APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 16-18
SOUTH DAKOTA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer.
Confidentiality of Information.
Conflict of Interest: Current Clients.
Conflict of Interest: Current Clients, Specific Rules.
Duties to Former Clients.
Imputation of Conflicts of Interest General Rule.
Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees.
Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral.
Organization as Client.
Client With Diminished Capacity.
Declining or Terminating Representation.
Sale of Law Practice.
Duties to Prospective Client.
Evaluation for Use by Third Persons.
Lawyer Serving as Third-Party Neutral.
Meritorious Claims and Contentions.
Candor Toward the Tribunal.
Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel.
Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal.
Lawyer as Witness.
Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor.
Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings.
TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS OTHER THAN CLIENTS.
Truthfulness in Statements to Others.
Communication with Person Represented by Counsel.
Dealing with Unrepresented Person.
Respect for Rights of Third Persons.
LAW FIRMS AND ASSOCIATIONS.
Responsibilities of Partners, Managers, and Supervisory Lawyers.
Responsibilities of a Subordinate Lawyer.
Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants.
Professional Independence of a Lawyer.
Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law.
Restrictions on Right to Practice.
Responsibilities Regarding Law-Related Services.
Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service.
Membership in Legal Services Organization.
Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests.
Nonprofit and Court-Annexed Limited Legal Services Programs.
INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES.
Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services.
Direct Contact with Prospective Clients.
Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization.
Firm Names and Letterheads.
MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION.
Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters.
Judicial and Legal Officials.
Reporting Professional Misconduct.
Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law.
PREAMBLE: A LAWYER'S RESPONSIBILITIES
 A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an officer of the
legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.
 As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As advisor, a lawyer
provides a client with an informed understanding of the client's legal rights and obligations and
explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client's position
under the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the
client but consistent with requirements of honest dealings with others. As an evaluator, a lawyer acts
by examining a client's legal affairs and reporting about them to the client or to others.
 In addition to these representational functions, a lawyer may serve as a third-party neutral,
a nonrepresentational role helping the parties to resolve a dispute or other matter. Some of these
Rules apply directly to lawyers who are or have served as third-party neutrals. See, e.g., Rules 1.12
and 2.4. In addition, there are Rules that apply to lawyers who are not active in the practice of law
or to practicing lawyers even when they are acting in a nonprofessional capacity. For example, a
lawyer who commits fraud in the conduct of a business is subject to discipline for engaging in
conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. See Rule 8.4.
 In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer
should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation. A lawyer should keep
in confidence information relating to representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required
or permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
 A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional
service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law's
procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should
demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers
and public officials. While it is a lawyer's duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official
action, it is also a lawyer's duty to uphold legal process.
 As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system,
the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member
of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients,
employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education. In addition, a
lawyer should further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice
system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and
support to maintain their authority. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration
of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford
adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and
use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of
economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. A lawyer should aid the
legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the public
 Many of a lawyer's professional responsibilities are prescribed in the Rules of Professional
Conduct, as well as substantive and procedural law. However, a lawyer is also guided by personal
conscience and the approbation of professional peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest
level of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession and to exemplify the legal profession's
ideals of public service.
 A lawyer's responsibilities as a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and
a public citizen are usually harmonious. Thus, when an opposing party is well represented, a lawyer
can be a zealous advocate on behalf of a client and at the same time assume that justice is being
done. So also, a lawyer can be sure that preserving client confidences ordinarily serves the public
interest because people are more likely to seek legal advice, and thereby heed their legal obligations,
when they know their communications will be private.
 In the nature of law practice, however, conflicting responsibilities are encountered. Virtually
all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between a lawyer's responsibilities to clients, to the
legal system and to the lawyer's own interest in remaining an ethical person while earning a
satisfactory living. The Rules of Professional Conduct often prescribe terms for resolving such
conflicts. Within the framework of these Rules, however, many difficult issues of professional
discretion can arise. Such issues must be resolved through the exercise of sensitive professional and
moral judgment guided by the basic principles underlying the Rules. These principles include the
lawyer's obligation zealously to protect and pursue a client's legitimate interests, within the bounds
of the law, while maintaining a professional, courteous and civil attitude toward all persons involved
in the legal system.
 The legal profession is largely self-governing. Although other professions also have been
granted powers of self-government, the legal profession is unique in this respect because of the close
relationship between the profession and the processes of government and law enforcement. This
connection is manifested in the fact that ultimate authority over the legal profession is vested largely
in the courts.
 To the extent that lawyers meet the obligations of their professional calling, the occasion
for government regulation is obviated. Self-regulation also helps maintain the legal profession's
independence from government domination. An independent legal profession is an important force
in preserving government under law, for abuse of legal authority is more readily challenged by a
profession whose members are not dependent on government for the right to practice.
 The legal profession's relative autonomy carries with it special responsibilities of
self-government. The profession has a responsibility to assure that its regulations are conceived in
the public interest and not in furtherance of parochial or self-interested concerns of the bar. Every
lawyer is responsible for observance of the Rules of Professional Conduct. A lawyer should also aid
in securing their observance by other lawyers. Neglect of these responsibilities compromises the
independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.
 Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires
an understanding by lawyers of their relationship to our legal system. The Rules of Professional
Conduct, when properly applied, serve to define that relationship.
 The Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason. They should be interpreted with
reference to the purposes of legal representation and of the law itself. Some of the Rules are
imperatives, cast in the terms "shall" or "shall not." These define proper conduct for purposes of
professional discipline. Others, generally cast in the term "may," are permissive and define areas
under the Rules in which the lawyer has discretion to exercise professional judgment. No disciplinary
action should be taken when the lawyer chooses not to act or acts within the bounds of such
discretion. Other Rules define the nature of relationships between the lawyer and others. The Rules
are thus partly obligatory and disciplinary and partly constitutive and descriptive in that they define
a lawyer's professional role. Many of the Comments use the term "should." Comments do not add
obligations to the Rules but provide guidance for practicing in compliance with the Rules.
 The Rules presuppose a larger legal context shaping the lawyer's role. That context includes
court rules and statutes relating to matters of licensure, laws defining specific obligations of lawyers
and substantive and procedural law in general. The Comments are sometimes used to alert lawyers
to their responsibilities under such other law.
