels Rule 1.11. The term "personally and substantially" signifies that a judge
who was a member of a multi-member court, and thereafter left judicial office to practice law, is not prohibited
from representing a client in a matter pending in the court, but in which the former judge did not participate.
So also the fact that a former judge exercised administrative responsibility in a court does not prevent the
former judge from acting as a lawyer in a matter where the judge had previously exercised remote or
incidental administrative responsibility that did not affect the merits. Compare the comment to Rule 1.11. The
term "adjudicative officer" includes such officials as judges pro tempore, referees, special masters, hearing
officers and other parajudicial officers, and also lawyers who serve as part-time judges. Compliance Canons
A(2), B(2) and C of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct provide that a part-time judge, judge pro tempore,
or retired judge recalled to active service, may not "act as a lawyer in any proceeding in which he [or she]
served as a judge or in any other proceeding related thereto." Although phrased differently from this rule,
those rules correspond in meaning.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a) is substantially similar to DR 9-101(A), which provided that a lawyer "shall not accept
private employment in a matter upon the merits of which [the lawyer] has acted in a judicial capacity."
Paragraph (a) differs, however, in that it is broader in scope and states more specifically the persons to whom
it applies. There was no counterpart in the Hawai‘i Code to paragraphs (b), (c) or (d).
With regard to arbitrators, EC 5-20 stated that "a lawyer [who] has undertaken to act as an impartial
arbitrator or mediator . . . should not thereafter represent in the dispute any of the parties involved." DR
9-101(A) did not permit a waiver of the disqualification applied to former judges by consent of the parties.
However, DR 5-105(C) was similar in effect and could be construed to permit waiver.
Rule 1.13. ORGANIZATION AS CLIENT.
(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through
its duly authorized constituents.
(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 to the organization, 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. In determining how to proceed, the lawyer shall give due consideration to the seriousness
of the violation and its consequences, the scope and nature of the lawyer's representation, the
responsibility in the organization, and the apparent motivation of the person involved, the policies of
the organization concerning such matters, and any other relevant considerations. Any measures taken
shall be designed to minimize disruption of the organization and the risk of revealing information
relating to the representation to persons outside the organization. Such measures may include among
(1) asking reconsideration of the matter;
(2) advising that a separate legal opinion on the matter be sought for presentation to appropriate
authority in the organization; and
(3) referring the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the
seriousness of the matter, referral to the highest authority that can act in behalf of the organization as
determined by applicable law.
(c) If, despite the lawyer's efforts in accordance with paragraph (b), the highest authority that can
act on behalf of the organization insists upon action, or a refusal to act, that is clearly a violation of
law and is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, the lawyer may resign in accordance
with Rule 1.16.
(d) 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 are adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing.
(e) 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
(f) If a government lawyer knows that an officer, employee or other person associated with the
government is engaged in action, intends to act or refuses to act in a matter related to the lawyer's
representation that is a violation of a legal obligation to the government or the public, or a violation
of law which reasonably might be imputed to the government, the lawyer shall proceed as is
reasonably necessary in the best interest of the government or the public. In determining how to
proceed, the lawyer shall give due consideration to the seriousness of the violation and its
consequences, the scope and nature of the lawyer's representation, governmental policies concerning
such matters, governmental chain of command, and any other relevant consideration. Any measures
taken shall be designed to minimize disruption of the governmental functions. Such measures may
include among others:
(1) asking for reconsideration of the matter;
(2) referring the matter to a higher authority in the government, including if warranted by the
seriousness of the matter, referral to the highest government official that can act in behalf of the
government on the particular matter as determined by applicable law even if the highest authority is
not within the agency or department the lawyer represents; and
(3) advising that a separate legal opinion on the matter be sought and considered; and
(4) divulging of information to persons outside the government pursuant to the limitations
provided in Rule 1.6.
The Entity as the Client
 An organizational client is a legal entity, but it cannot act except through its officers, directors,
employees, shareholders, and other constituents.
 Officers, directors, employees, and shareholders are the constituents of the corporate organizational
client. The duties defined in this comment apply equally to unincorporated associations. "Other constituents"
as used in this comment means the positions equivalent to officers, directors, employees, and shareholders
held by persons acting for organizational clients that are not corporations.
 When one of the constituents of an organizational client communicates with the organization's lawyer
in that person's organizational capacity, the communication is protected by Rule 1.6. Thus, by way of example,
if an organizational client requests its lawyer to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, interviews made in
the course of that investigation between the lawyer and the client's employees or other constituents are
covered by Rule 1.6. This does not mean, however, that constituents of an organizational client are the clients
of the lawyer. The lawyer may not disclose to such constituents information relating to the representation
except for disclosures explicitly or impliedly authorized by the organizational client in order to carry out the
representation or as otherwise permitted by Rule 1.6.
 When constituents of the organization make decisions for it, the decisions ordinarily must be accepted
by the lawyer even if their utility or prudence is doubtful. Decisions concerning policy and operations,
including ones entailing serious risk, are not as such in the lawyer's province. However, different
considerations arise when the lawyer knows that the organization may be substantially injured by action of
a constituent that is in violation of law. In such a circumstance, it may be reasonably necessary for the lawyer
to ask the constituent to reconsider the matter. If that fails, or if the matter is of sufficient seriousness and
importance to the organization, it may be reasonably necessary for the lawyer to take steps to have the matter
reviewed by a higher authority in the organization. Clear justification should exist for seeking review over the
head of the constituent normally responsible for it. The stated policy of the organization may define
circumstances and prescribe channels for such a review, and a lawyer should encourage the formulation of
such a policy. Even in the absence of organization policy, however, the lawyer may have an obligation to refer
a matter to higher authority, depending on the seriousness of the matter and whether the constituent in
question has apparent motives to act at variance with the organization's interest. Review by the chief executive
officer or by the board of directors may be required when the matter is of importance commensurate with their
authority. At some point it may be useful or essential to obtain an independent legal opinion.
 In an extreme case, it may be reasonably necessary for the lawyer to refer the matter to the
organization's highest authority. Ordinarily, that is the board of directors or similar governing body.
However, applicable law may prescribe that under certain conditions highest authority reposes elsewhere;
for example, in the independent directors of a corporation.
Relation to Other Rules
 The authority and responsibility provided in paragraph (b) are concurrent with the authority and
responsibility provided in other rules. In particular, this rule does not limit or expand the lawyer's
responsibility under Rules 1.6, 1.8, 1.16, 3.3 or 4.1. If the lawyer's services are being used by an organization
to further a crime or fraud by the organization, Rule 1.2(d) can be applicable.
 The duty defined in this rule applies to governmental organizations. However, when the client is a
governmental organization, a different balance may be appropriate between maintaining confidentiality and
assuring that the wrongful official act is prevented or rectified, for public business is involved. In addition,
duties of lawyers employed by the government or lawyers in military service may be defined by statutes and
regulation. Therefore, defining precisely the identity of the client and prescribing the resulting obligations of
such lawyers may be more difficult in the government context. Although in some circumstances the client may
be a specific agency, it is generally the government as a whole. For example, if the action or failure to act
involves the head of a bureau, either the department of which the bureau is a part or the government as a
whole may be the client for purpose of this rule. Moreover, in a matter involving the conduct of government
officials, a government lawyer may have authority to question such conduct more extensively than that of a
lawyer for a private organization in similar circumstances. This rule does not limit that authority.
Clarifying the Lawyer's Role
 There are times when the organization's interest may be or become adverse to those of one or more
of its constituents. In such circumstances the lawyer should advise any constituent whose interest the lawyer
finds adverse to that of the organization of the conflict or potential conflict of interest, that the lawyer cannot
represent such constituent, and that such person may wish to obtain independent representation. Care must
be taken to assure that the individual understands that, when there is such adversity of interest, the lawyer for
the organization cannot provide legal representation for that constituent individual, and that discussions
between the lawyer for the organization and the individual may not be privileged.
 Whether such a warning should be given by the lawyer for the organization to any constituent
individual may turn on the facts of each case.
 Paragraph (e) recognizes that a lawyer for an organization may also represent a principal officer
or major shareholder.
 Under generally prevailing law, the shareholders or members of a corporation may bring suit to
compel the directors to perform their legal obligations in the supervision of the organization. Members of
unincorporated associations have essentially the same right. Such an action may be brought nominally by the
organization, but usually is, in fact, a legal controversy over management of the organization.
 The question can arise whether counsel for the organization may defend such an action. The
proposition that the organization is the lawyer's client does not alone resolve the issue. Most derivative actions
are a normal incident of an organization's affairs, to be defended by the organization's lawyer like any other
suit. However, if the claim involves serious charges of wrongdoing by those in control of the organization, a
conflict may arise between the lawyer's duty to the organization and the lawyer's relationship with the board.
In those circumstances, Rule 1.7 governs who should represent the directors and the organization.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 5-18 stated that
a "lawyer employed or retained by a corporation or similar entity owes [the lawyer's] allegiance to the entity
and not to a stockholder, director, officer, employee, representative, or other person connected with the entity.
In advising the entity, a lawyer should keep paramount its interests and [the lawyer's] professional judgment
should not be influenced by the personal desires of any person or organization. Occasionally, a lawyer for an
entity is requested by a stockholder, director, officer, employee, representative, or other person connected with
the entity to represent him [or her] in an individual capacity; in such case the lawyer may serve the individual
only if the lawyer is convinced that differing interests are not present." EC 5-24 stated that although a lawyer
"may be employed by a business corporation with nonlawyers serving as directors or officers, and they
necessarily have the right to make decisions of business policy, a lawyer must decline to accept direction of
his [or her] professional judgment from any lay[person]." DR 5-107(B) provided that a lawyer "shall not
permit a person who . . . employs . . . [the lawyer] to render legal services for another to direct or regulate
[the lawyer's] professional judgment in rendering such legal services."
Rule 1.14. CLIENT UNDER A DISABILITY.
(a) When a client's ability to make adequately considered decisions in connection with the
representation is impaired, whether because of minority, mental disability, or for some other reason,
the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the
(b) A lawyer may seek the appointment of a guardian or take other protective action with respect
to a client, only when the lawyer reasonably believes that the client cannot adequately act in the client's
 The normal client-lawyer relationship is based on the assumption that the client, when properly
advised and assisted, is capable of making decisions about important matters. When the client is a minor or
suffers from a mental disorder or disability, however, maintaining the ordinary client-lawyer relationship may
not be possible in all respects. In particular, an incapacitated person may have no power to make legally
binding decisions. Nevertheless, a client lacking legal competence often has the ability to understand,
deliberate upon, and reach conclusions about matters affecting the client's own well-being. Furthermore, to
an increasing extent the law recognizes intermediate degrees of competence. For example, children as young
as five or six years of age, and certainly those of ten or twelve, are regarded as having opinions that are
entitled to weight in legal proceedings concerning their custody. So also, it is recognized that some persons
of advanced age can be quite capable of handling routine financial matters while needing special legal
protection concerning major transactions.
 The fact that a client suffers a disability does not diminish the lawyer's obligation to treat the client
with attention and respect. If the person has no guardian or legal representative, the lawyer often must act
as de facto guardian. Even if the person does have a legal representative, the lawyer should as far as possible
accord the represented person the status of client, particularly in maintaining communication.
 If a legal representative has already been appointed for the client, the lawyer should ordinarily look
to the representative for decisions on behalf of the client. If a legal representative has not been appointed, the
lawyer should see to such an appointment where it would serve the client's best interests. Thus, if a disabled
client has substantial property that should be sold for the client's benefit, effective completion of the
transaction ordinarily requires appointment of a legal representative. In many circumstances, however,
appointment of a legal representative may be expensive or traumatic for the client. Evaluation of these
considerations is a matter of professional judgment on the lawyer's part.
 If the lawyer represents the guardian as distinct from the ward, and is aware that the guardian is
acting adversely to the ward's interest, the lawyer may have an obligation to prevent or rectify the guardian's
misconduct. See Rule 1.2(d).
Disclosure of the Client's Condition
 Rules of procedure in litigation generally provide that minors or persons suffering mental disability
shall be represented by a guardian or next friend if they do not have a general guardian. However, disclosure
of the client's disability can adversely affect the client's interests. For example, raising the question of
disability could, in some circumstances, lead to proceedings for involuntary commitment. The lawyer's
position in such cases is an unavoidably difficult one. The lawyer may seek guidance from an appropriate
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 7-11 stated that
the "responsibilities of a lawyer may vary according to the intelligence, experience, mental condition or age
of a client. . . . Examples include the representation of an illiterate or an incompetent." EC 7-12 stated that
"[a]ny mental or physical condition of a client that renders [the client] incapable of making a considered
judgment on [the client's] own behalf casts additional responsibilities upon [the client's] lawyer. Where an
incompetent is acting through a guardian or other legal representative, a lawyer must look to such
representative for those decisions which are normally the prerogative of the client to make. If a client under
disability has no legal representative, [the client's] lawyer may be compelled in court proceedings to make
decisions on behalf of the client. If the client is capable of understanding the matter in question or of
contributing to the advancement of [the client's] interests, regardless of whether [the client] is legally
disqualified from performing certain acts, the lawyer should obtain from [the client] all possible aid. If the
disability of a client and the lack of a legal representative compel the lawyer to make decisions for his [or her]
client, the lawyer should consider all circumstances then prevailing and act with care to safeguard and
advance the interests of [the lawyer's] client. But obviously a lawyer cannot perform any act or make any
decision which the law requires his [or her] client to perform or make, either acting for [the client] if
competent, or by a duly constituted representative if legally incompetent."
Rule 1.15. PRESERVING IDENTITY OF FUNDS AND PROPERTY OF A CLIENT OR
(a) Every lawyer in private practice in the State of Hawai‘i who receives or handles client funds
shall maintain in one or more bank or savings and loan association accounts maintained in this state,
in the lawyer's own name, or in the name of a partnership of lawyers, or in the name of the
professional corporation of which the lawyer is a member, or in the name of the lawyer or partnership
of lawyers by whom employed:
(1) a trust account or accounts, separate from any business and personal accounts, into which all
funds entrusted to the lawyer's care shall be deposited; and
(2) a business account into which all earned trust funds for professional services shall be
(b) Each trust account, as well as deposit slips and checks drawn thereon, shall be prominently
labeled "client trust account." Nothing herein shall prohibit any additional descriptive designation for
a specific trust account. Client trust account checks shall bear preprinted consecutive numbers. Each
business account, as well as deposit slips and checks drawn thereon, shall be prominently labeled
"business account," "office account," or appropriate business-type account.
(c) A lawyer in possession of any funds or other property belonging to a client or third person,
where such possession is incident to the lawyer's practice of law, is a fiduciary and shall not
commingle such funds or property with his or her own or misappropriate such funds or property to his
or her own use and benefit. A lawyer may deposit into a trust account funds reasonably sufficient to
either pay bank charges or avoid paying bank charges on the account. Funds belonging in part to a
client and in part presently or potentially to the lawyer or law firm must be deposited into the trust
account, but the portion belonging to the lawyer or law firm must be withdrawn when due unless the
right of the lawyer or law firm to receive the funds is disputed by the client, in which event the
disputed portion shall not be withdrawn until the dispute is finally resolved.
(d) All funds entrusted to a lawyer shall be deposited intact into a trust account. The deposit slip
shall be sufficiently detailed to identify each item. All fee retainers shall be maintained in trust until
earned. All fee retainers are refundable until earned.
(e) All trust account withdrawals shall be made only by authorized bank transfer or by check made
payable to a named payee and not to cash. Only an attorney admitted to practice law in this state shall
be an authorized signatory on an attorney trust account. Earned fees withdrawn from a trust account
shall be distributed by check to the named lawyer, law partnership, or professional law corporation.
No personal or non-client business expenses of the lawyer, law partnership, or professional law
corporation shall be paid directly from the trust account.
(f) A lawyer shall:
(1) promptly notify a client or third person of the lawyer's receipt of funds, securities, or other
properties in which the client or third person has an interest;
(2) identify and label securities and properties of a client or third person promptly upon receipt and
place them in a safe deposit box or other place of safekeeping as soon as practicable;
(3) maintain complete computerized or manual records of all funds, securities, and other properties
of a client or third person coming into the possession of the lawyer and promptly render appropriate
accounts to the client or third person regarding them. The books and records shall be preserved for a
[sic] least six years after completion of the employment to which they relate. Every lawyer in private
practice shall certify, in connection with the annual renewal of the lawyer's registration, that the lawyer
or the lawyer's law firm maintains books and records in compliance with this rule, HRPC Rule 1.15;
(4) promptly pay or deliver to the client or third person, as requested by the client or third person,
the funds, securities, or other properties in the possession of the lawyer which the client or third person
is entitled to receive.
