Most lawyers have a general understanding of the “no-contact rule”  — namely that under state versions of Model Rule 4.2, with a few exceptions, you can’t communicate directly on the subject of the representation with someone you know is represented by counsel.  But where does in-house counsel fit in?  Is in-house counsel “fair game”

As widely reported in the news, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last month harshly rebuked an Illinois lawyer for submitting a rambling 86-page appellate brief that the court said was “incoherent” and “gibberish.”  Quotes from the brief indeed made it appear deficient.  (One section, said the court, consisted solely of the heading “GAMESMANSHIP” and 

When the government comes knocking during a grand jury investigation, can a G-man interview one of your executives without getting consent from counsel? Last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine said “Yes,” and refused to suppress an executive’s statements in the tax fraud case against him, holding that the ex parte chat didn’t violate ethics rules. The case shows how in a federal criminal investigation, an exception to the well-known “no-contact” rule can sweep away its protection.

Continue Reading “No contact” rule didn’t bar interview with represented suspect, district court holds

3d people - person talkingWe’ve mentioned before that some courts look with disfavor on lawyers helping pro se litigants by ghostwriting briefs for them to file as their own.  Some opinions discussing the issue frame the conduct as lawyer deceit, as misrepresentation, or even as potential contempt of court.  In a related twist, the ABA ethics committee has recently