 Compliance with the Rules, as with all law in an open society, depends primarily upon
understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon reinforcement by peer and public opinion
and finally, when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary proceedings. The Rules do not,
however, exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform a lawyer, for no
worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by legal rules. The Rules simply provide a
framework for the ethical practice of law.
 Furthermore, for purposes of determining the lawyer's authority and responsibility,
principles of substantive law external to these Rules determine whether a client-lawyer relationship
exists. Most of the duties flowing from the client-lawyer relationship attach only after the client has
requested the lawyer to render legal services and the lawyer has agreed to do so. But there are some
duties, such as that of confidentiality under Rule 1.6, that attach when the lawyer agrees to consider
whether a client-lawyer relationship shall be established. See Rule 1.18. Whether a client-lawyer
relationship exists for any specific purpose can depend on the circumstances and may be a question
 Under various legal provisions, including constitutional, statutory and common law, the
responsibilities of government lawyers may include authority concerning legal matters that ordinarily
reposes in the client in private client-lawyer relationships. For example, a lawyer for a government
agency may have authority on behalf of the government to decide upon settlement or whether to
appeal from an adverse judgment. Such authority in various respects is generally vested in the
attorney general and the state's attorney in state government, and their federal counterparts, and the
same may be true of other government law officers. Also, lawyers under the supervision of these
officers may be authorized to represent several government agencies in intragovernmental legal
controversies in circumstances where a private lawyer could not represent multiple private clients.
These Rules do not abrogate any such authority.
 Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a Rule is a basis for
invoking the disciplinary process. The Rules presuppose that disciplinary assessment of a lawyer's
conduct will be made on the basis of the facts and circumstances as they existed at the time of the
conduct in question and in recognition of the fact that a lawyer often has to act upon uncertain or
incomplete evidence of the situation. Moreover, the Rules presuppose that whether or not discipline
should be imposed for a violation, and the severity of a sanction, depend on all the circumstances,
such as the willfulness and seriousness of the violation, extenuating factors and whether there have
been previous violations.
 Violation of a Rule should not itself give rise to a cause of action against a lawyer nor
should it create any presumption in such a case that a legal duty has been breached. In addition,
violation of a Rule does not necessarily warrant any other nondisciplinary remedy, such as
disqualification of a lawyer in pending litigation. The Rules are designed to provide guidance to
lawyers and to provide a structure for regulating conduct through disciplinary agencies. They are not
designed to be a basis for civil liability. Furthermore, the purpose of the Rules can be subverted
when they are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a Rule is a just basis
for a lawyer's self-assessment, or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary
authority, does not imply that an antagonist in a collateral proceeding or transaction has standing to
seek enforcement of the Rule. Nevertheless, since the Rules do establish standards of conduct by
lawyers, a lawyer's violation of a Rule may be evidence of breach of the applicable standard of
 The Comment accompanying each Rule explains and illustrates the meaning and purpose
of the Rule. The Preamble and this note on Scope provide general orientation. The Comments are
intended as guides to interpretation, but the text of each Rule is authoritative.
Rule 1.0. Terminology
(a) "Belief" or "believes" denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question
to be true. A person's belief may be inferred from circumstances.
(b) "Confirmed in writing," when used in reference to the informed consent of a person, denotes
informed consent that is given in writing by the person or a writing that a lawyer promptly transmits
to the person confirming an oral informed consent. See paragraph (e) for the definition of "informed
consent." If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the person gives informed
consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter.
(c) "Firm" or "law firm" denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional
corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law; or lawyers employed
in a legal services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization.
(d) "Fraud" or "fraudulent" denotes conduct that is fraudulent under the substantive or procedural
law of the applicable jurisdiction and has a purpose to deceive.
(e) "Informed consent" denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after
the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and
reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.
(f) "Knowingly," "known," or "knows" denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A
person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances.
(g) "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership, a shareholder in a law firm organized as a
professional corporation, or a member of an association authorized to practice law.
(h) "Reasonable" or "reasonably" when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer denotes the
conduct of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer.
(i) "Reasonable belief" or "reasonably believes" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that
the lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is
(j) "Reasonably should know" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of
reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.
(k) "Screened" denotes the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the
timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances
to protect information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law.
(l) "Substantial" when used in reference to degree or extent denotes a material matter of clear and
(m) "Tribunal" denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative
body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity. A legislative body,
administrative agency or other body acts in an adjudicative capacity when a neutral official, after the
presentation of evidence or legal argument by a party or parties, will render a binding legal judgment
directly affecting a party's interests in a particular matter.
(n) "Writing" or "written" denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or
representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or
video recording and e-mail. A "signed" writing includes an electronic sound, symbol or process
attached to or logically associated with a writing and executed or adopted by a person with the intent
to sign the writing.
Rule 1.1. Competence
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires
the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
Rule 1.2. Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer
(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the
objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means
by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is
impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision
whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, after
consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the
client will testify.
(b) A lawyer's representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not
constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views or activities.
(c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the
circumstances and the client gives informed consent.
(d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer
knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed
course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to
determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
Rule 1.3. Diligence
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
Rule 1.4. Communication
(a) A lawyer shall:
promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the
client's informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(e), is required by these Rules;
reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to
keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;
promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and
consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the
lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional
Conduct or other law.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make
informed decisions regarding the representation.
(c) If a lawyer does not have professional liability insurance with limits of at least $100,000, or
if during the course of representation, the insurance policy lapses or is terminated, a lawyer shall
promptly disclose to a client by including as a component of the lawyer's letterhead, using the
following specific language, either that:
"This lawyer is not covered by professional liability insurance;" or
"This firm is not covered by professional liability insurance."
(d) The required disclosure in 1.4(c) shall be included in every written communication with a
(e) This disclosure requirement does not apply to lawyers who are members of the following
classes: § 16-18-20.2(1),(3),(4) and full-time, in-house counsel or government lawyers, who do not
represent clients outside their official capacity or in-house employment.
Rule 1.5. Fees
(a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable amount for fees
or expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the
the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the
skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment
will preclude other employment by the lawyer;
the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
the amount involved and the results obtained;
the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services;
whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
(b) The scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the
client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within
a reasonable time after commencing the representation, except when the lawyer will charge a
regularly represented client on the same basis or rate. Any changes in the basis or rate of the fee or
expenses shall also be communicated to the client.