(g) A lawyer shall, at a minimum, maintain for at least six years after completion of the
employment to which they relate, the following computerized or manual books and records
demonstrating compliance with this rule, HRPC Rule 1.15:
(1) Cash receipts and disbursements journals for each trust and business account, including entries
for receipts, disbursements, and transfers, and also containing at least:
(A) identification of the client matter for which trust funds were received, disbursed, or
(B) the date on which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred;
(C) the check number for each disbursement; and
(D) the payor or payee for which the trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred.
(2) A subsidiary ledger containing either a separate page for each client (for manual records only)
or an equivalent computer analysis showing all individual receipts, disbursements, or transfers and any
unexpended balance, and also containing:
(A) identification of the client or matter for which trust funds were received, disbursed, or
(B) the date on which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred;
(C) the check number for each disbursement; and
(D) the payor or payee for which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred.
(3) Copies of any retainer and compensation agreements with clients.
(4) Copies of any statements to clients showing the disbursement of funds to them or on their
(5) Copies of all bills rendered to clients.
(6) Copies of records showing all payments to attorneys, investigators, or other persons, not in the
lawyer's regular employ, for services rendered or performed.
(7) All checkbooks, check stubs, bank statements, prenumbered cancelled checks (or access to
cancelled checks), and deposit slips (or access to deposit slips).
(8) Copies of all monthly trust account reconciliations.
(9) Copies of all records showing at least quarterly (i) a listing of trust accounts (names and related
balances), the grand total of which agrees with (equals) (ii) the reconciled trust account bank balance
of even date (a printed copy of the listing and the reconciled trust account balance shall be maintained
for 6 years).
(10) A record showing all property, specifically identified, other than cash, held in trust, provided
that routine files and documents which are not expected to be held indefinitely need not be so
(h) The financial books and other records required by this rule shall be maintained on a cash
method consistently applied from year to year. Bookkeeping records may be maintained by computer,
provided that they otherwise comply with this rule and provided further that printed copies can be
made on demand. Bookkeeping records shall be located at the principal Hawai‘i office of each lawyer,
law partnership, or professional law corporation and shall be available for inspection, checks for
compliance with this rule, and copying at that location by a duly authorized representative of the
Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
See Rule 1.5(a) for the factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of an earned attorney's
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
ABA Model Rule 1.15 and its comments were rejected in favor of DR 9-102 of the Disciplinary Rules of
the Hawai‘i Code.
(Amended June 22, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; further amended October 9, 2001, effective
January 1, 2002.)
Rule 1.16. DECLINING OR TERMINATING REPRESENTATION.
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation
has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:
(1) the representation will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent
the client; or
(3) the lawyer is discharged.
(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if
withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client, or if:
(1) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer
reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a
crime or fraud;
(3) a client insists upon pursuing an objective that the lawyer considers repugnant or imprudent;
(4) 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;
(5) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been
rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or
(6) other good cause for withdrawal exists.
(c) When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding
good cause for terminating the representation.
(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take 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 that has not been earned. The lawyer may retain papers relating
to the client to the extent permitted by other law.
 A lawyer should not accept representation in a matter unless it can be performed competently,
promptly, without improper conflict of interest and to completion.
 A lawyer ordinarily must decline or withdraw from representation if the client demands that the lawyer
engage in conduct that is illegal or violates the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law. The lawyer is not
obliged to decline or withdraw simply because the client suggests such a course of conduct; a client may make
such a suggestion in the hope that a lawyer will not be constrained by a professional obligation.
 When a lawyer has been appointed to represent a client, withdrawal ordinarily requires approval of
the appointing authority. See also Rule 6.2. Difficulty may be encountered if withdrawal is based on the
client's demand that the lawyer engage in unprofessional conduct. The court may wish an explanation for the
withdrawal, while the lawyer may be bound to keep confidential the facts that would constitute such an
explanation. The lawyer's statement that professional considerations require termination of the representation
ordinarily should be accepted as sufficient.
 A client has a right to discharge a lawyer at any time, with or without cause, subject to liability for
payment for the lawyer's services. Where future dispute about the withdrawal may be anticipated, it may be
advisable to prepare a written statement reciting the circumstances.
 Whether a client can discharge appointed counsel may depend on applicable law. A client seeking to
do so should be given a full explanation of the consequences. These consequences may include a decision by
the appointing authority that appointment of successor counsel is unjustified, thus requiring the client to
represent himself [or herself].
 If the client is mentally incompetent, the client may lack the legal capacity to discharge the lawyer,
and in any event the discharge may be seriously adverse to the client's interests. The lawyer should make
special effort to help the client consider the consequences and, in an extreme case, may initiate proceedings
for a conservatorship or similar protection of the client. See Rule 1.14.
 A lawyer may withdraw from representation in some circumstances. The lawyer has the option to
withdraw if it can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the client's interests. Withdrawal is also
justified if the client persists in a course of action that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or
fraudulent, for a lawyer is not required to be associated with such conduct even if the lawyer does not further
it. Withdrawal is also permitted if the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer's services were misused in
the past even if that would materially prejudice the client. The lawyer also may withdraw where the client
insists on a repugnant or imprudent objective.
 A lawyer may withdraw if the client refuses to abide by the terms of an agreement relating to the
representation, such as an agreement concerning fees or court costs or an agreement limiting the objectives
of the representation.
Assisting the Client Upon Withdrawal
 Even if the lawyer has been unfairly discharged by the client, a lawyer must take all reasonable steps
to mitigate the consequences to the client. The lawyer may retain papers as security for a fee only to the extent
permitted by law.
 Whether or not a lawyer for an organization may under certain unusual circumstances have a legal
obligation to the organization after withdrawing or being discharged by the organization's highest authority
is beyond the scope of these rules.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), DR 2-109(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not accept employment . . . if
[the lawyer] knows or it is obvious that [the prospective client] wishes to . . . [b]ring a legal action . . . or
otherwise have steps taken for [the prospective client], merely for the purpose of harassing or maliciously
injuring any person. . . ." Nor may a lawyer accept employment if the lawyer is aware that the prospective
client wishes to "[p]resent a claim or defense . . . that is not warranted under existing law, unless it can be
supported by good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law." DR 2-110(B)
provided that a lawyer "shall withdraw from employment . . . if:
"(1) [The lawyer] knows or it is obvious that [the lawyer's] client is bringing the legal action . . . or is
otherwise having steps taken for [the client] for the purpose of harassing or maliciously injuring any person.
"(2) [The lawyer] knows or it is obvious that [the lawyer's] continued employment will result in violation
of a Disciplinary Rule.
"(3) [The lawyer's] mental or physical condition renders it unreasonably difficult for [the lawyer] to carry
out the employment effectively.
"(4) [The lawyer] is discharged by [the lawyer's] client."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 2-110(C) permitted withdrawal regardless of the effect on the client if:
"(1) [The lawyer's] client: (a) Insists upon presenting a claim or defense that is not warranted under
existing law and cannot be supported by good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of
existing law; (b) Personally seeks to pursue an illegal course of conduct; (c) Insists that the lawyer pursue a
course of conduct that is illegal or that is prohibited under the Disciplinary Rules; (d) By other conduct
renders it unreasonably difficult for the lawyer to carry out [the lawyer's] employment effectively; (e) Insists,
in a matter not pending before a tribunal, that the lawyer engage in conduct that is contrary to the judgment
and advice of the lawyer but not prohibited under the Disciplinary Rules; (f) Deliberately disregards an
agreement or obligation to the lawyer as to expenses and fees.
"(2) [The lawyer's] continued employment is likely to result in a violation of a Disciplinary Rule.
“(3) [The lawyer's] inability to work with co-counsel indicates that the best interest of the client likely will
be served by withdrawal.
"(4) [The lawyer's] mental or physical condition renders it difficult for [the lawyer] to carry out the
"(5) [The lawyer's] client knowingly and freely assents to termination of his [or her] employment.
"(6) [The lawyer] believes in good faith, in a proceeding pending before a tribunal, that the tribunal will
find the existence of other good cause for withdrawal."
With regard to paragraph (c), DR 2-110(A)(1) provided: "If permission for withdrawal from employment
is required by the rules of a tribunal, the lawyer shall not withdraw . . . without its permission."
The provisions of paragraph (d) are substantially identical to DR 2-110(A)(2) and (3).
Rule 1.17. SALE OF LAW PRACTICE.
A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, including good will, if the following
conditions are satisfied:
(a) The seller ceases to engage in the private practice of law in the State of Hawai‘i and the Federal
District of Hawai‘i;
(b) The practice is sold as an entirety to another lawyer or law firm;
(c) Actual written notice is given to each of the seller's clients regarding:
(1) the proposed sale and the identity of the purchaser;
(2) the terms of any proposed change in the fee arrangement authorized by paragraph (d);
(3) the client's right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and
(4) the fact that the client's consent to the sale 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.
The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale. Existing agreements between
the seller and the client as to fees and the scope of the work must be honored by the purchaser, unless
the client consents in writing after consultation.
 The practice of law is a profession, not merely a business. Clients are not commodities that can be
purchased and sold at will. Pursuant to this rule, when a lawyer or an entire firm ceases to practice and
another lawyer or firm takes over the representation, the selling lawyer or firm may obtain compensation for
the reasonable value of the practice as may withdrawing partners of law firms. See Rules 5.4 and 5.6.
Termination of Practice by the Seller
 The requirement that all of the private practice be sold is satisfied if the seller in good faith makes the
entire practice available for sale to the purchaser. The fact that a number of the seller's clients decide not to
be represented by the purchaser but take their matters elsewhere, therefore, does not result in a violation.
Neither does a return to private practice as a result of an unanticipated change in circumstances result in a
violation. For example, a lawyer who has sold the practice to accept an appointment to judicial office does
not violate the requirement that the sale be attendant to cessation of practice if the lawyer later resumes
 The requirement that the seller cease to engage in the private practice of law does not prohibit
employment as a lawyer on the staff of a public agency or a legal services entity which provides legal services
to the poor, or as in-house counsel to a business.
 The rule permits a sale attendant upon retirement from the private practice of law within the
 The rule requires a single purchaser. The prohibition against piecemeal sale of a practice protects
those clients whose matters are less lucrative and who might find it difficult to secure other counsel if a sale
could be limited to substantial fee-generating matters. The purchaser is required to undertake all client
matters in the practice, subject to client consent.
Client Confidences, Consent and Notice
 Negotiations between seller and prospective purchaser prior to disclosure of information relating to
a specific representation of an identifiable client no more violate the confidentiality provisions of Model Rule
1.6 than do preliminary discussions concerning the possible association of another lawyer or mergers between
firms, with respect to which client consent is not required. Providing the purchaser access to client-specific
information relating to the representation and to the file, however, requires client consent. The rule provides
that before such information can be disclosed by the seller to the purchaser the client must be given actual
written notice of the contemplated sale, including the identity of the purchaser and any proposed change in
the terms of future representation, and must be told that the decision to consent or make other arrangements
must be made within 90 days. If nothing is heard from the client within that time, consent to the sale is
 A lawyer or law firm ceasing to practice cannot be required to remain in practice because some clients
cannot be given actual notice of the proposed purchase. Since these clients cannot themselves consent to the
purchase or direct any other disposition of their files, the rule requires an order from a court having
jurisdiction authorizing their transfer or other disposition. The Court can be expected to determine whether
reasonable efforts to locate the client have been exhausted, and whether the absent client's legitimate interests
will be served by authorizing the transfer of the file so that the purchaser may continue the representation.
Preservation of client confidences requires that the petition for a court order be considered in camera.
 All the elements of client autonomy, including the client's absolute right to discharge a lawyer and
transfer the representation to another, survive the sale of the practice.
Fee Arrangements Between Client and Purchaser
 The sale may not be financed by increases in fees charged the clients of the practice. Existing
agreements between the seller and the client as to fees and the scope of the work must be honored by the
purchaser, unless the client consents after consultation.
 The purchaser may not intentionally fragment the practice which is the subject of the sale by
charging significantly different fees in substantially similar matters. Doing so would make it possible for the
purchaser to avoid the obligation to take over the entire practice by charging arbitrarily higher fees for less
lucrative matters, thereby increasing the likelihood that those clients would not consent to the new
Other Applicable Ethical Standards
 Lawyers participating in the sale of a law practice are subject to the ethical standards applicable
to involving another lawyer in the representation of a client. These include, for example, the seller's obligation
to exercise competence in identifying a purchaser qualified to assume the practice and the purchaser's
obligation to undertake the representation competently (see Rule 1.1); the obligation to avoid disqualifying
conflicts, and to secure client consent after consultation for those conflicts which can be agreed to (see Rule
1.7); and the obligation to protect information relating to the representation (see Rules 1.6 and 1.9).
 If approval of the substitution of the purchasing attorney for the selling attorney is required by the
rules of any tribunal in which a matter is pending, such approval must be obtained before the matter can be
included in the sale (see Rule 1.16).
Applicability of the Rule
 This rule applies to the sale of a law practice by representatives of a deceased, disabled or
disappeared lawyer. Thus, the seller may be represented by a nonlawyer representative not subject to these
rules. Since, however, no lawyer may participate in a sale of a law practice which does not conform to the
requirements of this rule, the representatives of the seller as well as the purchasing lawyer can be expected
to see to it that they are met.
 Admission to or retirement from a law partnership or professional association, retirement plans and
similar arrangements, and a sale of tangible assets of a law practice, do not constitute a sale or purchase
governed by this rule.
 This rule does not apply to the transfers of legal representation between lawyers when such transfers
are unrelated to the sale of a practice.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code.
Rule 2.1. ADVISOR.
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. In a
matter involving or expected to involve litigation, a lawyer should advise a client of alternative forms
of dispute resolution which might reasonably be pursued to attempt to resolve the legal dispute or to
reach the legal objective sought.
Scope of Advice
 A client is entitled to straightforward advice expressing the lawyer's honest assessment. Legal advice
often involves unpleasant facts and alternatives that a client may be disinclined to confront. In presenting
advice, a lawyer endeavors to sustain the client's morale and may put advice in as acceptable a form as
honesty permits. However, a lawyer should not be deterred from giving candid advice by the prospect that the
advice will be unpalatable to the client.
 Advice couched in narrowly legal terms may be of little value to a client, especially where practical
considerations, such as costs or effects on other people, are predominant. Purely technical legal advice,
therefore, can sometimes be inadequate. It is proper for a lawyer to refer to relevant moral and ethical
considerations in giving advice. Although a lawyer is not a moral advisor as such, moral and ethical
considerations impinge upon most legal questions and may decisively influence how the law will be applied.
 A client may expressly or impliedly ask the lawyer for purely technical advice. When such a request
is made by a client experienced in legal matters, the lawyer may accept it at face value. When such a request
is made by a client inexperienced in legal matters, however, the lawyer's responsibility as advisor may include
indicating that more may be involved than strictly legal considerations.
 Matters that go beyond strictly legal questions may also be in the domain of another profession.
Family matters can involve problems within the professional competence of psychiatry, clinical psychology,
or social work; business matters can involve problems within the competence of the accounting profession or
of financial specialists. Where consultation with a professional in another field is itself something a competent
lawyer would recommend, the lawyer should make such recommendation. At the same time, a lawyer's advice
at its best often consists of recommending a course of action in the face of conflicting recommendations of
 In general, a lawyer is not expected to give advice until asked by the client. However, when a lawyer
knows that a client proposes a course of action that is likely to result in substantial adverse legal
consequences to the client, duty to the client under Rule 1.4 may require that the lawyer act if the client's
course of action is related to the representation. A lawyer ordinarily has no duty to initiate investigation of
a client's affairs or to give advice that the client has indicated is unwanted, but a lawyer may initiate advice
to a client when doing so appears to be in the client's interest.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no direct counterpart to this rule in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. DR 5-107(B)
provided that 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." EC 7-8 stated that "[a]dvice of a lawyer to [the lawyer's] client need not be confined to purely legal
considerations. . . . In assisting [the lawyer's] client to reach a proper decision, it is often desirable for a
lawyer to point out those factors which may lead to a decision that is morally just as well as legally
permissible. . . . In the final analysis, however, the lawyer should always remember that the decision whether
to forego legally available objectives or methods because of nonlegal factors is ultimately for the client and
not for [the lawyer]." EC 7-9 stated that "a lawyer should always act in a manner consistent with the best
interests of [the lawyer's] client."
Rule 2.2. INTERMEDIARY.
(a) A lawyer may act as intermediary between clients if:
(1) the lawyer consults with each client concerning the implications of the common representation,
including the advantages and risks involved, and the effect on the attorney-client privileges, and
obtains each client's consent to the common representation;
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the matter can be resolved on terms compatible with the
clients' best interests, that each client will be able to make adequately informed decisions in the matter
and that there is little risk of material prejudice to the interest of any of the clients if the contemplated
resolution is unsuccessful; and
(3) the lawyer reasonably believes that the common representation can be undertaken impartially
and without improper effect on other responsibilities the lawyer has to any of the clients.
