OPPOSING U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS PERMITTING JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LAWYERS TO CONTACT DIRECTLY INDIVIDUALS REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL
 
WHEREAS, the principle that lawyers shall not communicate with those who are known to be represented by counsel about the subject matter of the representation preserves the integrity of the client-lawyer relationship and protects clients against encroachment and overreaching by their adversary's lawyers;

WHEREAS, this principle has even more force when those who choose to be represented are dealing with the government;

WHEREAS, this principle is of such universal recognition that every state has adopted a rule of professional conduct barring such contacts;

WHEREAS, the Attorney General of the United States has adopted regulations which appear to authorize violations of these rules of professional conduct by lawyers employed by the Department of Justice in the conduct of civil and criminal enforcement activities;

WHEREAS, the flawed premises for the issuance of these regulations are a) the mistaken notion that the authorized by law exception to the rule of professional conduct includes unilateral actions by one party to the law enforcement process; b) the incorrect argument that the applicable rule of professional conduct only applies after the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches; and, c) the equally invalid argument that the applicable rule of professional conduct only applies to parties to litigation and has no application before a complaint is filed or an indictment issues;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association adopts the following resolution:

  1. RESOLVED that the action of the Attorney General in enacting these regulations is an unwarranted and unsound interference with the client-lawyer relationship and a usurpation of the authority vested in the states to be responsible for bar admissions, ethical standards and discipline;

  2. RESOLVED that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania should take all steps within its authority to assure that all lawyers licensed by the Supreme Court or practicing in the commonwealth conform their conduct to Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2;

  3. RESOLVED that the leadership of this Bar Association work with the leadership of other bar associations to seek the repeal of the Attorney General's regulations.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 22, 1994