(c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered,
except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by paragraph (d) or other law. A contingent
fee agreement shall be in writing signed by the client and shall state the method by which the fee is
to be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event
of settlement, trial or appeal; litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery; and
whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. The
agreement must clearly notify the client of potential expenses for which the client will be liable
whether or not the client is the prevailing party. Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter, the
lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, if there
is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination.
(d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:
any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of which is contingent upon
the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony or support, or property settlement
in lieu thereof; or
a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case.
(e) A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:
the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer or each lawyer
assumes joint responsibility for the representation;
the client agrees to the arrangement, including the share each lawyer will receive, and the
agreement is confirmed in writing; and
the total fee is reasonable.
Rule 1.6. Confidentiality of Information
(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client
gives informed consent except for disclosures that are impliedly authorized in order to carry out the
representation or the disclosure is permitted by, and except as stated in paragraph (b).
(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the
lawyer reasonably believes necessary:
to prevent the client from committing a criminal act that the lawyer believes is likely to
result in imminent death or substantial bodily harm;
to secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules;
to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer
and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer
based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any
proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client;
to the extent that revelation appears to be necessary to rectify the consequences of a
client's criminal or fraudulent act in which the lawyer's services had been used; or
to comply with other law or a court order.
Rule 1.7. Conflict of Interest: Current Clients
(a) Except as provided by paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation
involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:
the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or
there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially
limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person
or by a personal interest of the lawyer.
(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a
lawyer may represent a client if:
the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and
diligent representation to each affected client;
the representation is not prohibited by law;
the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another
client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or same matter before a tribunal;
each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.
Rule 1.8. Conflict of Interest: Current Clients, Specific Rules
(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an
ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless:
the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable
to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be
reasonably understood by the client;
the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable
opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel on the transaction; and
the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms
of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer
is representing the client in the transaction.
(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage
of the client unless the client gives informed consent, except as permitted or required by these Rules.
(c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or
prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any
substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client and the gift is
not significantly disproportionate to those given to other donees similarly related to donor. For
purposes of this paragraph, related persons include a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent
or other relative or individual with whom the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial
(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an
agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial
part on information relating to the representation.
(e) A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or
contemplated litigation, except that:
a lawyer may advance court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may
be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and
a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on
behalf of the client.
(f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client
the client gives informed consent;
there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with
the client-lawyer relationship; and
information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.
(g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate
settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as
to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by
the client. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas
involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.
(h) A lawyer shall not:
make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer's liability to a client for malpractice
unless the client is independently represented in making the agreement, or
settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former
client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given
a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel in connection
(i) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of
litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:
acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses; and
contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.
(j) A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship
existed between them before the client-lawyer relationship commenced.
(k) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing paragraphs (a) through
(i) that applies to any one of them shall apply to all of them.
Rule 1.9. Duties to Former Clients
(a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent
another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person's interests are
materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed
consent, confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter
in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously represented a client
whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and
about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that
is material to the matter; unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in
(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm
has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:
Use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client
except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the
information has become generally known; or
Reveal information relating to the representation except as these Rules would permit or
require with respect to a client.
Rule 1.10. Imputation of Conflicts of Interest General Rule
(a) While lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when
any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless the
prohibition is based on a personal interest of the prohibited lawyer and does not present a significant
risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm.
(b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from
thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by
the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:
The matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated
lawyer represented the client; and
Any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that
is material to the matter.
(c) A disqualification prescribed by this Rule may be waived by the affected client under the
conditions stated in Rule 1.7.
(d) The disqualification of lawyers associated in a firm with former or current government
lawyers is governed by Rule 1.11.
Rule 1.11. Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees
(a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer who has formerly served as a public
officer or employee of the government:
is subject to Rule 1.9(c); and
shall not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer
participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the
appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the
(b) When a lawyer is disqualified from representation under paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm
with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such
a matter unless:
the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is
apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to
ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.
(c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer
knows is confidential government information about a person acquired when the lawyer was a public
officer or employee, may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person in
a matter in which the information could be used to the material disadvantage of that person. As used
in this Rule, the term "confidential government information" means information that has been
obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this Rule is applied, the government
is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose and which
is not otherwise available to the public. A firm with which that lawyer is associated may undertake
or continue representation in the matter only if the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any
participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.
(d) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer
is subject to Rules 1.7, 1.9, and 1.13 and
participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially
while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless the appropriate
government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing; or
negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as
lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and
substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other
adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as
permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).
(e) As used in this Rule, the term "matter" includes:
any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination,
contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other particular
matter involving a specific party or parties, and
any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of the appropriate government
Rule 1.12. Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a
matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative
officer or law clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral, unless
all parties to the proceeding give informed consent, confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or
as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as
a judge or other adjudicative officer or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral. A
lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge or other adjudicative officer may negotiate for employment
with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and
substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge or other adjudicative officer.
(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is
associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:
the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is
apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
written notice is promptly given to the parties and any appropriate tribunal to enable them
to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.
(d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimember arbitration panel is not
prohibited from subsequently representing that party.
Rule 1.13. Organization as Client
(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through
its duly authorized constituents.
(b) If a lawyer for an organization knows that an officer, employee or other person associated
with the organization is engaged in action, intends to act or refuses to act in a matter related to the
representation that is a violation of a legal obligation to the organization, or a violation of law which
reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and is likely to result in substantial injury to the
organization, the lawyer shall proceed as is reasonably necessary in the best interest of the
organization. In determining how to proceed, the lawyer shall give due consideration to the
seriousness of the violation and its consequences, the scope and nature of the lawyer's representation,
the responsibility in the organization and the apparent motivation of the person involved, the policies
of the organization concerning such matters and any other relevant considerations. Any measures
taken shall be designed to minimize disruption of the organization and the risk of revealing
information relating to the representation to persons outside the organization. Such measures may
include among others:
asking for reconsideration of the matter;
advising that a separate legal opinion on the matter be sought for presentation to
appropriate authority in the organization; and
referring the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the
seriousness of the matter, referral to the highest authority that can act on behalf of the
organization as determined by applicable law.
(c) If, despite the lawyer's efforts in accordance with paragraph (b), the highest authority that can
act on behalf of the organization insists upon action, or a refusal to act, that is clearly a violation of
law and is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, the lawyer may resign in
accordance with Rule 1.16.