(b) While acting as intermediary, the lawyer shall consult with each client concerning the decisions
to be made and the considerations relevant in making them, so that each client can make adequately
(c) A lawyer shall withdraw as intermediary if any of the clients so request, or if any of the
conditions stated in paragraph (a) is no longer satisfied. Upon withdrawal, the lawyer shall not
continue to represent any of the clients in the matter that was the subject of the intermediation.
 A lawyer acts as intermediary under this rule when the lawyer represents two or more parties with
potentially conflicting interests. A key factor in defining the relationship is whether the parties share
responsibility for the lawyer's fee, but the common representation may be inferred from other circumstances.
Because confusion can arise as to the lawyer's role where each party is not separately represented, it is
important that the lawyer make clear the relationship.
 The rule does not apply to a lawyer acting as arbitrator or mediator between or among parties who
are not clients of the lawyer, even where the lawyer has been appointed with the concurrence of the parties.
In performing such a role the lawyer may be subject to applicable codes of ethics, such as the Code of Ethics
for Arbitration in Commercial Disputes prepared by a joint Committee of the American Bar Association and
the American Arbitration Association.
 A lawyer acts as intermediary in seeking to establish or adjust a relationship between clients on an
amicable and mutually advantageous basis; for example, in helping to organize a business in which two or
more clients are entrepreneurs, working out the financial reorganization of an enterprise in which two or more
clients have an interest, arranging a property distribution in settlement of an estate or mediating a dispute
between clients. The lawyer seeks to resolve potentially conflicting interests by developing the parties' mutual
interests. The alternative can be that each party may have to obtain separate representation, with the
possibility in some situations of incurring additional cost, complication or even litigation. Given these and
other relevant factors, all the clients may prefer that the lawyer act as intermediary.
 In considering whether to act as intermediary between clients, a lawyer should be mindful that if the
intermediation fails the result can be additional cost, embarrassment and recrimination. In some situations
the risk of failure is so great that intermediation is plainly impossible. For example, a lawyer cannot undertake
common representation of clients between whom contentious litigation is imminent or who contemplate
contentious negotiations. More generally, if the relationship between the parties has already assumed definite
antagonism, the possibility that the clients' interests can be adjusted by intermediation ordinarily is not very
 The appropriateness of intermediation can depend on its form. Forms of intermediation range from
informal arbitration, where each client's case is presented by the respective client and the lawyer decides the
outcome, to mediation, to common representation where the clients' interests are substantially though not
entirely compatible. One form may be appropriate in circumstances where another would not. Other relevant
factors are whether the lawyer subsequently will represent both parties on a continuing basis and whether the
situation involves creating a relationship between the parties or terminating one.
Confidentiality and Privilege
 A particularly important factor in determining the appropriateness of intermediation is the effect on
client-lawyer confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege. In a common representation, the lawyer is still
required both to keep each client adequately informed and to maintain confidentiality of information relating
to the representation. See Rules 1.4 and 1.6. Complying with both requirements while acting as intermediary
requires a delicate balance. If the balance cannot be maintained, the common representation is improper. With
regard to the attorney-client privilege, the prevailing rule is that as between commonly represented clients
the privilege does not attach. Hence, it must be assumed that if litigation eventuates between the clients, the
privilege will not protect any such communications, and the clients should be so advised.
 Since the lawyer is required to be impartial between commonly represented clients, intermediation
is improper when that impartiality cannot be maintained. For example, a lawyer who has represented one of
the clients for a long period and in a variety of matters might have difficulty being impartial between that
client and one to whom the lawyer has only recently been introduced.
 In acting as intermediary between clients, the lawyer is required to consult with the clients on the
implications of doing so, and proceed only upon consent based on such a consultation. The consultation
should make clear that the lawyer's role is not that of partisanship normally expected in other circumstances.
 Paragraph (b) is an application of the principle expressed in Rule 1.4. Where the lawyer is
intermediary, the clients ordinarily must assume greater responsibility for decisions than when each client
is independently represented.
 Common representation does not diminish the rights of each client in the client-lawyer relationship.
Each has the right to loyal and diligent representation, the right to discharge the lawyer as stated in Rule 1.16,
and the protection of Rule 1.9 concerning obligations to a former client.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no direct counterpart to this rule in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 5-20 stated
that a "lawyer is often asked to serve as an impartial arbitrator or mediator in matters which involve present
or former clients. [A lawyer] may serve in either capacity if [the lawyer] first discloses such present or former
relationships." DR 5-105(B) provided that a lawyer "shall not continue multiple employment if the exercise
of [the lawyer's] independent professional judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely
affected by [the lawyer's] representation of another client, except to the extent permitted under DR 5-105(C)."
DR 5-105(C) provided that "a lawyer may represent multiple clients if it is obvious that [the lawyer] can
adequately represent the interest of each and if each consents to the representation after full disclosure of the
possible effect of such representation on the exercise of [the lawyer's] independent professional judgment on
behalf of each."
Rule 2.3. EVALUATION FOR USE BY THIRD PERSONS.
(a) A lawyer may undertake an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone
other than the client if:
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects of
the lawyer's relationship with the client; and
(2) the client consents after consultation.
(b) Except as disclosure is required in connection with a report of an evaluation, information
relating to the evaluation is otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
 An evaluation may be performed at the client's direction but for the primary purpose of establishing
information for the benefit of third parties; for example, an opinion concerning the title of property rendered
at the behest of a vendor for the information of a prospective purchaser, or at the behest of a borrower for the
information of a prospective lender. In some situations, the evaluation may be required by a government
agency; for example, an opinion concerning the legality of the securities registered for sale under the
securities laws. In other instances, the evaluation may be required by a third person, such as a purchaser of
 Lawyers for the government may be called upon to give a formal opinion on the legality of
contemplated government agency action. In making such an evaluation, the government lawyer acts at the
behest of the government as the client but for the purpose of establishing the limits of the agency's authorized
activity. Such an opinion is to be distinguished from confidential legal advice given agency officials. The
critical question is whether the opinion is to be made public.
 A legal evaluation should be distinguished from an investigation of a person with whom the lawyer
does not have a client-lawyer relationship. For example, a lawyer retained by a purchaser to analyze a
vendor's title to property does not have a client-lawyer relationship with the vendor. So also, an investigation
into a person's affairs by a government lawyer, or by special counsel employed by the government, is not an
evaluation as that term is used in this rule. The question is whether the lawyer is retained by the person whose
affairs are being examined. When the lawyer is retained by that person, the general rules concerning loyalty
to client and preservation of confidences apply, which is not the case if the lawyer is retained by someone else.
For this reason, it is essential to identify the person by whom the lawyer is retained. This should be made clear
not only to the person under examination, but also to others to whom the results are to be made available.
Duty to Third Person
 When the evaluation is intended for the information or use of a third person, a legal duty to that person
may or may not arise. That legal question is beyond the scope of this rule. However, since such an evaluation
involves a departure from the normal client-lawyer relationship, careful analysis of the situation is required.
The lawyer must be satisfied as a matter of professional judgment that making the evaluation is compatible
with other functions undertaken in behalf of the client. For example, if the lawyer is acting as advocate in
defending the client against charges of fraud, it would normally be incompatible with that responsibility for
the lawyer to perform an evaluation for others concerning the same or a related transaction. Assuming no
such impediment is apparent, however, the lawyer should advise the client of the implications of the
evaluation, particularly the lawyer's responsibilities to third persons and the duty to disseminate the findings.
Access to and Disclosure of Information
 The quality of an evaluation depends on the freedom and extent of the investigation upon which it is
based. Ordinarily a lawyer should have whatever latitude of investigation seems necessary as a matter of
professional judgment. Under some circumstances, however, the terms of the evaluation may be limited. For
example, certain issues or sources may be categorically excluded, or the scope of search may be limited by
time constraints or the non-cooperation of persons having relevant information. Any such limitations which
are material to the evaluation should be described in the report. If after a lawyer has commenced an
evaluation, the client refuses to comply with the terms upon which it was understood the evaluation was to
have been made, the lawyer's obligations are determined by law, having reference to the terms of the client's
agreement and the surrounding circumstances.
Financial Auditors' Requests for Information
 When a question concerning the legal situation of a client arises at the instance of the client's financial
auditor and the question is referred to the lawyer, the lawyer's response may be made in accordance with
procedures recognized in the legal profession. Such a procedure is set forth in the American Bar Association
Statement of Policy Regarding Lawyers' Responses to Auditors' Requests for Information, adopted in 1975.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code.
Rule 3.1. MERITORIOUS CLAIMS AND CONTENTIONS.
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless
there is a basis 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 the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration, may nevertheless so
defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.
 The advocate has a duty to use legal procedure for the fullest benefit of the client's cause, but also a
duty not to abuse legal procedure. The law, both procedural and substantive, establishes the limits within
which an advocate may proceed. However, the law is not always clear and never is static. Accordingly, in
determining the proper scope of advocacy, account must be taken of the law's ambiguities and potential for
 The filing of an action or defense or similar action taken for a client is not frivolous merely because
the facts have not first been fully substantiated or because the lawyer expects to develop vital evidence only
by discovery. Such action is not frivolous even though the lawyer believes that the client's position ultimately
will not prevail. The action is frivolous, however, if the client desires to have the action taken primarily for
the purpose of harassing or maliciously injuring a person or if the lawyer is unable either to make a good faith
argument on the merits of the action taken or to support the action taken by a good faith argument for an
extension, modification or reversal of existing law.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 7-102(A)(1) provided that a lawyer may not "[f]ile a suit, assert a position, conduct a defense, delay
a trial, or take other action on behalf of [the lawyer's] client when [the lawyer] knows or when it is obvious
that such action would serve merely to harass or maliciously injure another." Rule 3.1 has the same general
effect as DR 7-102(A)(1), with three qualifications. First, the test of improper conduct is changed from "merely
to harass or maliciously injure another" to the requirement that there be a basis for the litigation measure
involved that is "not frivolous." This includes the concept stated in DR 7-102(A)(2) that a lawyer may advance
a claim or defense unwarranted by existing law if "it can be supported by good faith argument for an
extension, modification, or reversal of existing law." Second, the test in Rule 3.1 is an objective test, whereas
DR 7-102(A)(1) applied only if the lawyer "knows or when it is obvious" that the litigation is frivolous. Third,
Rule 3.1 has an exception that in a criminal case, or a case in which incarceration of the client may result (for
example, certain juvenile proceedings), the lawyer may put the prosecution to its proof even if there is no
nonfrivolous basis for defense.
Rule 3.2. EXPEDITING LITIGATION.
A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the legitimate
interests of the client.
Dilatory practices bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Significant delay should not be
indulged merely for the convenience of the advocates, or for the purposes of frustrating an opposing party's
attempt to obtain rightful redress or repose. It is not a justification that similar conduct is often tolerated by
the bench and bar. The question is whether a competent lawyer acting in good faith would regard the course
of action as having some substantial purpose other than delay. Realizing financial or other benefit from
otherwise improper delay in litigation is not a legitimate interest of the client.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 7-101(A)(1) stated that a lawyer does not violate the duty to represent a client zealously "by being
punctual in fulfilling all professional commitments." DR 7-102(A)(1) provided that a lawyer "shall not . . . file
a suit, assert a position, conduct a defense or delay a trial . . . when [the lawyer] knows or when it is obvious
that such action would serve merely to harass or maliciously injure another."
Rule 3.3. CANDOR TOWARD THE TRIBUNAL.
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal;
(2) fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a
criminal or fraudulent act by the client;
(3) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer
to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or
(4) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer has offered material evidence and
comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take remedial measures to the extent reasonably
necessary to rectify the consequences.
(b) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (d) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and
apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6(a).
(c) A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
(d) In an ex parte proceeding except grand jury proceedings and applications for search warrants,
a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer which will enable the
tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse, disclosure of which is not
otherwise prohibited by law.
 The advocate's task is to present the client's case with persuasive force. Performance of that duty while
maintaining confidences of the client is qualified by the advocate's duty of candor to the tribunal. However,
an advocate does not vouch for the evidence submitted in a cause; the tribunal is responsible for assessing
its probative value.
Representations by a Lawyer
 An advocate is responsible for pleadings and other documents prepared for litigation, but is usually
not required to have personal knowledge of matters asserted therein, for litigation documents ordinarily
present assertions by the client, or by someone on the client's behalf, and not assertions by the lawyer.
Compare Rule 3.1. However, an assertion purporting to be on the lawyer's own knowledge, as in an affidavit
by the lawyer or in a statement in open court, may properly be made only when the lawyer knows the assertion
is true or believes it to be true on the basis of a reasonably diligent inquiry. There are circumstances where
failure to make a disclosure is the equivalent of an affirmative misrepresentation. The obligation prescribed
in Rule 1.2(d) not to counsel a client to commit or assist the client in committing a fraud applies in litigation.
Regarding compliance with Rule 1.2(d), see the comment to that rule. See also the comment to Rule 8.4(b).
Misleading Legal Argument
 Legal argument based on a knowingly false representation of law constitutes dishonesty toward the
tribunal. A lawyer is not required to make a disinterested exposition of the law, but must recognize the
existence of pertinent legal authorities. Furthermore, as stated in paragraph (a)(3), an advocate has a duty
to disclose directly adverse authority in the controlling jurisdiction which has not been disclosed by the
opposing party. The underlying concept is that legal argument is a discussion seeking to determine the legal
premises properly applicable to the case.
 When evidence that a lawyer knows to be false is provided by a person who is not the client, the lawyer
must refuse to offer it regardless of the client's wishes. Suspicions and hunches are insufficient to substantiate
the degree of falsity necessary to refuse to offer evidence.
 When false evidence is offered by the client, however, a conflict may arise between the lawyer's duty
to keep the client's revelations confidential and the duty of candor to the court. Upon ascertaining that
material evidence is false, the lawyer should seek to persuade the client that the evidence should not be offered
or, if it has been offered, that its false character should immediately be disclosed. If the persuasion is
ineffective, the lawyer must take remedial measures to the extent reasonably necessary to rectify the
 Except in the defense of a criminal accused, the rule generally recognized is that, if necessary to
rectify the situation, an advocate must disclose the existence of the client's deception to the court or to the
other party. Such a disclosure can result in grave consequences to the client, including not only a sense of
betrayal but also loss of the case and perhaps a prosecution for perjury. But the alternative is that the lawyer
cooperate in deceiving the court, thereby subverting the truth-finding process which the adversary system is
designed to implement. See Rule 1.2(d). Furthermore, unless it is clearly understood that the lawyer will act
upon the duty to disclose the existence of false evidence, the client can simply reject the lawyer's advice to
reveal the false evidence and insist that the lawyer keep silent. Thus the client could in effect coerce the lawyer
into being a party to fraud on the court.
Perjury by a Criminal Defendant
 Whether an advocate for a criminally accused has the same duty of disclosure has been intensely
debated. While it is agreed that the lawyer should seek to persuade the client to refrain from perjurious
testimony, there has been dispute concerning the lawyer's duty when that persuasion fails. If the confrontation
with the client occurs before trial, the lawyer ordinarily can withdraw. Withdrawal before trial may not be
possible, however, either because trial is imminent, or because the confrontation with the client does not take
place until the trial itself, or because no other counsel is available.
 The most difficult situation, therefore, arises in a criminal case where the accused insists on testifying
when the lawyer knows that the testimony is perjurious. The lawyer's effort to rectify the situation can increase
the likelihood of the client's being convicted as well as opening the possibility of a prosecution for perjury.
On the other hand, if the lawyer does not exercise control over the proof, the lawyer participates, although
in a merely passive way, in deception of the court.
 Three resolutions of this dilemma have been proposed. One is to permit the accused to testify by a
narrative without guidance through the lawyer's questioning. This compromises both contending principles;
it exempts the lawyer from the duty to disclose false evidence but subjects the client to an implicit disclosure
of information imparted to counsel. Another suggested resolution, of relatively recent origin, is that the
advocate be entirely excused from the duty to reveal perjury if the perjury is that of the client. This is a
coherent solution but makes the advocate a knowing instrument of perjury.
 The other resolution of the dilemma is that the lawyer must reveal the client's perjury if necessary
to rectify the situation. A criminal accused has a right to the assistance of an advocate, a right to testify and
a right of confidential communication with counsel. However, an accused should not have a right to assistance
of counsel in committing perjury. Furthermore, an advocate has an obligation, not only in professional ethics
but under the law as well, to avoid implication in the commission of perjury or other falsification of evidence.
See Rule 1.2(d).
