About the Committee
The purpose of the Standing Committee on Professional Ethics is to provide members of the bar with opinions on matters of professional ethics. Written requests for opinions are referred to a committee member for preparation of a draft opinion, which is then debated and considered for adoption or rejection at the monthly meeting of the committee in New Haven. Some opinions are referred to subcommittees for research, reconsideration, and revision. All of the committee members are therefore given an opportunity to participate in the activities of the committee. The committee issues Formal and Informal Opinions. The Formal Opinions are published in the Connecticut Bar Journal and the ABA/BNA Lawyers Manual on Professional Conduct. Digests are published in the ABA/BNA Manual. New opinions are published in Connecticut Lawyer magazine. Informal Opinions from 2011 up though the present are available through this webpage (see View Informal Opinions link below). All of the Committee’s Formal and Informal Opinions since Connecticut’s adoption of the Rules of Professional Conduct as of October 1, 1986 are available through Casemaker.
The Committee on Professional Ethics receives and considers written
requests for advice about professional ethics and issues advisory
opinions on professional conduct. Generally, advice should be requested
concerning one’s own future conduct, not one’s own or someone else’s
A request for a committee opinion should state specifically the facts
giving rise to the issue, state the issue upon which an opinion is
requested, and refer to any provisions of the Rules of Professional
Conduct that the writer believes to be relevant. Requests are forwarded
to a committee member to prepare a draft response, which is considered
by the committee members for discussion, amendment, and then issuance of
an Informal Opinion. On occasion, the committee will determine that a
matter is of significant enough interest to the Bar that a Formal
Opinion is called for, and will refer the matter to a subcommittee to
prepare a draft Formal Opinion for submission at a subsequent meetings
and referral to the CBA Board of Governors for comment.
The committee may determine that no action is warranted upon a request
for opinion (a) because the matter is in litigation, and judicial action
is the appropriate recourse; (b) the issue involves the conduct of a
person other than the one requesting the opinion; or (c) the request is
for an opinion of law rather than ethics, or is speculative, or fails to
meet the requisite standards of clarity, or is otherwise inappropriate
for committee action.
The Rules of Professional Conduct have the force of law on attorneys.
The Formal and Informal Opinions are advisory opinions. Although the
Connecticut Supreme Court has on occasion referred to them as well
reasoned, the advisory opinions are not authoritative and are not
binding on the Statewide Grievance Committee or the courts.
Formal and Informal Opinions are available to CBA members on Casemaker.
Requests for opinions should be addressed to:
Kim Rinehart, Chair
View Informal Opinions
Committee on Professional Ethics
Connecticut Bar Association
30 Bank Street
New Britain, CT 06051