(d) In dealing with an organization's directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or
other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when the lawyer knows or
reasonably should know that the organization's interests are adverse to those of the constituents with
whom the lawyer is dealing.
(e) A lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of its directors, officers,
employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, subject to the provisions of Rule 1.7. If the
organization's consent to the dual representation is required by Rule 1.7, the consent shall be given
by an appropriate official of the organization other than the individual who is to be represented, or
by the shareholders.
Rule 1.14. Client With Diminished Capacity
(a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a
representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other
reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship
with the client.
(b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of
substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the
client's own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including
consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and,
in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.
(c) Information relating to the representation of a client with diminished capacity is protected by
Rule 1.6. When taking protective action pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized
under Rule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extent reasonably necessary
to protect the client's interests.
Rule 1.15. Safekeeping Property
(a) A lawyer shall hold property of clients or third persons that is in a lawyer's possession in
connection with a representation separate from the lawyer's own property. Funds shall be kept in a
separate account maintained in the state where the lawyer's office is situated, or elsewhere with the
consent of the client or third person. Other property shall be identified as such and appropriately
safeguarded. Complete records of such account funds and other property shall be kept by the lawyer
and shall be preserved for a period of five years after termination of the representation. A lawyer may
deposit the lawyer's own funds in a client trust account for the sole purpose of paying bank service
charges on that account, but only in an amount necessary for that purpose. A lawyer shall deposit
into a client trust account legal fees and expenses that have been paid in advance, to be withdrawn
by the lawyer only as fees are earned or expenses incurred.
(b) Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a
lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third person. Except as stated in this Rule or otherwise
permitted by law or by agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third
person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, upon
request by the client or third person, shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such property.
(c) When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which two or
more persons (one of whom may be the lawyer) claim interests, the property shall be kept separate
by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved. The lawyer shall promptly distribute all portions of the
property as to which the interests are not in dispute.
(d) Preserving Identity of Funds and Property of Client.
All funds of clients paid to a lawyer or law firm, including advances for costs and
expenses, shall be deposited in one or more identifiable bank accounts maintained in the
state in which the law office is situated and no funds belonging to the lawyer or law firm
shall be deposited therein except as follows:
Funds reasonably sufficient to pay bank charges may be deposited therein.
Funds belonging in part to a client and in part presently or potentially to the lawyer
or law firm must be deposited therein, but the portion belonging to the lawyer or
law firm may be withdrawn when due unless the right of the lawyer or law firm to
receive it is disputed by the client, in which event the disputed portion shall not be
withdrawn until the dispute is finally resolved.
A lawyer shall:
Promptly notify a client of the receipt of his funds, securities, or other properties.
Identify and label securities and properties of a client promptly upon receipt and
place them in a safe deposit box or other place of safekeeping as soon as
Maintain complete records of all funds, securities, and other properties of a client
coming into the possession of the lawyer and render appropriate accountings to his
client regarding them.
Promptly pay or deliver to the client as requested by a client the funds, securities,
or other properties in the possession of the lawyer which the client is entitled to
A lawyer may elect to create and maintain an interest-bearing account for clients' funds
which are nominal in amount or to be held for a short period of time in compliance with
the following provisions:
No earnings from such an account shall be made available to a lawyer or firm.
The account shall include all clients' funds which are nominal in amount or to be
held for a short period of time.
An interest-bearing trust account may be established with any bank authorized by
federal or state law to do business in South Dakota and insured by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation. Funds in each interest-bearing trust account shall
be subject to withdrawal upon request and without delay.
The rate of interest payable on any interest-bearing trust account shall not be less
than the rate paid by the depository institution to regular, nonlawyer depositors
unless reduced to offset bank administrative costs. Higher rates offered by the
institution to customers whose deposits exceed certain time or quantity minima,
such as those offered in the form of certificates of deposit, may be obtained by a
lawyer or law firm on some or all of deposit funds so long as there is no
impairment of the right to withdraw or transfer principal immediately.
Lawyers or law firms electing to deposit client funds in a trust savings account shall direct
the depository institution:
To remit interest or dividends, net of any service charges or fees, on the average
monthly balance in the account, or as otherwise computed in accordance with an
institution's standard accounting practice, at least quarterly, to the South Dakota
To transmit with each remittance to the Foundation a statement showing the name
of the lawyer or law firm for whom the remittance is sent and the rate of interest
To transmit to the depositing lawyer or law firm at the same time a report showing
the amount paid to the Foundation, the rate of interest applied, and the average
account balance of the period for which the report is made.
This is a voluntary program based upon the willing participation by attorneys and law
firms, whether proprietorships, partnerships or professional corporations.
The program shall apply to all clients of the electing, participating attorneys or firms
whose funds on deposit are either nominal in amount or to be held for a short period of
The following principles shall apply to clients' funds which are held by attorneys and
firms who elect to participate in the program:
No earnings from the funds may be made available to any attorney or law firm.
Upon request of the client, earnings may be made available to the client whenever
possible upon deposited funds which are neither nominal in amount nor are to be
held for a short period of time; however, traditional attorney-client relationships
do not compel attorneys to either invest clients' funds or to advise clients to make
their funds productive.
Clients' funds which are nominal in amount or to be held for a short period of time
shall be retained in an interest-bearing checking or savings trust account, with the
interest (net of any service charge or fees) made payable to the South Dakota Bar
The determination of whether clients' funds are nominal in amount or to be held
for a short period of time rests in the sound judgment of each attorney or law firm.
Such judgment is not subject to review.
Notification of clients whose funds are nominal in amount or to be held for a short
period of time is unnecessary for those attorneys and firms who choose to
participate in the program. This is not to suggest that many attorneys will not want
to notify their clients of their participation in the program in some fashion. There
is no impropriety in an attorney or firm advising all clients of their willingness to
advance the administration of justice in South Dakota beyond their individual
abilities in conjunction with other public-spirited members of their profession.
Participation in the program will involve no more than a firm desire to participate,
coupled with the attorney's or firm's communication of that desire to an authorized
financial institution. That communication should contain only an expression of the
attorney's or firm's desire to participate in the program and, if the institution has not
already received appropriate notification, advice regarding the Internal Revenue
Service's approval of the taxability of earned interest or dividends to the
The following principles shall apply to those clients' funds held in trust accounts by
attorneys or firms who elect NOT to participate in the program:
No earnings from the funds may be made available to any attorney or firm.
