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.

Informal Opinions

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 past conduct.

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
Committee on Professional Ethics
Connecticut Bar Association
30 Bank Street
New Britain, CT 06051

View Informal Opinions

Committee Chair

Kim Rinehart

Wiggin and Dana LLP
PO Box 1832
New Haven, CT 06508

If you are interested in joining this committee, contact Carol DeJohn at (860)612-2000 or cdejohn@ctbar.org.

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