 If perjured testimony or false evidence has been offered, the advocate's proper course ordinarily is
to remonstrate with the client confidentially. If that fails, the advocate should seek to withdraw if that will
remedy the situation. If withdrawal will not remedy the situation or is impossible, the advocate should make
disclosure to the court. It is for the court then to determine what should be done - making a statement about
the matter to the trier of fact, ordering a mistrial or perhaps nothing. If the false testimony was that of the
client, the client may controvert the lawyer's version of their communication when the lawyer discloses the
situation to the court. If there is an issue whether the client has committed perjury, the lawyer cannot represent
the client in resolution of the issue and a mistrial may be unavoidable. An unscrupulous client might in this
way attempt to produce a series of mistrials and thus escape prosecution. However, a second such encounter
could be construed as a deliberate abuse of the right to counsel and as such a waiver of the right to further
 The general rule - that an advocate must disclose the existence of perjury with respect to a material
fact, even that of a client - applies to defense counsel in criminal cases, as well as in other instances. However,
the definition of the lawyer's ethical duty in such a situation may be qualified by constitutional provisions for
due process and the right to counsel in criminal cases. In some jurisdictions these provisions have been
construed to require that counsel present an accused as a witness if the accused wishes to testify, even if
counsel knows the testimony will be false. The obligation of the advocate under these rules is subordinate to
such a constitutional requirement.
Duration of Obligation
 A practical time limit on the obligation to rectify the presentation of false evidence has to be
established. The conclusion of the proceeding is a reasonably definite point for the termination of the
Refusing to Offer Proof Believed to be False
 Generally speaking, a lawyer has authority to refuse to offer testimony or other proof that the lawyer
believes is untrustworthy. Offering such proof may reflect adversely on the lawyer's ability to discriminate in
the quality of evidence and thus impair the lawyer's effectiveness as an advocate. In criminal cases, however,
a lawyer may, in some jurisdictions, be denied this authority by constitutional requirements governing the
right to counsel.
Ex Parte Proceedings
 Ordinarily, an advocate has the limited responsibility of presenting one side of the matters that a
tribunal should consider in reaching a decision; the conflicting position is expected to be presented by the
opposing party. However, in an ex parte proceeding, such as an application for a temporary restraining order,
there is no balance of presentation by opposing advocates. The object of an ex parte proceeding is
nevertheless to yield a substantially just result. The judge has an affirmative responsibility to accord the
absent party just consideration. The lawyer for the represented party has the correlative duty to make
disclosures of material facts known to the lawyer and that the lawyer reasonably believes are necessary to an
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a)(1) is substantially identical to DR 7-102(A)(5), which provided that a lawyer shall not
"knowingly make a false statement of law or fact."
Paragraph (a)(2) is implicit in DR 7-102(A)(3), which provided that "a lawyer shall not . . . knowingly fail
to disclose that which [the lawyer] is required by law to reveal."
Paragraph (a)(3) is substantially identical to DR 7-106(B)(1).
With regard to paragraph (a)(4), the first sentence of this subparagraph is similar to DR 7-102(A)(4),
which provided that a lawyer shall not "knowingly use" perjured testimony or false evidence. The second
sentence of paragraph (a)(4) resolves an ambiguity in the Hawai‘i Code concerning the action required of a
lawyer who discovers that the lawyer has offered perjured testimony or false evidence. DR 7-102(A)(4) did
not expressly deal with this situation, but the prohibition against "use" of false evidence can be construed to
preclude carrying through with a case based on such evidence when that fact has become known during the
trial. DR 7-102(B)(1) provided that a lawyer "who receives information clearly establishing that . . . [the
lawyer's] client has . . . perpetrated a fraud upon . . . a tribunal shall promptly call upon [the lawyer's] client
to rectify the same, and if [the lawyer's] client refuses or is unable to do so, . . . reveal the fraud to the . . ..
tribunal. . . ." Since use of perjured testimony or false evidence is usually regarded as "fraud" upon the court,
DR 7-102(B)(1) apparently required disclosure by the lawyer in such circumstances. Paragraph (a)(4)
requires that the lawyer take remedial measures "to the extent reasonably necessary to rectify the
Comment  further clarifies what degree of knowledge of falsity a lawyer must have in order to fall
within paragraph (a)(4). It states that mere "suspicions and hunches" do not suffice.
Paragraph (c) confers discretion on the lawyer to refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer "reasonably
believes" is false. This gives the lawyer more latitude than DR 7-102(A)(4), which prohibited the lawyer from
offering evidence the lawyer "knows" is false.
There was no counterpart in the Hawai‘i Code to paragraph (d).
Rule 3.4. FAIRNESS TO OPPOSING PARTY AND COUNSEL.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal
a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist
another person to do any such act;
(b) falsify evidence or counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely;
(c) offer an inducement that is prohibited by law or pay, offer to pay, or acquiesce in the payment
of compensation to a witness contingent upon the content of [the witness'] testimony or the outcome
of the case. But a lawyer may advance, guarantee, or acquiesce in the payment of:
(1) expenses reasonably incurred by a witness in attending or testifying;
(2) reasonable compensation to a witness for [the witness'] loss of time in attending or testifying;
(3) a reasonable fee for the professional services of an expert witness;
(d) advise or cause a person to secrete himself [or herself] or to leave the jurisdiction of a tribunal
for the purpose of making [the person] unavailable as a witness therein;
(e) knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based
on an assertion that no valid obligation exists;
(f) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent
effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party;
(g) 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;
(h) request a person other than a client to refrain from voluntarily giving relevant information to
another party unless:
(1) the person is a relative or an employee or other agent of a client; and
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the person's interests will not be adversely affected by
refraining from giving such information; or
(i) present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal charges solely to obtain an
advantage in a civil matter.
 The procedure of the adversary system contemplates that the evidence in a case is to be marshalled
competitively by the contending parties. Fair competition in the adversary system is secured by prohibitions
against destruction or concealment of evidence, improperly influencing witnesses, obstructive tactics in
discovery procedure, and the like.
 Documents and other items of evidence are often essential to establish a claim or defense. Subject to
evidentiary privileges, the right of an opposing party, including the government, to obtain evidence through
discovery or subpoena is an important procedural right. The exercise of that right can be frustrated if relevant
material is altered, concealed or destroyed. Applicable law in many jurisdictions makes it an offense to destroy
material for purpose of impairing its availability in a pending proceeding or one whose commencement can
be foreseen. Falsifying evidence is also generally a criminal offense. Paragraph (a) applies to evidentiary
material generally, including computerized information.
 Paragraph (h) permits a lawyer to advise employees of a client to refrain from giving information to
another party, for the employees may identify their interests with those of the client. See also Rule 4.2.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), DR 7-109(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not suppress any evidence that
[the lawyer] or [the lawyer's] client has a legal obligation to reveal." DR 7-106(C)(7) provided that a lawyer
shall not "[i]ntentionally or habitually violate any established rule of procedure or of evidence."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 7-102(A)(6) provided that a lawyer shall not participate "in the creation
or preservation of evidence when [the lawyer] knows or it is obvious that the evidence is false."
Paragraph (c) adds a general prohibition against offering inducements prohibited by law to its verbatim
adoption of DR 7-109(C). EC 7-28 stated that witnesses "should always testify truthfully and should be free
from any financial inducements that might tempt them to do otherwise."
Paragraph (d) is a verbatim adoption of DR 7-109(D).
Paragraph (e) is substantially similar to DR 7-106(A), which provided that "A lawyer shall not disregard
. . . a standing rule of a tribunal or a ruling of a tribunal made in the course of a proceeding, but [the lawyer]
may take appropriate steps in good faith to test the validity of such rule or ruling."
Paragraph (f) has no counterpart in the Hawai‘i Code.
Paragraph (g) substantially incorporates DR 7-106(C)(1), (2), (3) and (4). DR 7-106(C)(2) proscribed
asking a question "intended to degrade a witness or other person," a matter dealt with in Rule 4.4. DR
7-106(C)(5), providing that a lawyer shall not "fail to comply with known local customs of courtesy or
practice," was too vague to be a rule of conduct enforceable as law.
With regard to paragraph (h), DR 7-104(A)(2) provided that a lawyer shall not "give advice to a person
who is not represented . . . 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."
Rule 3.5. IMPARTIALITY AND DECORUM OF THE TRIBUNAL.
(a) Influencing Decision Maker. A lawyer shall not seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective
juror, discharged juror, or other decision maker by means prohibited by law.
(b) Harassing or Embarrassing Decision Maker. A lawyer shall not harass a judge, juror,
prospective juror, discharged juror, or other decision maker or embarrass such person in such capacity.
(c) Disruption of Tribunal. A lawyer shall not engage in conduct intended or reasonably likely
to disrupt a tribunal.
(d) Communication with a Judge or Official. In an adversary proceeding, a lawyer shall not
communicate as to the merits of the cause with a judge or an official before whom the proceeding is
(1) in the course of the official proceeding in the cause;
(2) in writing if the lawyer promptly delivers a copy of the writing to the opposing counsel or to
the adverse party if not represented by a lawyer; or
(3) orally upon notice to opposing counsel or to the adverse party if not represented by a lawyer.
(e) Communication with Jurors. A lawyer shall not:
(1) before the trial of a case with which the lawyer is connected, communicate with anyone the
lawyer knows to be a member of the venire from which the jury will be selected, with respect to the
case or with the intent or reasonable likelihood of influencing the member with respect to the case;
(2) during the trial of a case with which the lawyer is connected, communicate with a juror except
in the course of the proceedings, with the judge and opposing counsel present;
(3) during the trial of a case with which the lawyer is not connected, communicate with a juror
concerning the case;
(4) after dismissal of the jury in a case with which the lawyer is connected, communicate with a
juror regarding the trial except that:
(i) upon leave of the court, which leave shall be freely granted, a lawyer may ask questions of, or
respond to questions from, jurors about the trial, provided that the lawyer does so in a manner that is
not calculated to harass or embarrass any juror and does not seek to influence the juror's actions in
future jury service in any particular case; and
(ii) upon leave of the court for good cause shown, a lawyer who believes there are grounds for
legal challenge to a verdict may conduct an in-court examination of jurors or former jurors to
determine whether the verdict is subject to challenge. A motion for in-court examination of discharged
jurors under this subsection (e)(4)(ii) shall be served no later than ten (10) days after the judgment has
been entered unless good cause is shown for the failure to serve the motion within that time. If the
examination is permitted, the court shall prescribe, the time, manner, place, and scope of the
 Many forms of improper influence upon a tribunal are proscribed by criminal law. A lawyer is
required to avoid contributing to a violation of such provisions.
 The advocate's function is to present evidence and argument so that the cause may be decided
according to law. Refraining from abusive or obstreperous conduct is a corollary of the advocate's right to
speak on behalf of litigants. A lawyer may stand firm against abuse by a judge but should avoid reciprocation;
the judge's default is no justification for similar dereliction by an advocate. An advocate can present the cause,
protect the record for subsequent review, and preserve professional integrity by patient firmness no less
effectively than by belligerence or theatrics.
 It has long been recognized and acknowledged that post-discharge respectful conduct between a trial
lawyer (or those acting on the lawyer's behalf) and jurors before whom the lawyer has appeared benefits both
the lawyer and the jurors. The lawyer may gain insights that enable the lawyer to better represent future
clients and the juror may have some mysteries (usually related to the admission or rejection of evidence)
solved so as to better appreciate the workings of the justice system. In addition, it is not at all uncommon for
lawyers and judges to talk casually about a former case that has become final. Hawai‘i's original HRPC 3.5(a)
and (b), adopted in December 1993, provided:
A lawyer shall not:
(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law;
(b) communicate ex parte with such a person except as permitted by law; or
(c) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.
Original HRPC 3.5(a) and (b) appeared to preclude "all post-trial communications between attorneys and
jurors, relating to the subject matter of the trial, in the presence of all parties to the proceeding or their legal
representatives." State v. Furutani, 76 Hawai‘i 172, 177, n.8, 873 P.2d 51, 56 n.8 (1994). The same
prohibition would logically have applied to lawyer-judge post-decision contacts. The supreme court asserted
that HRPC 3.5 prohibited post-trial contact that was permissible under DR 7-108 of the prior Code of
Professional Responsibility. Id.
As interpreted, original HRPC 3.5 prohibited post-trial contact in an oblique manner: original paragraph
(a) precluded seeking "to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official" while original
paragraph (b) precluded "communicat[ion] ex parte with such a person." A discharged juror was not
specifically referenced in original HRPC 3.5(a)-(c). Original HRPC 3.5 referred to jurors and prospective
jurors. There are sound public policy reasons for precluding ex parte contact with jurors and prospective
jurors, and limiting contact with discharged jurors.
Enforcement of original HRPC 3.5(b) was enjoined by the United States District Court for the District of
Hawai‘i in Rapp v. Disciplinary Board, United States District Court Civ. No. 95-00779 DAE. While the Rapp
case was pending in federal court the supreme court proposed, the Hawai‘i State Bar Association approved,
and, on May 8, 1996, the supreme court adopted amendments so that HRPC 3.5 provided:
Rule 3.5 IMPARTIALITY AND DECORUM OF THE TRIBUNAL
(a) A lawyer shall not:
(1) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror, or other official by means prohibited by law;
(2) communicate ex parte with such a person except as provided in subsection (b) of this rule; or
(3) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.
(b) After the jury is discharged, a lawyer may ask questions of, or respond to questions from, jurors
provided the lawyer does so in a manner that neither harasses nor embarrasses the juror and does not seek
to influence the juror's actions in future jury service. Likewise, after final disposition of a matter a lawyer may
ask questions of a judge or other official regarding the matter and may respond to questions from the judge
or other official, provided the lawyer does so in a manner that neither harasses nor embarrasses the judge or
official and does not seek to influence the judge's or official's actions in future judicial or official service. A
juror or judge is free to refuse to comment or respond.
In anticipation of further amendment after a decision in Rapp v. Disciplinary Board, subsection (b) was
intended to be an interim rule.
In Rapp, the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i concluded:
. . . that [original HRPC] 3.5(b) as interpreted and applied suffer[ed] from two chief infirmities. First,
the language of the rule prohibiting ex parte communication with jurors "except as permitted by law," is
unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. . . . The plain language of [original] Rule 3.5(b) [did] not
specifically indicate whether a judge ha[d] the authority to grant leave, or whether "good cause" or "exigent
circumstances" for seeing the interviews must be shown. Moreover, this court has not found any Hawai‘i case
law which either sets forth an exception to [original] Rule 3.5(b) in circumstances where counsel suspect that
jury misconduct has occurred or a procedure that an attorney needs to follow if that attorney does have
suspicions. Additionally, no Hawai‘i case has discussed what might amount to good cause warranting jury
interviews, if good cause is the applicable standard. . . . [I]t is unclear how the rule would be applied in
circumstances which may warrant the grant of post verdict interviews by a trial court. That is, a description
of the mechanism for review by a trial judge is conspicuously absent from the rule. Moreover, the standard
"as permitted by law" provides little guidance to lawyers as to when jurors can appropriately be contacted. . . .
Second, the probable efficacy of [original] Rule 3.5, as it has been interpreted by the Hawai‘i Supreme
Court, in protecting jury members and their verdicts is minimal at best. . . . If the aim of Rule 3.5 is to protect
the sanctity of jury verdicts and prevent jury harassment, it misses the mark. Instead, as interpreted, the rule
would theoretically allow two unscrupulous lawyers who agree to interview jurors together, to engage in a
jury harassment "free for all" with no court supervision. Clearly, the limitations [original] Rule 3.5 places
on ex parte jury communications is not well-tailored to achieve the State's compelling interests.
The United States District Court concluded:
. . . the State Defendants have demonstrated a compelling interest in preserving the integrity of the trial
process by protecting jurors from post trial harassment and unnecessary intrusion by lawyers. There is no
question that a properly tailored rule . . . can pass constitutional muster.
The United States District recognized two compelling state interests that could justify a rule restricting
attorney contact with jurors: " the public policy holding jury deliberations and verdicts inviolable and 
the aim of protecting the privacy of jurors." However, the United States District Court concluded original
HRPC 3.5(b) was not sufficiently tailored to meet the State's compelling interests and enjoined its enforcement.
Upon review of the United States District Court's order, the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i proposed
additional amendments to Rule 3.5. After discussions with the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the
Disciplinary Board and consideration of the concerns expressed by those entities, the supreme court adopted
the current rule. The current rule eliminates the phrase "as permitted by law." In furtherance of the valid
public policy interests in keeping jury deliberations inviolable and protecting the privacy of jurors, subdivision
(e) retains the trial judge as the gatekeeper between the attorneys and the jury.
Further, subdivision (e) sets standards by which to determine requests for post-discharge juror interviews.
Subdivision (e)(4)(i) recognizes that respectful post-discharge debriefing of a jury is beneficial to both lawyers
and jurors. The possibility of jury harassment requires the oversight of the judge, but where the purpose of
the requested interview is to educate the lawyer and the jury, the value of respectful debriefing in such that
leave for respectful post-trial debriefing should be freely granted. Subdivision (e)(4)(i) presumes that
discharged jurors are free to decline participation in such post-trial debriefings. Subdivision (e)(4)(ii) is
designed to enforce the policies of holding jury thought processes inviolable and protecting the privacy of
jurors. Thus, to avoid juror harassment by unscrupulous lawyers and lawyers on fishing expeditions, as well
as the jury harassment free for all referred to by the United States District Court, an attorney seeking to
challenge a verdict due to jury irregularity must (i) show good cause for a belief that grounds for a challenge
exist, (ii) obtain leave of the court to question a juror or jurors and, if the motion to examine the jury is
granted, (iii) conduct the examination in court and under conditions set by the judge. In sum, Rule 3.5(e)
provides oversight by the trial judge, circumstances in which communications with jurors are permitted, and
standards by which to decide requests to interview discharged jurors.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraphs (a) and (b), DR 7-108(A) provided that "[b]efore the trial of a case a lawyer
. . . shall not communicate with . . . anyone [the lawyer] knows to be a member of the venire. . . ."
DR-7-108(B) provided that during the trial of a case a lawyer "shall not communicate with . . . any member
of the jury." DR 7-110(B)(3) and (4) provided that a lawyer shall not "communicate . . . as to the merits of
the cause with a judge or an official before whom the proceeding is pending, except . . . upon adequate notice
to opposing counsel," or as "otherwise authorized by law."
With regard to paragraph (c), DR 7-106(C)(6) provided that a lawyer shall not engage in "undignified
or discourteous conduct which is degrading to a tribunal."
(Amended October 24, 1996, effective November 15, 1996; further amended effective November
Rule 3.6. TRIAL PUBLICITY.
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter
shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated
by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have
a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:
(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the
(2) information contained in a public record;
(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;
(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;
(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;
(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to
believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest;
(7) in a criminal case, in addition to subparagraphs (1) through (6):
(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;
(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in the apprehension of
(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and
(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would
believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity
not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client. A statement made pursuant to this paragraph shall
be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.
(d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyer subject to paragraph (a)
shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).
 It is difficult to strike a balance between protecting the right to a fair trial and safeguarding the right
of free expression. Preserving the right to a fair trial necessarily entails some curtailment of the information
that may be disseminated about a party prior to trial, particularly where trial by jury is involved. If there were
no such limits, the result would be the practical nullification of the protective effect of the rules of forensic
decorum and the exclusionary rules of evidence. On the other hand, there are vital social interests served by
the free dissemination of information about events having legal consequences and about legal proceedings
themselves. The public has a right to know about threats to its safety and measures aimed at assuring its
security. It also has a legitimate interest in the conduct of judicial proceedings, particularly in matters of
general public concern. Furthermore, the subject matter of legal proceedings is often of direct significance
in debate and deliberation over questions of public policy.
 Special rules of confidentiality may validly govern proceedings in juvenile, domestic relations and
mental disability proceedings, and perhaps other types of litigation. Rule 3.4(e) requires compliance with such
 The Rule sets forth a basic general prohibition against a lawyer making a statement that the lawyer
knows or should know will have substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding.
Recognizing that the public value of informed commentary is great and the likelihood of prejudice to a
proceeding by the commentary of a lawyer who is not involved in the proceeding is small, the Rule applies
only to lawyers who are, or who have been involved in the investigation or litigation of a case, and their
 Paragraph (b) identifies specific matters about which a lawyer's statements would not ordinarily be
considered to present a substantial likelihood of material prejudice, and should not in any event be considered
prohibited by the general prohibition of paragraph (a). Paragraph (b) is not intended to be an exhaustive
listing of the subjects upon which a lawyer may make a statement, but statements on other matters may be
subject to paragraph (a).
 There are, on the other hand, certain subjects that are more likely than not to have a material
prejudicial effect on a proceeding, particularly when they refer to a civil matter triable to a jury, a criminal
matter, or any other proceeding that could result in incarceration. These subjects relate to:
(1) the character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a party, suspect in a criminal investigation
or witness, or the identity of a witness, or the expected testimony of a party or witness;
(2) in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration, the possibility of a plea of guilty
to the offense or the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by a defendant or
suspect or that person's refusal or failure to make a statement;
(3) the performance or results of any examination or test or the refusal or failure of a person to submit
to an examination or test, or the identity or nature of physical evidence expected to be presented;
(4) any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of a defendant or suspect in a criminal case or proceeding that
could result in incarceration;
(5) information that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is likely to be inadmissible as evidence
in a trial and that would, if disclosed, create a substantial risk of prejudicing an impartial trial; or
(6) the fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime, unless there is included therein a statement
explaining that the charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and
unless proven guilty.
 Another relevant factor in determining prejudice is the nature of the proceeding involved. Criminal
jury trials will be most sensitive to extrajudicial speech. Civil trials may be less sensitive. Non-jury hearings
and arbitration proceedings may be even less affected. The rule will still place limitations on prejudicial
comments in these cases, but the likelihood of prejudice may be different depending on the type of proceeding.
 Finally, extrajudicial statements that might otherwise raise a question under this Rule may be
permissible when they are made in response to statements made publicly by another party, another party's
lawyer, or third persons, where a reasonable lawyer would believe a public response is required in order to
avoid prejudice to the lawyer's client. When prejudicial statements have been publicly made by others,
responsive statements may have the salutary effect of lessening any resulting adverse impact on the
adjudicative proceeding. Such responsive statements should be limited to contain only such information as
is necessary to mitigate undue prejudice created by the statements made by others.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Rule 3.6 is similar to DR 7-107, except as follows: First, Rule 3.6 adopts the general criteria of
"substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding" to describe impermissible
conduct. Second, Rule 3.6 transforms the particulars in DR 7-107 into an illustrative compilation that gives
fair notice of conduct ordinarily posing unacceptable dangers to the fair administration of justice. Finally,
Rule 3.6 omits DR 7-107(C)(7), which provided that a lawyer may reveal "[a]t the time of seizure, a
description of the physical evidence seized, other than a confession, admission or statement." Such revelations
may be substantially prejudicial and are frequently the subject of pretrial suppression motions, which, if
successful, may be circumvented by prior disclosure to the press.
(Amended September 8, 1999, effective January 1, 2000.)
Rule 3.7. LAWYER AS WITNESS.
(a) A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary
witness except where:
(1) the testimony relates to an uncontested issue;
(2) the testimony relates to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the case; or
(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.
(b) A lawyer may act as advocate in a trial in which another lawyer in the lawyer's firm is likely
to be called as a witness unless precluded from doing so by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9.
 Combining the roles of advocate and witness can prejudice the opposing party and can involve a
conflict of interest between the lawyer and client.
 The opposing party has proper objection where the combination of roles may prejudice that party's
rights in the litigation. A witness is required to testify on the basis of personal knowledge, while an advocate
is expected to explain and comment on evidence given by others. It may not be clear whether a statement by
an advocate-witness should be taken as proof or as an analysis of the proof.
 Paragraph (a)(1) recognizes that if the testimony will be uncontested, the ambiguities in the dual role
are purely theoretical. Paragraph (a)(2) recognizes that where the testimony concerns the extent and value
of legal services rendered in the action in which the testimony is offered, permitting the lawyers to testify
avoids the need for a second trial with new counsel to resolve that issue. Moreover, in such a situation the
judge has first hand knowledge of the matter in issue; hence, there is less dependence on the adversary process
to test the credibility of the testimony.
 Apart from these two exceptions, paragraph (a)(3) recognizes that a balancing is required between
the interests of the client and those of the opposing party. Whether the opposing party is likely to suffer
prejudice depends on the nature of the case, the importance and probable tenor of the lawyer's testimony, and
the probability that the lawyer's testimony will conflict with that of other witnesses. Even if there is risk of such
prejudice, in determining whether the lawyer should be disqualified due regard must be given to the effect of
disqualification on the lawyer's client. It is relevant that one or both parties could reasonably foresee that the
lawyer would probably be a witness. The principle of imputed disqualification stated in Rule 1.10 has no
application to this aspect of the problem.
 A recurring situation involves the lawyer as impeaching witness, that is, as the means by which
another witness' prior inconsistent statement is to be proved. In such a situation the need for such
impeachment should be foreseen not only in preparation for trial but even in advance of the initial witness
interview that produced the impeaching material. Cf. ABA Standards Relating to the Administration of
Criminal Justice, The Defense Function, Standard 4-43(d): "[T]he lawyer should avoid interviewing a
prospective witness except in the presence of a third person."
 Whether the combination of roles involves an improper conflict of interest with respect to the client
is determined by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9. For example, if there is likely to be substantial conflict between the
testimony of the client and that of the lawyer or a member of the lawyer's firm, the representation is improper.
The problem can arise whether the lawyer is called as a witness on behalf of the client or is called by the
opposing party. Determining whether or not such a conflict exists is primarily the responsibility of the lawyer
involved. See Comment to Rule 1.7. If a lawyer who is a member of a firm may not act as both advocate and
witness by reason of conflict of interest, Rule 1.10 disqualifies the firm also.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 5-102(A) prohibited a lawyer, or the lawyer's firm, from serving as advocate if the lawyer "learns or
it is obvious that [the lawyer] or a lawyer in his [or her] firm ought to be called as a witness on behalf of [the
lawyer's] client." DR 5-102(B) provided that a lawyer, and the lawyer's firm, may continue representation if
the "lawyer learns or it is obvious that [the lawyer] or a lawyer in his [or her] firm may be called as a witness
other than on behalf of [the lawyer's] client . . . until it is apparent that [the lawyer's] testimony is or may
be prejudicial to [the lawyer's] client." DR 5-101(B) permitted a lawyer to testify while representing a client:
"(1) If the testimony will relate solely to an uncontested matter; (2) If the testimony will relate solely to a
matter of formality and there is no reason to believe that substantial evidence will be offered in opposition to
the testimony; (3) If the testimony will relate solely to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the
case by the lawyer or [the lawyer's] firm to the client; (4) As to any matter if refusal would work a substantial
hardship on the client because of the distinctive value of the lawyer or [the lawyer's] firm as counsel in the
The exception stated in paragraph (a)(1) consolidates provisions of DR 5-101(B)(1) and (2). Testimony
relating to a formality, referred to in DR 5-101(B)(2), in effect defines the phrase "uncontested issue," and is
Rule 3.8. PERFORMING THE DUTY OF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR OR OTHER
A public prosecutor or other government lawyer shall:
(a) not institute or cause to be instituted criminal charges when [the prosecutor or government
lawyer] knows or it is obvious that the charges are not supported by probable cause; and
(b) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor
that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with
sentencing, disclose to the defense all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor,
except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal.
 A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate. This
responsibility carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and
that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence. Precisely how far the prosecutor is required to go
in this direction is a matter of debate and varies in different jurisdictions. Many jurisdictions have adopted
the ABA Standards of Criminal Justice Relating to Prosecution Function, which in turn are the product of
prolonged and careful deliberation by lawyers experienced in both criminal prosecution and defense. See also
Rule 3.3(d), governing ex parte proceedings. Applicable law may require other measures by the prosecutor
and knowing disregard of those obligations or a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion could constitute
a violation of Rule 8.4.
 The exception in paragraph (b) recognizes that a prosecutor may seek an appropriate protective order
from the tribunal if disclosure of information to the defense could result in substantial harm to an individual
or to the public interest.
 "Defense" as used in paragraph (b) refers to defense lawyer or defendant if unrepresented.
 See Rule 3.6(d) for restrictions on extrajudicial statements by investigators and other persons
employed by lawyers in criminal cases.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a) incorporates DR 7-103(A) verbatim. DR 7-103(B) provided that "[a] public prosecutor . . .
shall make timely disclosure . . . of the existence of evidence, known to the prosecutor . . . that tends to negate
the guilt of the accused, mitigate the degree of the offense, or reduce the punishment."
Rule 3.9. ADVOCATE IN NON-ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS.
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative or administrative body in a nonadjudicative
proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the
provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c), 3.4(a) through (e), and 3.5.
 In representation before bodies such as legislatures, municipal councils, and executive and
administrative agencies acting in a rule-making or policy-making capacity, lawyers present facts, formulate
issues and advance argument in the matters under consideration. The decision-making body, like a court,
should be able to rely on the integrity of the submissions made to it. A lawyer appearing before such a body
should deal with the tribunal honestly and in conformity with applicable rules of procedure.
 Lawyers have no exclusive right to appear before nonadjudicative bodies, as they do before a court.
The requirements of this rule therefore may subject lawyers to regulations inapplicable to advocates who are
not lawyers. However, legislatures and administrative agencies have a right to expect lawyers to deal with
them as they deal with courts.
 This rule does not apply to representation of a client in a negotiation or other bilateral transaction
with a governmental agency; representation in such a transaction is governed by Rules 4.1 through 4.4.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
EC 7-15 stated that a lawyer "appearing before an administrative agency, regardless of the nature of the
proceeding it is conducting, has the continuing duty to advance the cause of [the lawyer's] client within the
bounds of the law." EC 7-16 stated that "[w]hen a lawyer appears in connection with proposed legislation,
[the lawyer] . . . should comply with applicable laws and legislative rules." EC 8-5 stated that "[f]raudulent,
deceptive, or otherwise illegal conduct by a participant in a proceeding before a . . . legislative body . . .
should never be participated in . . . by lawyers." DR 7-106(B)(1) provided that "[i]n presenting a matter to
a tribunal, a lawyer shall disclose . . . [u]nless privileged or irrelevant, the identity of the clients [the lawyer]
represents and of the persons who employed [the lawyer]."
TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS
OTHER THAN CLIENTS
Rule 4.1. TRUTHFULNESS IN STATEMENTS TO OTHERS.
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or
(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting
a criminal or fraudulent act by a client.
 A lawyer is required to be truthful when dealing with others on a client's behalf, but generally has no
affirmative duty to inform an opposing party of relevant facts. A misrepresentation can occur if the lawyer
incorporates or affirms a statement of another person that the lawyer knows is false. Misrepresentations can
also occur by failure to act.
Statement of Fact
 This rule refers to statements of fact. Whether a particular statement should be regarded as one of fact
can depend on the circumstances. Under generally accepted conventions in negotiation, certain types of
statements ordinarily are not taken as statements of material fact. Estimates of price or value placed on the
subject of a transaction and a party's intentions as to an acceptable settlement of claim are in this category,
and so is the existence of an undisclosed principal except where nondisclosure of the principal would
Fraud by Client
 Paragraph (b) recognizes that substantive law may require a lawyer to disclose certain information
to avoid being deemed to have assisted the client's crime or fraud.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a) is substantially similar to DR 7-102(A)(5), which stated that "[i]n [the lawyer's]
representation of a client, a lawyer shall not . . . [k]nowingly make a false statement of law or fact."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 7-102(A)(3) provided that a lawyer shall not "[c]onceal or knowingly
fail to disclose that which [the lawyer] is required by law to reveal."
Rule 4.2. COMMUNICATION WITH PERSON REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL.
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation
with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer
has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized by law to do so.
 This rule does not prohibit communication with a represented person, or an employee or agent of such
a person, concerning matters outside the representation. For example, the existence of a controversy between
a government agency and a private party, or between two organizations, does not prohibit a lawyer for either
from communicating with nonlawyer representatives of the other regarding a separate matter. Also, parties
to a matter may communicate directly with each other and a lawyer having independent justification or legal
authority for communicating with a represented person is permitted to do so. Communications authorized by
law include, for example, the right of a party to a controversy with a government agency to speak with
government officials about the matter.
 Communications authorized by law also include constitutionally permissible investigative activities
of lawyers representing governmental entities, directly or through investigative agents, prior to the
commencement of criminal or civil enforcement proceedings, where there is applicable judicial precedent that
either has found the activity permissible under this Rule or has found this Rule inapplicable. However, the
Rule imposes ethical restrictions that go beyond those imposed by constitutional provisions.
 This Rule also applies to communications with any person whether or not a party to a formal
adjudicative proceeding, contract or negotiation, who is represented by counsel concerning the matter to
which the communication relates.
 In the case of an organization, this rule prohibits communications by a lawyer for another person or
entity concerning the matter in representation with persons having a managerial responsibility on behalf of
the organization, and with any other person whose act or omission in connection with that matter may be
imputed to the organization for purposes of civil or criminal liability or whose statement may constitute an
admission on the part of the organization. If an agent or employee of the organization is represented in the
matter by his or her own counsel, the consent by that counsel to a communication will be sufficient for
purposes of this rule. Compare HRPC 3.4(h).
 The prohibition on communications with a represented person only applies, however, in circumstances
where the lawyer knows that the person is in fact represented in the matter to be discussed. This means that
the lawyer has actual knowledge of the fact of the representation; but such actual knowledge may be inferred
from the circumstances. See Terminology. Such an inference may arise in circumstances where there is
substantial reason to believe that the person with whom communication is sought is represented in the matter
to be discussed. Thus, a lawyer cannot evade the requirement of obtaining the consent of counsel by closing
eyes to the obvious.
 In the event the person with whom the lawyer communicates is not known to be represented by counsel
in the matter, the lawyer's communications are subject to HRPC 4.3.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
This rule is substantially identical to DR 7-104(A)(1).
(Amended May 7, 2001, effective July 1, 2001.)
Rule 4.3. DEALING WITH UNREPRESENTED PERSON.
(a) In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall
not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. 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.