Upon request of a client, earnings may be made available to client whenever
possible on deposited funds which are neither nominal in amount nor to be held for
a short period of time; however, traditional attorney-client relationships do not
compel attorneys either to invest clients' funds or to advise clients to make their
Clients' funds which are nominal in amount or to be held for short periods of time,
and for which individual income generation and allocation is not arranged with a
financial institution, must be retained in a noninterest-bearing, demand trust
The determination of whether clients' funds are nominal in amount or to be held
for a short period of time rests in the sound judgment of each attorney or law firm.
Interest paid to the South Dakota Bar Foundation will be used for the following purposes:
To help prevent crime;
To facilitate and improve the delivery of civil and criminal legal services and the
administration of justice;
To encourage law-related education in the schools (K-12);
To encourage law-related education of adults including seminars and programs for
charitable, civic and senior citizens groups;
To give the general public information about how the courts and lawyers function;
To issue publications educating the public about the United States legal system.
Rule 1.16. Declining or Terminating Representation
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation
has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:
the representation will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other
the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to
represent the client; or
the lawyer is discharged.
(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:
withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the
the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer
reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;
the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud;
the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the
lawyer has a fundamental disagreement;
the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's
services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the
obligation is fulfilled;
the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has
been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or
other good cause for withdrawal exists.
(c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal
when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue
representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.
(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably
practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time
for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and
refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer
may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law.
Rule 1.17. Sale of Law Practice
A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area of law practice, including
good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) The agreement shall be in writing and may contain restrictions on the practice of law by the
seller, and the seller may be the estate of a deceased lawyer.
(b) The entire practice, or the entire area of practice, is sold to one or more lawyers or law firms;
(c) The seller gives written notice to each of the seller's clients regarding:
the proposed sale;
the client's right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and
the fact that the client's consent to the transfer of the client's files will be presumed if the
client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within ninety (90) days of
receipt of the notice. If a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client
may be transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizing by a court
having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court in camera information relating
to the representation only to the extent necessary to obtain an order authorizing the
transfer of a file.
(d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of sale.
Rule 1.18. Duties to Prospective Client
(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship
with respect to a matter is a prospective client.
(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a
prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as in Rule
1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.
(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse
to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received
information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the
matter, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this
paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or
continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).
(d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c),
representation is permissible if:
both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed
in writing, or:
the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to
more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to
represent the prospective client; and
the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and
is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.
Rule 2.1. Advisor
In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render
candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations
such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client's situation.
Rule 2.2. Reserved
Rule 2.3. Evaluation for Use by Third Persons
(a) A lawyer may provide an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone other
than the client if the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other
aspects of the lawyer's relationship with the client.
(b) When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the evaluation is likely to affect the
client's interests materially and adversely, the lawyer shall not provide the evaluation unless the
client gives informed consent.
(c) Except as disclosure is authorized in connection with a report of an evaluation, information
relating to the evaluation is otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
Rule 2.4. Lawyer Serving as Third-Party Neutral
(a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists two or more persons who are
not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between
them. Service as a third-party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in such other
capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter.
(b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer
is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not
understand the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the
lawyer's role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer's role as one who represents a client.
Rule 3.1. Meritorious Claims and Contentions
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless
there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith
argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in
a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration, may
nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.
Rule 3.2. Expediting Litigation
A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the
Rule 3.3. Candor Toward the Tribunal
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to timely correct a false statement
of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;
fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the
lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing
offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer's client, or a
witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know
of its falsity, the lawyer shall timely take reasonable remedial measures, including, if
necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the
testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
However, in a criminal matter, the lawyer shall not participate with the client in the
presentation of the client's testimony which the lawyer knows to be false.
(b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person
intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the
proceeding shall timely take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the
(c) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and
apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(d) In an ex parte proceeding, except grand juries and applications for search warrants, a lawyer
shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to
make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.
Rule 3.4. Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal
a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist
another person to do any such act;
(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or offer an inducement to a
witness that is prohibited by law;
(c) knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal, except for an open refusal
based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists;
(d) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent
effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party;
(e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will
not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when
testifying as a witness, or state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a
witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of an accused; or
(f) request a person other than a client to refrain from voluntarily giving relevant information to
another party unless:
the person is a relative or an employee or other agent of a client; and
the lawyer reasonably believes that the person's interests will not be adversely affected by
refraining from giving such information.
Rule 3.5. Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
A lawyer shall not:
(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by
(b) communicate ex parte on the merits with such a person during the proceeding unless
authorized to do so by law or court order;
(c) communicate with a juror or prospective juror after discharge of the jury if:
the communication is prohibited by law or court order;
the juror has made known to the lawyer a desire not to communicate; or
the communication involves misrepresentation, coercion, duress or harassment; or
(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt the tribunal.
Rule 3.6. Trial Publicity
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter
shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be
disseminated by means of public communication and if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know
that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:
the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity
of the persons involved
information contained in a public record;
that an investigation of a matter is in progress;
the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;
a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;
a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason
to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the
public interest; and
in a criminal case, in addition to subparagraphs (1) through (6):
the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;
if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in
apprehension of that person;
the fact, time and place of arrest; and
the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer
would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent
publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client. A statement made pursuant to this
paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse
(d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyer subject to paragraph (a)
shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).
Rule 3.7. Lawyer as Witness
(a) A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary
the testimony relates to an uncontested issue;
the testimony relates to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the case; or
disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client; or
except as otherwise provided by statute.
(b) A lawyer may act as advocate in a trial in which another lawyer in the lawyer's firm is likely
to be called as a witness unless precluded from doing so by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9.
Rule 3.8. Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable
(b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the
procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;
(c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such
as the right to a preliminary hearing;
(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor
that tends to exculpate the guilt of the accused, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the
defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged exculpatory information known to the prosecutor, except
when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;
(e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence
relating to the lawyer's representation of a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably
the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;
the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation
or prosecution; and
there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;
(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the
prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making
extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the
accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees
of other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an
extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this
Rule 3.9. Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a
nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall
conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.
TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS OTHER THAN CLIENTS
Rule 4.1. Truthfulness in Statements to Others
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or
(b) fail to disclose a material fact when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or
fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.
Rule 4.2. Communication with Person Represented by Counsel
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation
with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer
has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.
