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Rule 1.4. Communication.

(a) A lawyer shall:

(a)(1) promptlyinform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which theclient's

informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(e), isrequired by these Rules;

(a)(2) reasonablyconsult with the client about the means by which the client?s objectives are tobe accomplished;

(a)(3) keep the client reasonablyinformed about the status of the matter;

(a)(4) promptlycomply with reasonable requests for information; and

(a)(5) consultwith the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer?s conduct when thelawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules ofProfessional Conduct or other law.

(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessaryto permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.


[1] Reasonable communication between the lawyer and the client isnecessary for the client effectively to participate in the representation.

Communicating with Client

[2] If these Rules require that a particular decision about therepresentation be made by the client, paragraph (a)(1) requires that the lawyerpromptly consult with and secure the client's consent prior to taking actionunless prior discussions with the client have resolved what action the clientwants the lawyer to take. For example, a lawyer who receives from opposingcounsel an offer of settlement in a civil controversy or a proffered pleabargain in a criminal case must promptly inform the client of its substanceunless the client has previously indicated that the proposal will be acceptableor unacceptable or has authorized the lawyer to accept or to reject the offer.See Rule 1.2(a).

[3] Paragraph (a)(2) requires the lawyerto reasonably consult with the client about the means to be used to accomplishthe client's objectives. In some situations?depending on both the importance ofthe action under consideration and the feasibility of consulting with theclient?this duty will require consultation prior to taking action. In othercircumstances, such as during a trial when an immediate decision must be made,the exigency of the situation may require the lawyer to act without priorconsultation. In such cases the lawyer must nonetheless act reasonably toinform the client of actions the lawyer has taken on the client's behalf.Additionally, paragraph (a)(3) requires that thelawyer keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter, suchas significant developments affecting the timing or the substance of therepresentation.

[4] A lawyer?s regular communication with clients will minimizethe occasions on which a client will need to request information concerning therepresentation. When a client makes a reasonable request for information, however,paragraph (a)(4) requires prompt compliance with the request, or if a promptresponse is not feasible, that the lawyer, or a member of the lawyer's staff,acknowledge receipt of the request and advise the client when a response may beexpected. A lawyer should promptly respond to or acknowledge clientcommunications.

Explaining Matters

[5] The client should have sufficient information to participateintelligently in decisions concerning the objectives of the representation andthe means by which they are to be pursued, to theextent the client is willing and able to do so. Adequacy of communicationdepends in part on the kind of advice or assistance that is involved. Forexample, when there is time to explain a proposal made in a negotiation, the lawyershould review all important provisions with the client before proceeding to anagreement. In litigation a lawyer should explain the general strategy andprospects of success and ordinarily should consult the client on tactics thatare likely to result in significant expense or to injure or coerce others. Onthe other hand, a lawyer ordinarily will not be expected to describe trial ornegotiation strategy in detail. The guiding principle is that the lawyer shouldfulfill reasonable client expectations for information consistent with the dutyto act in the client's best interests and the client's overall requirements asto the character of representation. In certain circumstances, such as when alawyer asks a client to consent to a representation affected by a conflict ofinterest, the client must give informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(f).

[6] Ordinarily, the information to be provided is that appropriatefor a client who is a comprehending and responsible adult. However, fullyinforming the client according to this standard may be impracticable, forexample, where the client is a child or suffers from diminished capacity. SeeRule 1.14. When the client is an organization or group, it is often impossibleor inappropriate to inform every one of its members about its legal affairs;ordinarily, the lawyer should address communications to the appropriateofficials of the organization. See Rule 1.13. Where many routine matters areinvolved, a system of limited or occasional reporting may be arranged with theclient.

Withholding Information

[7] In some circumstances, a lawyer may be justified in delayingtransmission of information when the client would be likely to reactimprudently to an immediate communication. Thus, a lawyer might withhold apsychiatric diagnosis of a client when the examining psychiatrist indicatesthat disclosure would harm the client. A lawyer may not withhold information toserve the lawyer's own interest or convenience or the interests or convenienceof another person. Rules or court orders governing litigation may provide thatinformation supplied to a lawyer may not be disclosed to the client. Rule3.4(c) directs compliance with such rules or orders.


Effective November 1, 2017