(b) During the course of [the lawyer's] representation of a client a lawyer shall not give advice to
a person who is not represented by a lawyer, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the interests
of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of [the
An unrepresented person, particularly one not experienced in dealing with legal matters, might assume
that a lawyer is disinterested in loyalties or is a disinterested authority on the law even when the lawyer
represents a client.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no direct counterpart to Paragraph [a] in the Hawai‘i Code. Paragraph [b] is taken verbatim
from DR 7-104(A)(2).
Rule 4.4. RESPECT FOR RIGHTS OF THIRD PERSONS.
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 use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the
legal rights of such a person.
Responsibility to a client requires a lawyer to subordinate the interests of others to those of the client, but
that responsibility does not imply that a lawyer may disregard the rights of third persons. It is impractical to
catalogue all such rights, but they include legal restrictions on methods of obtaining evidence from third
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 7-106(C)(2) provided that a lawyer shall not "[a]sk any question that [the lawyer] has no reasonable
basis to believe is relevant to the case and that is intended to degrade a witness or other person." DR
7-102(A)(1) provided that a lawyer shall not "take . . . action on behalf of his [or her] client when [the
lawyer] knows or when it is obvious that such action would serve merely to harass or maliciously injure
another." DR 7-108(D) provided that "[a]fter discharge of the jury . . . the lawyer shall not ask questions or
make comments to a member of that jury that are calculated merely to harass or embarrass the juror. . . ." DR
7-108(E) provided that a lawyer "shall not conduct . . . a vexatious or harassing investigation of either a
venireman or a juror."
LAW FIRMS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Rule 5.1. RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PARTNER OR SUPERVISORY LAWYER.
(a) A partner in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect
measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the rules of professional
(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.
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of the rules of professional conduct
(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
(2) the lawyer is a partner in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct
supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences
can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
 Paragraphs (a) and (b) refer to lawyers who have supervisory authority over the professional work
of a firm or legal department of a government agency. This includes members of a partnership and the
shareholders in a law firm organized as a professional corporation; lawyers having supervisory authority in
the law department of an enterprise or government agency; and lawyers who have intermediate managerial
responsibilities in a firm.
 The measures required to fulfill the responsibility prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) can depend
on the firm's structure and the nature of its practice. In a small firm, informal supervision and occasional
admonition ordinarily might be sufficient. In a large firm, or in practice situations in which intensely difficult
ethical problems frequently arise, more elaborate procedures may be necessary. Some firms, for example, have
a procedure whereby junior lawyers can make confidential referral of ethical problems directly to a
designated senior partner or special committee. See Rule 5.2. Firms, whether large or small, may also rely
on continuing legal education in professional ethics. In any event, the ethical atmosphere of a firm can
influence the conduct of all its members and a lawyer having authority over the work of another may not
assume that the subordinate lawyer will inevitably conform to the rules.
 Paragraph (c)(1) expresses a general principle of responsibility for acts of another. See also Rule
 Paragraph (c)(2) defines the duty of a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over performance
of specific legal work by another lawyer. Whether a lawyer has such supervisory authority in particular
circumstances is a question of fact. Partners of a private firm have at least indirect responsibility for all work
being done by the firm, while a partner in charge of a particular matter ordinarily has direct authority over
other firm lawyers engaged in the matter. Appropriate remedial action by a partner would depend on the
immediacy of the partners' involvement and the seriousness of the misconduct. The supervisor is required to
intervene to prevent avoidable consequences of misconduct if the supervisor knows that the misconduct
occurred. Thus, if a supervising lawyer knows that a subordinate misrepresented a matter to an opposing party
in negotiation, the supervisor as well as the subordinate has a duty to correct the resulting misapprehension.
A lawyer's knowledge of conduct referred to in (c)(2) means knowledge of the circumstances which render the
conduct a violation.
 Professional misconduct by a lawyer under supervision could reveal a violation of paragraph (b) on
the part of the supervisory lawyer even though it does not entail a violation of paragraph (c) because there
was no direction, ratification or knowledge of the violation.
 Apart from this rule and Rule 8.4(a), a lawyer does not have disciplinary liability for the conduct of
a partner, associate or subordinate. Whether a lawyer may be liable civilly or criminally for another lawyer's
conduct is a question of law beyond the scope of these rules.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no direct counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code. DR 1-103(A) provided that a lawyer
"possessing unprivileged knowledge of a violation of DR 1-102 shall report such knowledge to . . . authority
empowered to investigate or act upon such violation."
Rule 5.2. RESPONSIBILITIES OF A SUBORDINATE LAWYER.
(a) A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted
at the direction of another person.
(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
 Although a lawyer is not relieved of responsibility for a violation by the fact that the lawyer acted at
the direction of a supervisor, that fact may be relevant in determining whether a lawyer had the knowledge
required to render conduct a violation of the rules. For example, if a subordinate filed a frivolous pleading
at the direction of a supervisor, the subordinate would not be guilty of a professional violation unless the
subordinate knew of the document's frivolous character.
 When lawyers in a supervisor-subordinate relationship encounter a matter involving professional
judgment as to ethical duty, the supervisor may assume responsibility for making the judgment. Otherwise a
consistent course of action or position could not be taken. If the question can reasonably be answered only
one way, the duty of both lawyers is clear and they are equally responsible for fulfilling it. However, if the
question is reasonably arguable, someone has to decide upon the course of action. That authority ordinarily
reposes in the supervisor, and a subordinate may be guided accordingly. For example, if a question arises
whether the interests of two clients conflict under Rule 1.7, the supervisor's reasonable resolution of the
question should protect the subordinate professionally if the resolution is subsequently challenged.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code.
Rule 5.3. RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING NONLAWYER ASSISTANTS.
With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:
(a) A partner in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm 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 lawyers; and
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that would be a violation of the rules
of professional conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved;
(2) the lawyer is a partner in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct
supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can
be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
Lawyers generally employ assistants in their practice, including secretaries, investigators, law student
interns, and paraprofessionals. Such assistants, whether employees or independent contractors, act for the
lawyer in rendition of the lawyer's professional services. A lawyer should give such assistants appropriate
instruction and supervision concerning the ethical aspects of their employment, particularly regarding the
obligation not to disclose information relating to representation of the client, and should be responsible for
their work product. The measures employed in supervising nonlawyers should take account of the fact that they
do not have legal training and are not subject to professional discipline.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no direct counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code. DR 4-101(D) provided that 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. . . ." DR 7-107(J)
provided that "[a] lawyer shall exercise reasonable care to prevent [the lawyer's] employees and associates
from making an extrajudicial statement that [the lawyer] would be prohibited from making under DR 7-107."
(Amended effective November 18, 1994.)
Rule 5.4. PROFESSIONAL INDEPENDENCE OF A LAWYER.
(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, 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; and
(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.
(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the
partnership consist of the practice of law.
(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
(d) Except as otherwise permitted by the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i, a
lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized
to practice law for a profit, if:
(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of
a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;
(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof; or
(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.
 The provisions of this rule express traditional limitations on sharing fees. These limitations are to
protect the lawyer's professional independence of judgment. Where someone other than the client pays the
lawyer's fee or salary, or recommends employment of the lawyer, that arrangement does not modify the
lawyer's obligation to the client. As stated in paragraph (c), such arrangements should not interfere with the
lawyer's professional judgment.
 Subsection (b) only applies if legal services are sold by the partnership to third persons or entities
other than the partnership itself.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
Paragraph (a) is similar but not identical to DR 3-102(A).
Paragraph (b) is substantially identical to DR 3-103(A).
Paragraph (c) is substantially identical to DR 5-107(B).
Paragraph (d) is substantially identical to DR 5-107(C) of the Model Code but was not in the Hawai‘i
(Amended February 4, 2000, effective July 1, 2000).
Rule 5.5. UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) practice law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in
that jurisdiction; or
(b) assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activity that constitutes
the unauthorized practice of law; or
(c) allow any person who has been suspended or disbarred and who maintains a presence in an
office where the practice of law is conducted by the lawyer to have any contact with the clients of the
lawyer either in person, by telephone, or in writing or to have any contact with persons who have legal
dealings with the office either in person, by telephone, or in writing.
The definition of the practice of law is established by law and varies from one jurisdiction to another.
Whatever the definition, limiting the practice of law to members of the bar protects the public against rendition
of legal services by unqualified persons. Paragraph (b) does not prohibit a lawyer from employing the services
of paraprofessionals and delegating functions to them, so long as the lawyer supervises the delegated work
and retains responsibility for their work. See Rule 5.3. Likewise, it does not prohibit lawyers from providing
professional advice and instruction to nonlawyers whose employment requires knowledge of law; for example,
claims adjusters, employees of financial or commercial institutions, social workers, accountants and persons
employed in government agencies. In addition, a lawyer may counsel nonlawyers who wish to proceed pro se.
Paragraph (c) prohibits an attorney who employs or otherwise utilizes a lawyer who is suspended or
disbarred, or who resigned in lieu of discipline, from allowing that lawyer to have any contact with the
attorney's clients or others who have legal dealing with the attorney's office. In order to protect the public,
strict prohibitions are essential to prevent permissible paralegal activities from crossing the line to giving
legal advice, taking fees, or misleading clients and others who deal with the attorney's office.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), DR 3-101(B) of the Hawai‘i Code provided that "[a] lawyer shall not
practice law in the State of Hawai‘i unless [the lawyer] is licensed by the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i to do so
except that any lawyer may be permitted to associate himself with a member of the bar of the State of Hawai‘i
in the presentation of a specific case at the discretion of the presiding judge or judges as authorized by Rule
1(d) of the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 3-101(A) of the Hawai‘i Code provided that "[a] lawyer shall not aid
a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law."
(Amended June 8, 2001, effective July 1, 2001.)
Rule 5.6. RESTRICTIONS ON RIGHT TO PRACTICE.
A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
(a) a partnership or employment agreement that restricts the rights of a lawyer to practice after
termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or
(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement
of a controversy between private parties.
 An agreement restricting the right of partners or associates to practice after leaving a firm not only
limits their professional autonomy but also limits the freedom of clients to choose a lawyer. Paragraph (a)
prohibits such agreements except for restrictions incident to provisions concerning retirement benefits for
service with the firm.
 Paragraph (b) prohibits a lawyer from agreeing not to represent other persons in connection with
settling a claim on behalf of a client.
 This rule does not apply to prohibit restrictions that may be included in the terms of the sale of a law
practice pursuant to Rule 1.17.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
This rule is substantially similar to DR 2-108.
Rule 6.1. PRO BONO SERVICE.
A lawyer should aspire to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono services per year. In fulfilling this
responsibility, the lawyer should:
(a) provide at least 25 hours of legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:
(1) persons of limited means or
(2) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters
which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; and
(b) provide any additional services through:
(1) delivery of legal services at no fee or substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or
organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable,
religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of
their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete
the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;
(2) delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or
(3) participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.
(c) In lieu of providing 50 hours of pro bono service, a lawyer may exercise his or her desire to provide
pro bono services by contributing at least $500 each year to the Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation, or an entity that
provides legal services at no fee, or at a significantly reduced fee, to persons of limited means.
(d) In addition to performing pro bono services or contributing under subsection (c) each year, a lawyer
should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited
 Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional work load, has a responsibility
to provide legal services to those unable to pay, and personal involvement in the problems of the
disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer. This rule urges all lawyers
to provide a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono services annually. It is recognized that in some years a lawyer
may render greater or fewer hours than the annual standard specified, but during the course of his or her legal
career, each lawyer should render on average per year, the number of hours set forth in this rule. Services
can be performed in civil matters or in criminal or quasi-criminal matters for which there is no government
obligation to provide funds for legal representation, such as post-conviction death penalty appeal cases.
 Paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) recognize the critical need for legal services that exists among persons of
limited means by providing that at least 25 hours of the legal services rendered annually to the disadvantaged
be furnished without fee or expectation of fee. Legal services under these paragraphs consist of a full range
of activities, including individual and class representation, the provision of legal advice, legislative lobbying,
administrative rule making, and the provision of free training or mentoring to those who represent persons
of limited means. The variety of these activities should facilitate participation by government attorneys, even
when restrictions exist on their engaging in the outside practice of law.
 Persons eligible for legal services under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) are those who qualify for
participation in programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation and those whose incomes and financial
resources are slightly above the guidelines utilized by such programs but nevertheless, cannot afford counsel.
Legal services can be rendered to individuals or to organizations such as homeless shelters, battered women's
centers and food pantries that serve those of limited means.
 Because service must be provided without fee or expectation of fee, the intent of the lawyer to render
free legal services is essential for the work performed to fall within the meaning of paragraphs (a)(1) and (2).
Accordingly, services rendered cannot be considered pro bono if an anticipated fee is uncollected, but the
award of statutory attorneys' fees in a case originally accepted as pro bono would not disqualify such services
from inclusion under this section. Lawyers who do receive fees in such cases are encouraged to contribute an
appropriate portion of such fees to organizations, programs, or projects that benefit persons of limited means.
 While it is possible for a lawyer to fulfill the annual responsibility to perform pro bono services
exclusively through activities described in paragraphs (a) and (b), to the extent that any hours of service
remained unfulfilled, a monetary contribution in accordance with paragraph (c) replaces services described
by (a) and (b).
 Paragraph (b)(1) includes the provision of certain types of legal services to those whose incomes and
financial resources place them above limited means. It also permits the pro bono attorney to accept a
substantially reduced fee for services. Examples of the types of issues that may be addressed under this
paragraph include First Amendment claims, Title VII claims and environmental protection claims.
Additionally, a wide range of organizations may be represented, including social service, medical research,
cultural and religious groups.
 Paragraph (b)(2) covers instances in which attorneys agree to and receive a modest fee for furnishing
legal services to persons of limited means. Participation in judicare programs and acceptance of court
appointments in which the fee is substantially below a lawyer's usual rate are encouraged under this section.
 Paragraph (b)(3) recognizes the value of lawyers engaging in activities that improve the law, the legal
system or the legal profession. Serving on bar association committees, serving on boards of pro bono or legal
services programs, taking part in Law Day activities, acting as a continuing legal education instructor, a
mediator or an arbitrator, and engaging in legislative lobbying to improve the law, the legal system or the
profession are a few examples of the many activities that fall within this paragraph.
 Because the provision of pro bono services is a professional responsibility, it is the individual ethical
commitment of each lawyer. Unlike the Model ABA Rule, paragraph (c) expressly allows a lawyer to exercise
his or her desire to provide pro bono service through annual financial contributions to the Hawaiʻi Justice
Foundation or other qualified entities for the support of organizations that provide free or significantly
reduced fee legal services to persons of limited means. While the personal involvement of each lawyer in the
provision of pro bono services is generally preferable, such personal involvement may not always be possible.
The annual contribution alternative allows a lawyer to provide financial assistance to increase and improve
the delivery of pro bono services when a lawyer cannot or decides not to provide pro bono services through
the contribution of time. Also, there is no prohibition against a lawyer’s contributing a combination of hours
and financial support.
 Because the efforts of individual lawyers are not enough to meet the need for free legal services that
exists among persons of limited means, there are organizations, programs, and projects that have been
instituted to provide those services. Paragraph (d) encourages every lawyer to financially support
organizations, programs, and projects that benefit persons of limited means, in addition to, and not as a
substitute for, providing pro bono services, or making financial contributions annually to the Hawaiʻi Justice
Foundation or other qualified entities when pro bono service is not feasible.
 The responsibility set forth in this rule is not intended to be enforced through disciplinary process.
(Amended December 13, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.)
Rule 6.2. ACCEPTING APPOINTMENTS.
A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good
cause, such as:
(a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or
(b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or
(c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer
relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.
 A lawyer ordinarily is not obliged to accept a client whose character or cause the lawyer regards as
repugnant. The lawyer's freedom to select clients is, however, qualified. All lawyers have a responsibility to
assist in providing pro bono publico service. See Rule 6.1. An individual lawyer fulfills this responsibility by
accepting a fair share of unpopular matters or indigent or unpopular clients. A lawyer may also be subject
to appointment by a court to serve unpopular clients or persons unable to afford legal services.
 For good cause a lawyer may seek to decline an appointment to represent a person who cannot afford
to retain counsel or whose cause is unpopular. Good cause exists if the lawyer could not handle the matter
competently, see Rule 1.1, or if undertaking the representation would result in an improper conflict of interest,
for example, when the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the
client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client. A lawyer may also seek to decline an
appointment if acceptance would be unreasonably burdensome, for example, when it would impose a financial
sacrifice so great as to be unjust.
