Inquiry is made concerning the ethical propriety of an attorney listening, over a speaker telephone, or any other method or device, to a conversation between his client and an adverse party without the knowledge and consent of the adverse party.
Disciplinary Rule 7-104 of the Code of Professional Responsibility addresses the attorneys' ethical responsibility in communicating with an adverse party.
Blacks Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition (1979) at Page 253, defines "communication" as "information given; the sharing of knowledge by one with another ...."
Disciplinary Rule 1-102(A)(2) of the Code prohibits an attorney from circumventing his ethical responsibility through the actions of another.
The attorney is personally responsible for the compliance of his ethical responsibilities. All communications by an attorney with an adverse party must be direct and in full compliance with the Code of Professional Responsibility, specifically DR 7-104(A)(1). Any such communications by an attorney with an adverse party by subterfuge, through the client over a speaker telephone or any other indirect mechanical or electronic methods or device, without the knowledge and consent of the adverse party, is prohibited.
This 13th day of March, 1985.
W. J. Flippin, Chairman
Henry H. Hancock
Edwin C. Townsend
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD