Informal Opinion Number: 950089

Rules: 8.3(a)
Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession
Reporting Professional Misconduct
Summary: negotiation of settlement after client deceased

QUESTION: Attorney has knowledge that another attorney continued to negotiate settlement of a case and to engage in discovery after the other attorney´s client was deceased. The other attorney did not disclose the fact of the client´s death to the court or opposing counsel during this period. Does Attorney have a duty to report the other attorney´s conduct? ANSWER: Yes, Rule 4-8.3(a) requires the attorney to report the other attorney´s conduct. Attorney may indicate that Attorney is only reporting as a result of the duty to do so and that Attorney does not wish to be considered a complainant. Under those circumstances, Attorney will not be identified as a complainant and you will not be treated as a complainant under Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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