 An appointed lawyer has the same obligations to the client as retained counsel, including the
obligations of loyalty and confidentiality, and is subject to the same limitations on the client-lawyer
relationship, such as the obligation to refrain from assisting the client in violation of the rules. Employment
as a government attorney can be good cause to avoid appointment by a tribunal.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 2-29 stated that
when a lawyer is "appointed by a court to undertake representation of a person unable to obtain counsel,
whether for financial or other reasons, [the lawyer] should not seek to be excused from undertaking the
representation except for compelling reasons. Compelling reasons do not include such factors as the
repugnance of the subject matter of the proceeding, the identity or position of a person involved in the case,
the belief of the lawyer that the defendant in a criminal proceeding is guilty, or the belief of the lawyer
regarding the merits of the civil case." EC 2-30 stated that "a lawyer should decline employment if the
intensity of [the lawyer's] personal feelings, as distinguished from a community attitude, may impair [the
lawyer's] effective representation of a prospective client."
(Amended effective November 18, 1994.)
Rule 6.3. MEMBERSHIP IN LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATION.
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 or action would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations
to a client under Rule 1.7; or
(b) where the decision or action could have a material adverse effect on the representation of a
client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.
 Lawyers should be encouraged to support and participate in legal service organizations. A lawyer who
is an officer or a member of such an organization does not thereby have a client-lawyer relationship with
persons served by the organization. However, there is potential conflict between the interests of such persons
and the interests of the lawyer's clients. If the possibility of such conflict disqualified a lawyer from serving
on the board of a legal services organization, the profession's involvement in such organizations would be
 It may be necessary in appropriate cases to reassure a client of the organization that the
representation will not be affected by conflicting loyalties of a member of the board. Established, written
policies in this respect can enhance the credibility of such assurances.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code.
Rule 6.4. LAW REFORM ACTIVITIES AFFECTING CLIENT INTERESTS.
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 benefitted by a decision
in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact to the organization but need not
identify the client.
Lawyers involved in organizations seeking law reform generally do not have a client-lawyer relationship
with the organization. Otherwise, it might follow that a lawyer could not be involved in a bar association law
reform program that might indirectly affect a client. See also Rule 1.2(b). For example, a lawyer specializing
in antitrust litigation might be regarded as disqualified from participating in drafting revisions of rules
governing that subject. In determining the nature and scope of participation in such activities, a lawyer should
be mindful of obligations to clients under other rules, particularly Rule 1.7. A lawyer is professionally
obligated to protect the integrity of the program by making an appropriate disclosure within the organization
when the lawyer knows a private client might be materially benefitted. This rule applies to lawyers who are
also lobbyists and legislators.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code.
Rule 6.5. NONPROFIT AND COURT-ANNEXED LIMITED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS.
(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:
(1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves
a conflict of interest; and
(2) is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law
firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this
 Legal services organizations, courts, and various nonprofit organizations have established
programs through which lawyers provide short-term limited legal services–such as advice or the completion
of legal forms–that will assist persons to address their legal problems without further representation by a
lawyer. In these programs, such as legal-advice hotlines, advice-only clinics or pro se counseling programs,
a lawyer-client relationship is established, but there is no expectation that the lawyer’s representation of the
client will continue beyond the limited consultation. Such programs are normally operated under
circumstances in which it is not feasible for a lawyer to systematically screen for conflicts of interest as is
generally required before undertaking a representation. See, e.g., Rules 1.7, 1.9 and 1.10.
 A lawyer who provides short-term limited legal services pursuant to this Rule must secure the
client’s informed consent to the limited scope of the representation. See Rule 1.2(c). If a short-term limited
representation would not be reasonable under the circumstances, the lawyer may offer advice to the client but
must also advise the client of the need for further assistance of counsel. Except as provided in this Rule, the
Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c), are applicable to the limited representation.  Because a lawyer who is representing a client in the circumstances addressed by this Rule ordinarily
is not able to check systematically for conflicts of interest, paragraph (a) requires compliance with Rules 1.7
or 1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation presents a conflict of interest for the lawyer, and
with Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer in the lawyer’s firm is disqualified by Rules 1.7
or 1.9(a) in the matter.
 Because the limited nature of the services significantly reduces the risk of conflicts of interest with
other matters being handled by the lawyer’s firm, paragraph (b) provides that Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a
representation governed by this Rule except as provided by paragraph (a)(2). Paragraph (a)(2) requires the
participating lawyer to comply with Rule 1.10 when the lawyer knows that the lawyer’s firm is disqualified
by Rules 1.7 or 1.9(a). By virtue of paragraph (b), however, a lawyer’s participation in a short-term limited
legal services program will not preclude the lawyer’s firm from undertaking or continuing the representation
of a client with interests adverse to a client being represented under the program’s auspices. Nor will the
personal disqualification of a lawyer participating in the program be imputed to other lawyers participating
in the program.
 If, after commencing short-term limited representation in accordance with this Rule, a lawyer
undertakes to represent the client in the matter on an ongoing basis, Rules 1.7, 1.9(a) and 1.10 become
(Added December 13, 2011, effective January 1, 2012.)
Rule 7.1. COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING A LAWYER'S SERVICES.
A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's
services. A communication is false or misleading if it:
(a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the
statement considered as a whole not materially misleading;
(b) is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or
implies that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the rules of professional conduct or
other law; or
(c) compares the lawyer's services with other lawyer's services, unless the comparison can be
This rule governs all communications about a lawyer's services, including advertising permitted by Rule
7.2. Whatever means are used to make known a lawyer's services, statements about them should be truthful.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 2-101(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not . . . use or participate in the use of any form of public
communication containing a false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement or claim." DR 2-101(B)
listed in seven subsections examples of false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statements or claims. DR
2-101(C) prohibited a lawyer's use of a public communication (1) which "[i]s intended or is likely to result
in a legal action or in a legal position being asserted merely to harass or maliciously injure another," (2)
containing "statistical data or other information based on past performance or predictions of future success,"
(3) containing "a statement of opinion as to the quality of the services or . . . a representation or implication
regarding the quality of legal services which is not susceptible of reasonable verification by the public," or
(4) which "appeals primarily to a layperson's fear, greed, desire for revenge, or similar emotion."
Rule 7.2. ADVERTISING.
(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through
public media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical, outdoor
advertising, radio, or television, or through written or recorded communication.
(b) A copy or recording of an advertisement or communication shall be kept for two years after
its last dissemination along with a record of when and where it was used.
(c) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services
except that a lawyer may:
(1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule;
(2) pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or qualified legal assistance
organization, which charges, in addition to any referral fee, may include a fee calculated as a
percentage of legal fees earned by the lawyer to whom the service or organization has referred a
matter, provided that any such percentage fee shall be used only to pay the reasonable operating
expenses of the service or organization and to fund public service activities of the service or
organization, including the delivery of pro bono legal services; and
(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17.
(d) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name of at least one lawyer
responsible for its content.
 To assist the public in obtaining legal services, lawyers should be allowed to make known their
services not only through reputation but also through organized information campaigns in the form of
advertising. Advertising involves an active quest for clients, contrary to the tradition that a lawyer should not
seek clientele. However, the public's need to know about legal services can be fulfilled in part through
advertising. This need is particularly acute in the case of persons of moderate means who have not made
extensive use of legal services. The interest in expanding public information about legal services ought to
prevail over considerations of tradition. Nevertheless, advertising by lawyers entails the risk of practices that
are misleading or overreaching.
 This rule permits public dissemination of information concerning a lawyer's name or firm name,
address and telephone number; the kinds of services the lawyer will undertake; the basis on which the lawyer's
fees are determined, including prices for specific services and payment and credit arrangements; a lawyer's
foreign language ability; names of references and, with their consent, names of clients regularly represented;
and other information that might invite the attention of those seeking legal assistance.
 Questions of effectiveness and taste in advertising are matters of speculation and subjective judgment.
Some jurisdictions have had extensive prohibitions against television advertising, against advertising going
beyond specified facts about a lawyer, or against "undignified" advertising. Television is now one of the most
powerful media for getting information to the public, particularly persons of low and moderate income;
prohibiting television advertising, therefore, would impede the flow of information about legal services to
many sectors of the public. Limiting the information that may be advertised has a similar effect and assumes
that the bar can accurately forecast the kind of information that the public would regard as relevant.
 Neither this rule nor Rule 7.3 prohibits communications authorized by law, such as notice to members
of a class in class action litigation.
Record of Advertising
 Paragraph (b) requires that a record of the content and use of advertising be kept in order to facilitate
enforcement of this rule. It does not require that advertising be subject to review prior to dissemination. Such
a requirement would be burdensome and expensive relative to its possible benefits, and may be of doubtful
Paying Others to Recommend a Lawyer
 A lawyer is allowed to pay for advertising permitted by this rule and for the purchase of a law practice
in accordance with the provisions of Rule 1.17, but otherwise is not permitted to pay another person for
channeling professional work. This restriction does not prevent an organization or person other than the
lawyer from advertising or recommending the lawyer's services. Thus, a legal aid agency or prepaid legal
services plan may pay to advertise legal services provided under its auspices. Likewise, a lawyer may
participate in not-for-profit lawyer referral programs and pay the usual fees changed by such programs.
Paragraph (c) does not prohibit paying regular compensation to an assistant, such as a secretary, to prepare
communications permitted by this rule.
See the Terminology section for the definition of "qualified legal assistance organization" reference in
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), there was no direct counterpart in the Hawai‘i Code, although DR 2-102(A)
provided that a lawyer "shall not use or participate in the use of a professional card, professional
announcement card, office sign, letterhead, telephone directory listing, law list, legal directory listing, or
similar professional notice, or device if it includes a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading,
or deceptive within the meaning of DR 2-101(B) or DR 2-101(C)."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 2-101(D) provided that "[i]f the paid advertisement is communicated
to the public by use of radio or television, it shall be pre-recorded, approved for broadcast by the lawyer and
a recording of the actual transmission shall be retained by the lawyer." DR 2-101(D) provided that a paid
advertisement "must be identified as such unless it is apparent from the context that it is a paid advertisement."
With regard to paragraph (c), DR 2-103(D) provided that a lawyer "shall not compensate or give anything
of value to a person or organization to recommend or secure the lawyer's employment by a client, or as a
reward for having made a recommendation resulting in the lawyer's employment by a client, except that the
lawyer may pay for public communications permitted by DR 2-101 and the usual and reasonable fees or dues
charged by a lawyer referral service operated, sponsored, or approved by a bar association." DR 2-101(D)
provided that a lawyer "shall not compensate or give anything of value to a representative of the press, radio,
television, or other communication medium in anticipation of or in return for professional publicity in a news
There were no counterparts to paragraphs (c)(3) and (d) in the Hawai‘iCode.
(Amended August 19, 2008, effective January 1, 2009.)
Rule 7.3. DIRECT CONTACT WITH PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS.
(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person or live telephone contact solicit professional employment from
a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior professional relationship when a
significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain.
(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written or
recorded communication or by in-person or telephone contact even when not otherwise prohibited by
paragraph (a), if:
(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer;
(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.
(c) Every written or recorded communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment
from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior professional relationship shall
be subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.2 and shall include the words "Advertising Material"
(1) on the outside envelope and at the top of the first page of the contents of the envelope, and (2) at
the beginning and ending of any recorded communication. A sample copy of any written or recorded
communication directed by a lawyer to one or more prospective clients for purposes of seeking or
recommending employment shall be simultaneously forwarded by the lawyer to the Office of
(d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or
group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer which uses
in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who
are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
(e) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client on the lawyer's
behalf or on behalf of anyone associated with the lawyer if:
(1) the communication concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death involving the
person to whom the communication is addressed or a relative of that person, unless the personal injury
or wrongful death occurred more than thirty (30) days prior to the sending of the communication; or
(2) the lawyer knows or should know that the physical, emotional, or mental state of the person
makes it unlikely that the person would exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer.
(f) Written communications to prospective clients for the purpose of soliciting professional
employment are subject to the following requirements:
(1) written communications to prospective clients shall be sent only by regular U.S. mail, not by
registered mail or other forms of restricted delivery, and not by facsimile or e-mail
(2) if a contract for representation is sent with the written communication, the top of each page of
the contract shall be marked "SAMPLE" in red ink in a type size one size larger than the largest used
in the contract and the words "DO NOT SIGN" shall appear on the client signature line;
(3) written communications shall not resemble legal pleadings or other legal documents;
(4) any written communication prompted by a specific occurrence shall disclose how the lawyer
obtained the information prompting the communication; and
(5) any written communication shall not reveal the nature of the prospective client's legal problem
on the outside of the mailing.
 There is a potential for abuse inherent in direct in-person or live telephone contact by a lawyer with
a prospective client known to need legal services. These forms of contact between a lawyer and a prospective
client subject the layperson to the private importuning of the trained advocate in a direct interpersonal
encounter. The prospective client, who may already feel overwhelmed by the circumstances giving rise to the
need for legal services, may find it difficult fully to evaluate all available alternatives with reasoned judgment
and appropriate self-interest in the face of the lawyer's presence and insistence upon being retained
immediately. The situation is fraught with the possibility of undue influence, intimidation, and over-reaching.
 This potential for abuse inherent in direct in-person or live telephone solicitation of prospective clients
justifies its prohibition, particularly since lawyer advertising and written and recorded communication
permitted under Rule 7.2 offer alternative means of conveying necessary information to those who may be in
need of legal services. Advertising and written and recorded communications which may be mailed or
autodialed make it possible for a prospective client to be informed about the need for legal services, and about
the qualifications of available lawyers and law firms, without subjecting the prospective client to direct
in-person or telephone persuasion that may overwhelm the client's judgment.
 The use of general advertising and written and recorded communications to transmit information from
lawyer to prospective client, rather than direct in-person or live telephone contact, will help to assure that the
information flows cleanly as well as freely. The contents of advertisements and communications permitted
under Rule 7.2 are permanently recorded so that they cannot be disputed and may be shared with others who
know the lawyer. This potential for informal review is itself likely to help guard against statements and claims
that might constitute false and misleading communications, in violation of Rule 7.1. The contents of direct
in-person or live telephone conversations between a lawyer to a prospective client can be disputed and are
not subject to third-party scrutiny. Consequently, they are much more likely to approach (and occasionally
cross) the dividing line between accurate representations and those that are false and misleading.
 There is far less likelihood that a lawyer would engage in abusive practices against an individual with
whom the lawyer has a prior personal or professional relationship or where the lawyer is motivated by
considerations other than the lawyer's pecuniary gain. Consequently, the general prohibition in Rule 7.3(a)
and the requirements of Rule 7.3(c) are not applicable in those situations.
 But even permitted forms of solicitation can be abused. Thus, any solicitation which contains
information which is false or misleading within the meaning of Rule 7.1, which involves coercion, duress or
harassment within the meaning of Rule 7.3(b)(2), or which involves contact with a prospective client who has
made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer within the meaning of Rule 7.3(b)(1) is
prohibited. Moreover, if after sending a letter or other communication to a client as permitted by Rule 7.2 the
lawyer receives no response, any further effort to communicate with the prospective client may violate the
provisions of Rule 7.3(b).
 This rule is not intended to prohibit a lawyer from contacting representatives of organizations or
groups that may be interested in establishing a group or prepaid legal plan for their members, insureds,
beneficiaries or other third parties for the purpose of informing such entities of the availability of and details
concerning the plan or arrangement which the lawyer or lawyer's firm is willing to offer. This form of
communication is not directed to a prospective client. Rather, it is usually addressed to an individual acting
in a fiduciary capacity seeking a supplier of legal services for others who may, if they choose, become
prospective clients of the lawyer. Under these circumstances, the activity which the lawyer undertakes in
communicating with such representatives and the type of information transmitted to the individual are
functionally similar and serve the same purpose as advertising permitted under Rule 7.2.
 The requirement in Rule 7.3(c) that certain communications be marked "Advertising Material" does
not apply to communications sent in response to requests of potential clients or their spokespersons or
sponsors. General announcements by lawyers, including changes in personnel or office location, do not
constitute communications soliciting professional employment from a client known to be in need of legal
services within the meaning of this rule.
 Paragraph (d) of this rule would permit an attorney to participate with an organization which uses
personal contact to solicit members for its group or prepaid legal service plan, provided that the personal
contact is not undertaken by any lawyer who would be a provider of legal services through the plan. The
organization referred to in paragraph (d) must not be owned by or directed (whether as manager or otherwise)
by any lawyer or law firm that participates in the plan. For example, paragraph (d) would not permit a lawyer
to create an organization controlled directly or indirectly by the lawyer and use the organization for the
in-person or telephone solicitation of legal employment of the lawyer through memberships in the plan or
otherwise. The communication permitted by these organizations also must not be directed to a person known
to need legal services in a particular matter, but is to be designed to inform potential plan members generally
of another means of affordable legal services. Lawyers who participate in a legal service plan must reasonably
assure that the plan sponsors are in compliance with Rules 7.1, 7.2, 7.3(b), and 7.3(e). See 8.4(a).
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), DR 2-103(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not seek or recommend, by
telephone or other form of in person contact, employment as a private practitioner . . . from a non-lawyer who
has not sought his or her advice regarding employment of a lawyer, nor shall a lawyer assist another person
in so doing."