Rule 4.3. Dealing with Unrepresented Person
In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall
not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should
know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall
make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to
an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably
should know that the interests of such a person are to have a reasonable possibility of being in
conflict with the interests of the client.
Rule 4.4. Respect for Rights of Third Persons
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other
than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate
the legal rights of such a person.
(b) A lawyer who receives a document relating to the representation of the lawyer's client and
knows or reasonably should know that the document was inadvertently sent shall promptly notify
the sender, and or sender's lawyer if sender is represented.
LAW FIRMS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Rule 5.1. Responsibilities of Partners, Managers, and Supervisory Lawyers
(a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers
possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that
the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to
the rules of professional conduct.
(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable
efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the rules of professional conduct.
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of the rules of professional
the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct
the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which
the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and
knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but
fails to take reasonable remedial action.
Rule 5.2. Responsibilities of a Subordinate Lawyer
(a) A lawyer is bound by the rules of professional conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted
at the direction of another person.
(b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the rules of professional conduct if that lawyer acts in
accordance with a supervisory lawyer's reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional
Rule 5.3. Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants
With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:
(a) a partner, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable
managerial authority in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect
measures giving reasonable assurance that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional
obligations of the lawyer;
(b) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts
to ensure that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer; and
(c) a lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that would be a violation of the
rules of professional conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:
the lawyer orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct
the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which
the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of
the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take
reasonable remedial action.
Rule 5.4. Professional Independence of a Lawyer
(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the
payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the
lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons;
a lawyer who undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may
pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation which
fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer;
a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may,
pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that
lawyer an agreed upon purchase price;
a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement
plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement;
a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) or 501 (c)(6)
organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the
(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the
partnership consist of the practice of law.
(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render
legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such
(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association
authorized to practice law for a profit, if:
a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate
of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during
a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar
responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation; or
a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.
Rule 5.5. Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law
(a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal
profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.
(b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not:
except as authorized by these Rules or other law, establish an office or other systematic
and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law; or
hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law
in this jurisdiction.
(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from
practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:
are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction
and who actively participates in the matter;
are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this
or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by
law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;
are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other
alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services
arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the
lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac
vice admission; or
are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the
lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice, and
in all cases, the lawyer obtains a South Dakota sales tax license and tenders the applicable
taxes pursuant to Chapter 10-45.
(d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from
practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that:
are provided to the lawyer's employer or its organizational affiliates and are not services
for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or
are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this
jurisdiction, provided that the lawyer obtains a South Dakota sales tax license and tenders
the applicable taxes pursuant to Chapter 10-45.
Rule 5.6. Restrictions on Right to Practice
A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
(a) a partnership, shareholders, operation, employment, or other similar type of agreement that
restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement
concerning benefits upon retirement; or
(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement
of a client controversy.
Rule 5.7. Responsibilities Regarding Law-Related Services
(a) A lawyer shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to the provision
of law-related services, as defined in paragraph (b), if the law-related services are provided:
by the lawyer in circumstances that are not distinct from the lawyer's provision of legal
services to clients; or
in other circumstances by an entity controlled by the lawyer individually or with others
if the lawyer fails to take reasonable measures to assure that a person obtaining the
law-related services knows that the services are not legal services and that the protections
of the client-lawyer relationship do not exist.
(b) The term "law-related services" denotes services that might reasonably be performed in
conjunction with and in substance are related to the provision of legal services, and that are not
prohibited as unauthorized practice of law when provided by a nonlawyer.
Rule 6.1. Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service
A lawyer should render public interest legal service.
A lawyer may discharge this responsibility by:
(a) providing professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means or to
public service or charitable groups or organizations; or
(b) by service without compensation in public interest activities that improve the law, the legal
system or the legal profession; or
(c) by financial support for organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.
Rule 6.2. Accepting Appointments
A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good
cause, such as:
(a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of the rules of professional conduct or
(b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer;
(c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer
relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.
Rule 6.3. Membership in Legal Services Organization
A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, apart from
the law firm in which the lawyer practices, notwithstanding that the organization serves persons
having interests adverse to a client of the lawyer. The lawyer shall not knowingly participate in a
decision or action of the organization:
(a) if participating in the decision or action would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations
to a client under Rule 1.7; or
(b) where the decision or action could have a material adverse effect on the representation of a
client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.
Rule 6.4. Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests
A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the
law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the
lawyer. When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefitted by a
decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the
Rule 6.5. Nonprofit and Court-Annexed Limited Legal Services Programs
(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or
court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer
or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:
is subject to Rule 1.7 and 1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the
client involves a conflict of interest; and
is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the
lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed
by this Rule.
INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES
Rule 7.1. Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services
(a) Definitions. For the purpose of this Rule 7.1, the following terms shall have the following
"communication" means any message or offer made by or on behalf of a lawyer
concerning the availability of the lawyer for professional employment which is directed
to any former, present, or prospective client, including, but not limited to, the following:
any use of firm name, trade name, fictitious name, or other professional designation
of such lawyer;
any stationery, letterhead, business card, sign, brochure, or other comparable
written material describing such lawyer;
any advertisement, regardless of medium, of such lawyer, directed to the general
public or any significant portion thereof; or
any unsolicited correspondence from a lawyer directed to any person or entity; and
"lawyer" means an individual lawyer and any association of lawyers for the practice of
law, including a partnership, a professional corporation, limited liability company or any
(b) Purpose of Communications. All communications shall be predominantly informational.
As used in this Rule 7.1, "predominantly informational" means that, in both quantity and quality, the
communication of factual information rationally related to the need for and selection of a lawyer
predominates and that the communication includes only a minimal amount of content designed to
attract attention to and create interest in the communication.
