May I Have a Word with You: Oops, Have I Already Violated the No-Contact Rule?

6 Phoenix L. Rev. 433 (2013)

32 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by Jessica Berch

Jessica Berch

Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Michael A. Berch

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: August 22, 2013

Abstract

You have a new case. The opposing party is a company with dozens of current and former employees. You know you have a duty to competently represent your client and, to fulfill that duty, you would like to informally interview some employees. May you do so without running afoul of the ethical rules in general and the no-contact rule in particular? Conversely, if you choose not to conduct these interviews, have you failed to competently represent your client? This Article explores the ethical duties of Arizona lawyers in navigating the often conflicting duties imposed by the duty of competent representation and the no-contact rule and carefully analyzes the language of the no-contact rule and the Arizona Court of Appeals case Lang v. Superior Court, which interprets that rule with respect to employees. This Article offers practical advice to practicing attorneys on how best to handle these troublesome issues.

Keywords: Professional Responsibility, Ethics, No-Contact Rule

Suggested Citation

Berch, Jessica and Berch, Michael A., May I Have a Word with You: Oops, Have I Already Violated the No-Contact Rule? (August 22, 2013). 6 Phoenix L. Rev. 433 (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2314609

Jessica Berch (Contact Author)

Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-4859 (Phone)

Michael A. Berch

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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