With regard to paragraph (b), DR 2-104(A) provided that "[a] lawyer who has given unsolicited advice
to a layperson that [the layperson] should obtain legal counsel or take legal action shall not accept
employment resulting from that advice if " (1) the advice contains "a statement or claim that is false,
fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive . . .," or (2) the advice involves the lawyer's use of "coercion, duress,
compulsion, intimidation, threats, unwarranted promises of benefits, overpersuasion, overreaching, or
vexatious or harassing conduct."
With regard to paragraph (c), DR 2-103(B) provided as follows:
Every written communication from a lawyer seeking professional employment from a nonlawyer who has
not sought the lawyer's advice regarding employment of a lawyer shall be subject to the requirements of DR
2-101 and DR 2-102, and shall include the words "Advertising Material" on the outside envelope and at the
top of the first page of the contents of the envelope. A sample copy of any written communication sent by a
lawyer to one or more prospective clients for purposes of seeking or recommending employment shall be
simultaneously forwarded by the lawyer to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
With regard to paragraph (d), DR 2-103(A) provided that "[t]his Disciplinary Rule does not prohibit a
lawyer . . . from requesting referrals from a lawyer referral service operated, sponsored, or approved by a
bar association or from cooperating with any other qualified legal assistance organization."
(Amended September 8, 1999, effective January 1, 2000; further amended December 5, 2001,
effective January 1, 2002.)
Rule 7.4. COMMUNICATION OF FIELDS OF PRACTICE AND CERTIFICATION.
A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields
of law. A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer has been recognized or certified as a specialist
in a particular field of law, except as follows:
(a) a lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark
Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation;
(b) a lawyer engaged in Admiralty practice may use the designation "Admiralty," "Proctor in
Admiralty," or a substantially similar designation; and
(c) a lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer is certified as a specialist in a field of law
by a named organization, provided that the communication (i) is not false or misleading within the
meaning of Rule 7.1, (ii) clearly states the name of the certifying organization, and (iii) is
accompanied by a statement that "The Supreme Court of Hawai‘i grants Hawai‘i certification only to
lawyers in good standing who have successfully completed a specialty program accredited by the
American Bar Association."
 This rule permits a lawyer to indicate areas of practice in communications about the lawyer's services.
If a lawyer practices only in certain fields, or will not accept matters in a specified field or fields, the lawyer
is permitted to so indicate. Language indicating that a lawyer "concentrates in," "practices primarily in,"
"emphasizes," or "limits practice to" certain law areas is permitted. In addition, a lawyer is generally
permitted to state that the lawyer is a "specialist," practices a "specialty," or "specializes in" particular fields,
but such communications are subject to the "false and misleading" standard applied in Rule 7.1 to
communications concerning a lawyer's services.
 However, a lawyer may not communicate that the lawyer is recognized or certified as a specialist in
a particular field of law, except as provided by this rule. Recognition of specialization in patent matters is a
matter of long-established policy of the Patent and Trademark Office, as reflected in paragraph (a).
Paragraph (b) recognizes that designation of admiralty practice has a long historical tradition associated with
maritime commerce and the federal courts.
 The rule requires, inter alia, that a lawyer clearly state the name of the certifying organization and
that the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i certifies only those who have completed ABA accredited certification
procedures. Otherwise, the consumer may be misled as to the significance of the lawyer's status as a certified
specialist. Since lawyer advertising through public media and written or recorded communications invites the
greatest danger of misleading consumers, the limitations of the certification process must be clearly stated
in advertising that communicates the certification.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 2-105(A)(1) provided that a lawyer "shall not hold himself [or herself] out publicly as, or imply that
[the lawyer] is, a recognized or certified specialist, except" that (i) a lawyer "admitted to practice before the
United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation 'Patents,' 'Patent Attorney,' 'Patent
Lawyer,' or any combination of those terms," (ii) a lawyer "engaged in the trademark practice may use the
designation 'Trademarks,' 'Trademark Attorney,' or 'Trademark Lawyer,' or any combination of those terms,"
and (iii) a lawyer "engaged in the admiralty practice may use the designation 'Admiralty,' 'Proctor in
Admiralty,' or 'Admiralty Lawyer,' or any combination of those terms," on their letterhead and office signs.
DR 2-105(A)(2) provided that a lawyer "may communicate that the lawyer is certified as a specialist in
a field of practice when that communication does not include a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent,
misleading, or deceptive within the meaning of DR 2-101(C), and provided that each such communication is
accompanied by a disclaimer which states: 'The State of Hawai‘i does not review or approve certifying
DR 2-105(B) provided that a "statement, announcement, or holding out as limiting practice to a particular
area or field of law does not constitute a violation of DR 2-105(A) if the statement, announcement, or holding
out complies with the designations and definitions authorized by the Disciplinary Board . . . and does not
include a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive . . . . "
EC 2-14 stated that a lawyer "should not be permitted to hold himself [or herself] out as a specialist or
as having official recognition as a specialist, other than in the fields of admiralty, trademark, and patent law,
where a holding out as a specialist historically has been permitted," but that a lawyer may indicate, "if it is
factual, a limitation of [the lawyer's] practice or that [the lawyer] practices in one or more particular areas
or fields of law . . . which will assist laypersons in selecting counsel. . . ."
(Amended effective July 1, 1999.)
Rule 7.5. FIRM NAMES AND LETTERHEADS.
(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 may use as, or continue to include in, its name the name or names of one or more
deceased or retired partners of the firm in a continuing line of succession; provided that where none
of the names comprising a firm name is the name of a current partner who is on the list of active
attorneys maintained by theHawai‘i State Bar, there shall be at least one supervisor, manager, partner,
or shareholder of the firm who is on the list of active attorneys maintained by the bar.
(c) The name of a professional law corporation or limited liability law company, limited liability
law partnership or other such lawful organization shall include the words "A Law Corporation," "A
Limited Liability Law Company," "A Limited Liability Law Partnership," or other appropriate
designation, whenever applicable.
(d) A lawyer who assumes a judicial or public executive or administrative post or office shall not
permit the lawyer's name to remain in the name of a law firm or to be used in professional notices of
or public communications by the firm during any significant period in which the lawyer is not actively
and regularly practicing law as a partner of the firm, and during such period other partners and
associates of the firm shall not use the lawyer's name in the firm name or in professional notices of
or public communications by the firm.
(e) A law firm shall not be formed or continued between or among lawyers licensed in different
jurisdictions unless all enumerations of the partners, associates, and "of counsel" lawyers of the firm
on its letterhead and in other permissible listings make clear the jurisdictional limitations on those
partners, associates, and "of counsel" lawyers of the firm not licensed to practice in all listed
(f) Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when
that is the fact.
 A firm may be designated by the names of all or some of its members, by the names of deceased
members where there has been a continuing succession in the firm's identity or by a trade name such as the
"ABC Legal Clinic." Although the United States Supreme Court has held that legislation may prohibit the use
of trade names in professional practice, use of such names in law practice is acceptable so long as it is not
misleading. If a private firm uses a trade name that includes a geographical name such as "Springfield Legal
Clinic," an express disclaimer that it is not a public legal aid agency may be required to avoid a misleading
implication. It may be observed that any firm name including the name of a deceased partner is, strictly
speaking, a trade name. The use of such names to designate law firms has proven a useful means of
identification. However, it is misleading to use the name of a lawyer not associated with the firm or a
predecessor of the firm.
 Where none of the names in a firm name reflects the name of an actively-registered Hawai‘i attorney,
the firm must have at least one actively-registered Hawai‘i attorney as a supervisor, manager, partner, or
shareholder. This will assure proper supervision of and accountability for legal services furnished by the firm
 With regard to paragraph (f), lawyers sharing office facilities, but who are not in fact partners, may
not denominate themselves as, for example, "Smith and Jones," for that title suggests partnership in the
practice of law.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraphs (a) and (b), DR 2-102(B) provided that "a lawyer shall not practice under a
name that is misleading as to the identity, responsibility, or status of those practicing thereunder, or is
otherwise false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive within the meaning of DR 2-101(B), or is contrary to
law." DR 2-102(B)(1) provided that "[a] law firm may use as, or continue to include in, its name the name or
names of one or more deceased or retired members of the firm or of a predecessor firm in a continuing line
of succession; provided that where none of the names comprising a partnership name is the name of a current
partner who is on the list of active attorneys maintained by the supreme court clerk, the firm's letterhead and
advertisements shall contain a statement or notation: (1) indicating that the partnership name does not include
the name of any current partner who is on the list of active attorneys maintained by the supreme court clerk;
and (2) designating a current partner, who is on the list of active attorneys maintained by the supreme court
clerk, as being responsible for maintaining the supreme court clerk's office a public listing of the firm's
partners. Any partner so designated shall be responsible for filing a revised listing of partners in the clerk's
office within one month of any change in the composition of the partnership."
Paragraphs (c) and (d) are identical to DR 2-102(B)(2) and (3).
Paragraph (e) is identical to DR 2-102(D).
Paragraph (f) is substantially identical to DR 2-102(C).
(Amended March 8, 1995, effective March 23, 1995; amended effective March 28, 1995; further
amended June 17, 1999, effective July 1, 1999.)
MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY
OF THE PROFESSION
Rule 8.1. BAR ADMISSION AND DISCIPLINARY MATTERS.
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 material fact; or
(b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have
arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an
admission or disciplinary authority, except that this rule does not require disclosure of information
otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
 The duty imposed by this rule extends to persons seeking admission to the bar as well as to lawyers.
Hence, if a person makes a material false statement in connection with an application for admission, it may
be the basis for subsequent disciplinary action if the person is admitted, and in any event may be relevant in
a subsequent admission application. The duty imposed by this rule applies to a lawyer's own admission or
discipline as well as that of others. Thus, it is a separate professional offense for a lawyer to knowingly make
a misrepresentation or omission in connection with a disciplinary investigation of the lawyer's own conduct.
This rule also requires affirmative clarification of any misunderstanding on the part of the admissions or
disciplinary authority of which the person involved becomes aware.
 This rule is subject to the provisions of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and
corresponding provisions of the Hawai‘i constitutions. A person relying on such a provision in response to
a question, however, should do so openly and not use the right of nondisclosure as a justification for failure
to comply with this rule.
 A lawyer representing an applicant for admission to the bar, or representing a lawyer who is the
subject of a disciplinary inquiry or proceeding, is governed by the rules applicable to the client-lawyer
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 1-101(A) provided that a lawyer is "subject to discipline if [the lawyer] has made a materially false
statement in, or if [the lawyer] has deliberately failed to disclose a material fact requested in connection with,
[the lawyer's] application for admission to the bar." DR 1-101(B) provided that a lawyer "shall not further
the application for admission to the bar of another person known by [the lawyer] to be unqualified in respect
to the character, education, or other relevant attribute." With respect to paragraph (b), DR 1-102(A)(5)
provided that a lawyer shall not engage in "conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice."
Rule 8.2. JUDICIAL OFFICIALS.
A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard
as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge.
 Assessments by lawyers are relied on in evaluating the professional or personal fitness of persons
being considered for appointment to judicial office. Expressing honest and candid opinions on such matters
contributes to improving the administration of justice. Conversely, false statements by a lawyer can unfairly
undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.
 When a lawyer seeks judicial office, the lawyer should be bound by applicable limitations on political
 To maintain the fair and independent administration of justice, lawyers are encouraged to continue
traditional efforts to defend judges and courts unjustly criticized.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraph (a), DR 8-102(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not knowingly make false
statements of fact concerning the qualifications of a candidate for election or appointment to a judicial office."
DR 8-102(B) provided that a lawyer "shall not knowingly make false accusations against a judge or other
(Amended effective November 18, 1994.)
Rule 8.3. REPORTING PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT.
(a) A lawyer having knowledge 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 having knowledge 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
(c) This rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(d) A lawyer shall not:
(1) negotiate, attempt to settle, or settle any legal matter by threatening to file or refrain from filing
a disciplinary complaint against any lawyer.
(2) offer, agree to, attempt, negotiate, enter into, or acquiesce in the formation of any agreement
limiting the ability of the lawyer or any other person to:
(i) file a disciplinary complaint against any lawyer; or
(ii) cooperate with a disciplinary proceeding or investigation.
 Self-regulation of the legal profession requires that members of the profession initiate disciplinary
investigation when they know of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Lawyers have a similar
obligation with respect to judicial misconduct. An apparently isolated violation may indicate a pattern of
misconduct that only a disciplinary investigation can uncover. Reporting a violation is especially important
where the victim is unlikely to discover the offense.
 A report about misconduct is not required where it would involve violation of Rule 1.6. However, a
lawyer should encourage a client to consent to disclosure where prosecution would not substantially prejudice
the client's interests.
 If a lawyer were obliged to report every violation of the rules, the failure to report any violation would
itself be a professional offense. Such a requirement existed in many jurisdictions but proved to be
unenforceable. This rule limits the reporting obligation to those offenses that a self-regulating profession must
vigorously endeavor to prevent. A measure of judgment is, therefore, required in complying with the provisions
of this rule. The term "substantial" refers to the seriousness of the possible offense and not the quantum of
evidence of which the lawyer is aware. A report should be made to the bar disciplinary agency unless some
other agency, such as a peer review agency, is more appropriate in the circumstances. Similar considerations
apply to the reporting of judicial misconduct.
 The duty to report professional misconduct does not apply to a lawyer retained to represent a lawyer
whose professional conduct is in question. Such a situation is governed by the rules applicable to the
 Subsection (d) was added to make clear that attorneys' duties to clients and the profession are
requirements that cannot be negotiated or given away or used to bludgeon opponents into acquiescence.
Subsection (d) does not impose additional duties to report information acquired while confidentiality
counseling, mentoring, or advising another attorney.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
DR 1-103(A) provided that "[a] lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge of a violation of [a
Disciplinary Rule] shall report such knowledge to . . . authority empowered to investigate or act upon such
(Amended effective June 24, 1999, effective July 1, 1999.)
Rule 8.4. MISCONDUCT.
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;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness
as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(d) fail to cooperate during the course of an ethics investigation or disciplinary proceedings.
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official; or
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of
judicial conduct or other law.
 Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving
fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offense carry no
such implication. Traditionally, the distinction was drawn in terms of offenses involving "moral turpitude."
That concept can be construed to include offenses concerning some matters of personal morality, such as
adultery and comparable offenses, that have no specific connection to fitness for the practice of law. Although
a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable
only for offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice. Offenses involving
violence, dishonesty or breach of trust are in that category. A pattern of repeated offenses, even ones of minor
significance when considered separately, can indicate indifference to legal obligation.
 A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no
valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope,
meaning or application of the law apply to the challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law.
 An attorney who is the subject of an ethics investigation or disciplinary proceeding has an ethical duty
to timely cooperate with that investigation or proceeding. Examples of failure to cooperate are described in
Hawai‘i Supreme Court Rule 2.12A(a).
 Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A
lawyer's abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney. The same
is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, agent and
officer, director or manager of a corporation or other organization.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
With regard to paragraphs (a) through (c), DR 1-102(A) provided that a lawyer shall not:
"(1) Violate a Disciplinary Rule.
"(2) Circumvent a Disciplinary Rule through actions of another.
"(3) Engage in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude.
"(4) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
"(5) Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
"(6) Engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law."
There was no counterpart to paragraph (d) in the Hawai‘i Code.
Paragraph (e) is substantially similar to DR 9-101(C).
There was no direct counterpart to paragraph (f) in the Disciplinary Rules of the Hawai‘i Code. EC 7-34
stated in part that "[a] lawyer . . . is never justified in making a gift or a loan to a [judicial officer] except as
permitted by . . . the Code of Judicial Conduct." EC 9-1 stated that a lawyer "should promote public
confidence in our [legal] system and in the legal profession."
Rule 8.5. JURISDICTION.
A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the disciplinary authority of this
jurisdiction although engaged in practice elsewhere.
 In modern practice lawyers frequently act outside the territorial limits of the jurisdiction in which they
are licensed to practice, either in another state or outside the United States. In doing so, they remain subject
to the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which they are licensed to practice. If their activity in another
jurisdiction is substantial and continuous, it may constitute practice of law in that jurisdiction. See Rule 5.5.
 If the rules of professional conduct in the two jurisdictions differ, principles of conflict of laws may
apply. Similar problems can arise when a lawyer is licensed to practice in more than one jurisdiction.
 Where the lawyer is licensed to practice law in two jurisdictions which impose conflicting obligations,
applicable rules of choice of law may govern the situation. A related problem arises with respect to practice
before a federal tribunal, where the general authority of the states authority as federal tribunals may have to
regulate practice before them.
 This rule also applies to lawyers practicing in this jurisdiction on a pro hac vice basis.
Hawai‘i Code Comparison
There was no counterpart to this rule in the Hawai‘i Code.
ADDENDUM A -- Deleted.
MAINTENANCE OF BOOKS
(Deleted December 2, 1994, effective February 15, 1995.)