(c) False or Misleading Communications. A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading
communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading
contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the
communication considered as a whole not materially misleading;
contains a prediction, warranty or guarantee regarding the future success of representation
by the lawyer or is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can
contains an opinion, representation, implication or self-laudatory statement regarding the
quality of the lawyer's legal services which is not susceptible of reasonable verification
by the public;
contains information based on the lawyer's past success without a disclaimer that past
success cannot be an assurance of future success because each case must be decided on
its own merits;
compares the lawyer's services with other lawyers' services, unless the comparison can be
states or implies that the lawyer actually represents clients in a particular area of practice
when the lawyer refers a significant number of such clients to other lawyers for
representation with respect to all or a significant aspect of the particular practice area;
states or implies that the lawyer is experienced in a particular area of practice unless
significant experience in such practice area can be factually substantiated;
states or implies that the lawyer is in a position to improperly influence any court or other
public body or office;
states or implies the existence of a relationship between the lawyer and a government
agency or instrumentality;
states or implies that a lawyer has a relationship to any other lawyer unless such
relationship in fact exists and is close, personal, continuous and regular;
fails to contain the name and address by city or town of the lawyer whose services are
described in the communication;
contains a testimonial about or endorsement of the lawyer, unless the lawyer can factually
substantiate the claims made in the testimonial or endorsement and unless such
communication also contains an express disclaimer substantively similar to the following:
"This testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guaranty, warranty, or prediction
regarding the outcome of your legal matter";
contains a testimonial or endorsement about the lawyer for which the lawyer has directly
or indirectly given or exchanged anything of value to or with the person making the
testimonial or giving the endorsement, unless the communication conspicuously discloses
that the lawyer has given or exchanged something of value to or with the person making
the testimonial or giving the endorsement;
contains a testimonial or endorsement which is not made by an actual client of the lawyer,
unless that fact is conspicuously disclosed in the communication;
contains any impersonation, dramatization, or simulation which is not predominantly
informational and without conspicuously disclosing in the communication the fact that
it is an impersonation, dramatization, or simulation;
fails to contain disclaimers or disclosures required by this Rule 7.1 or the other Rules of
contains any other material statement or claim that cannot be factually substantiated.
(d) Lawyers Responsible for Communication. Every lawyer associated in the practice of law
with or employed by the lawyer which causes or makes a communication in violation of this rule
may be subject to discipline for the failure of the communication to comply with the requirements
of this rule.
Rule 7.2. Advertising
(a) Definition. "Lawyer" is defined in Rule 7.1(a)(2).
(b) Permitted Advertising. Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5, a
lawyer may advertise legal services through written, recorded, internet, computer, e-mail or other
electronic communication, including public media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory,
newspapers or other periodicals, billboards and other signs, radio, television and other electronic
media, and recorded messages the public may access by dialing a telephone number, or through other
written or recorded communication. This rule shall not apply to any advertisement which is broadcast
or disseminated in another jurisdiction in which the advertising lawyer is admitted if such
advertisement complies with the rules governing lawyer advertising in that jurisdiction and is
reasonably expected by the lawyer not to be received or disseminated in the State of South Dakota.
(c) Record of Advertising. A copy or recording of an advertisement shall be kept by the
advertising lawyer for two years after its last dissemination along with a record of when and where
it was used.
(d) Prohibited Payments. Except as provided in Rule 1.17 and except as provided in
subparagraph (c)(13) of Rule 7.1, a lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for
recommending the lawyer's services, except that a lawyer may:
pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule and
may pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit legal service organization;
pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) qualified lawyer referral
service. A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been
approved by an appropriate regulatory authority;
pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17.
Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at
least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.
(e) Prohibited Cost Sharing. No lawyer shall, directly or indirectly, pay all or part of the cost
of an advertisement by another lawyer with whom the nonadvertising lawyer is not associated in a
partnership, professional corporation or limited liability company for the practice of law, unless the
advertisement conspicuously discloses the name and address of the nonadvertising lawyer, and
conspicuously discloses whether the advertising lawyer contemplates referring all or any part of the
representation of a client obtained through the advertisement to the nonadvertising lawyer.
(f) Permissible Content. The following information in advertisements and written
communications shall be presumed not to violate the provisions of this Rule 7.2:
Subject to the requirements of Rule 7.5, the name of the lawyer, a listing of lawyers
associated with the lawyer for the practice of law, office addresses and telephone
numbers, office and telephone service hours, and a designation such as "lawyer,"
"attorney," "law firm," "partnership" or "professional corporation," or "limited liability
Date of admission to the South Dakota bar and any other bar association and a listing of
federal courts and jurisdictions where the lawyer is licensed to practice.
Technical and professional licenses granted by the State of South Dakota or other
recognized licensing authorities.
Foreign language ability.
Fields of law in which the lawyer is certified subject to the requirements of Rule 7.4.
Prepaid or group legal service plans in which the lawyer participates.
Acceptance of credit cards.
Information concerning fees and costs, or the availability of such information on request,
subject to the requirements of this Rule 7.2 and the other Rules of Professional Conduct.
A listing of the name and geographic location of a lawyer as a sponsor of a public service
announcement or charitable, civic or community program or event. Such listings shall not
exceed the traditional description of sponsors of or contributors to the charitable, civic or
community program or event or public service announcement, and such listing must
comply with the provisions of this rule and the other Rules of Professional Conduct.
Schools attended, with dates of graduation, degree and other scholastic distinctions.
Public or quasi-public offices.
Legal teaching positions.
Memberships, offices and committee assignments in bar associations.
Memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies.
Memberships in scientific, technical and professional associations and societies.
Names and addresses of bank references.
With their written consent, names of clients regularly represented.
Office and telephone answering service hours.
(g) Permissible Fee Information.
Advertisements permitted under this Rule 7.2 may contain information about fees for
services as follows:
the fee charged for an initial consultation;
availability upon request of a written schedule of fees or an estimate of fees to be
charged for specific legal services;
that the charging of a fee is contingent on outcome or that the fee will be a
percentage of the recovery, provided that the advertisement conspicuously
discloses whether percentages are computed before or after deduction of costs, and
only if it specifically and conspicuously states that the client will bear the expenses
incurred in the client's representation, regardless of outcome, except as permitted
by Rule 1.8(e);
the range of fees for services, provided that the advertisement conspicuously
discloses that the specific fee within the range which will be charged will vary
depending upon the particular matter to be handled for each client, that the quoted
fee will be available only to clients whose legal representation is within the
services described in the advertisement, and the client is entitled without obligation
to an estimate of the fee within the range likely to be charged;
the hourly rate, provided that the advertisement conspicuously discloses that the
total fee charge will depend upon the number of hours which must be devoted to
the particular matter to be handled for each client, and that the client is entitled
without obligation to an estimate of the fee likely to be charged;
fixed fees for specific legal services, provided that the advertisement conspicuously
discloses that the quoted fee will be available only to a client seeking the specific
A lawyer who advertises a specific fee, range of fees or hourly rate for a particular service
shall honor the advertised fee or rate for at least ninety (90) days unless the advertisement
conspicuously specifies a shorter period; provided, for advertisements in the yellow pages
of telephone directories or other media not published more frequently than annually, the
advertised fee or range of fees shall be honored for no less than one year following
(h) Electronic Media. Advertisements by electronic media, such as television and radio, may
contain the same information as permitted in advertisements by print media, subject to the following
if a lawyer advertises by electronic media and a person appears in the advertisement
purporting to be a lawyer, such person shall in fact be the advertising lawyer or a lawyer
employed full-time by the advertising lawyer; and
if a lawyer advertises a particular legal service by electronic media, and a person appears
in the advertisement purporting to be or implying that the person is the lawyer who will
render the legal service, the person appearing in the advertisement shall be the lawyer who
will actually perform the legal service advertised unless the advertisement conspicuously
discloses that the person appearing in the advertisement is not the person who will
perform the legal service advertised.
Advertisements disseminated by electronic media shall be prerecorded and the
prerecorded communication shall be reviewed and approved by the lawyer before it is
(i) Law Directories. Nothing in this Rule 7.2 prohibits a lawyer from permitting the inclusion
in reputable directories intended primarily for the use of the legal profession or institutional
consumers of legal services and contains such information as has traditionally been included in such
(j) Acceptance of Employment. A lawyer shall not accept employment when he knows or
should know that the person who seeks his services does so as a result of conduct prohibited under
this Rule 7.2.
(k) Lawyers Responsible for Advertising. Every lawyer associated in the practice of law with
or employed by the lawyer which causes or makes an advertising in violation of this rule may be
subject to discipline for the failure of the advertisement to comply with the requirements of this rule.
(l) Mandatory Disclosure. Every lawyer shall, in any written or media advertisements, disclose
the absence of professional liability insurance if the lawyer does not have professional liability
insurance having limits of at least $100,000, using the specific language required in Rule 1.4(c)(1)
Rule 7.3. Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit
professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing
so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:
is a lawyer; or
has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.
(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written,
recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact
even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:
The prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the
The solicitation involves coercion, duress, or harassment.
(c) A copy of every written or recorded communication from a lawyer soliciting professional
employment from a prospective client shall be deposited no less that thirty days prior to its
dissemination or publication with the Secretary-Treasurer of the South Dakota State Bar by mailing
the same to the Office of the State Bar of South Dakota in Pierre, postage prepaid, return receipt
(d) Every written, recorded or electronic communication from a lawyer soliciting professional
employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter
shall include the words "Advertising Material" on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning
and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication
is a person specified in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2). Where the communication is written, the label
shall appear in a minimum 18-point type or in type as large as the largest type otherwise used in the
written communication, whichever is larger. This labeling requirement shall not apply to mailings
of announcements of changes in address, firm structure or personnel, nor to mailings of firm
brochures to persons selected on a basis other than prospective employment.
(e) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer may participate with a prepaid
or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses
in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who
are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
Rule 7.4. Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization
A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields
of law. If a lawyer practices only in certain fields, or will not accept matters except in such fields,
the lawyer is permitted so to indicate. A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is a specialist
except as follows:
(a) A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark
Office may use the designation "patent attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
(b) A lawyer engaged in admiralty practice may use the designation "admiralty", "proctor in
admiralty" or a substantially similar designation.
(c) If a lawyer or firm practices in only certain fields and desires to advertise such limitations in
the yellow pages of the telephone directory any such advertising must be accompanied by the
following disclaimer appearing in a prominent and conspicuous manner in such advertising or on
the same page as the advertising:
Such certification is granted by an organization which has been approved by the
appropriate regulatory authority to grant such certification; or
Such certification is granted by an organization that has not yet been approved by, or has
been denied the approval available from the appropriate regulatory authority, and the
absence or denial of approval is clearly stated in the communication, and in any
advertising subject to Rule 7.2, such statement appears in the same sentence that
communicates the certification.
(d) Pursuant to subsection (c)(1), the South Dakota Supreme Court hereby designates the
American Bar Association as the appropriate regulatory authority to accredit specialty certification
programs according to such standards and criteria as the American Bar Association may from time
to time establish for accreditation of specialty programs.
(e) A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field
of law, unless:
the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by
an appropriate state authority or that has been accredited by the American Bar
the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.
Rule 7.5. Firm Names and Letterheads
(a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates
Rule 7.1. A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection
with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not
otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.
(b) A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other
professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm
shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where
the office is located.
(c) The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or
in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively
and regularly practicing with the firm.
(d) Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only
when that is the fact.
(e) The disclosure required in Rule 1.4(c)(1) or (2) shall be in black ink with type no smaller than
the type used for showing the individual lawyer's names.
MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION
Rule 8.1. Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters
An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application
or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:
(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or
(b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have
arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an
admissions or disciplinary authority, except that this rule does not require disclosure of information
otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
Rule 8.2. Judicial and Legal Officials
(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless
disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory
officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions
of the code of judicial conduct.
Rule 8.3. Reporting Professional Misconduct
(a) A lawyer having knowledge that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of
Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness
or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.
(b) A lawyer having knowledge that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of
judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the
(c) This rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6 or
information gained by a lawyer or judge while participating in an approved lawyers assistance
(d) The names, identities, and treatment of persons seeking assistance of the South Dakota
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Inc., or an approved lawyers assistance program, relating to alcohol
abuse or chemical dependency shall be kept confidential by members of South Dakota Lawyers
Concerned for Lawyers, Inc., who are so contacted.
Rule 8.4. Misconduct
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the rules of professional conduct, knowingly assist or induce
another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or
fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve
results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules
of judicial conduct or other law.
Rule 8.5. Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law
(a) Disciplinary Authority. A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the
disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the lawyer's conduct occurs. A lawyer
not admitted in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction if the
lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject
to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.
(b) Choice of Law. In any exercise of the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, the rules of
professional conduct to be applied shall be as follows:
for conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the rules of the
jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise;
for any other conduct, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer's conduct occurred,
or, if the predominant effect of the conduct is in a different jurisdiction, the rules of that
jurisdiction shall be applied to the conduct. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if
the lawyer's conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably
believes the predominant effect of the lawyer's conduct will occur.
SL 2004, ch 327 (Supreme Court Rule 03-26), eff. Jan. 1, 2004.