OPINION 117
September 1955

NEGOTIATIONS WITH OPPOSITE PARTY - OBTAINING STATEMENTS - Obtaining a written statement from an opposite party in the absence of the attorney retained by the party is unprofessional.  Inquiry as to whether he has retained counsel should be made and a reasonable opportunity to employ counsel should be given before a statement is obtained.

Canon 9.  

Question

Would it violate the Canons of Ethics for the attorneys representing plaintiff, after suit is filed but before answer is filed, to obtain a written statement (secured in the presence of a reporter) from the defendant?

Opinion

The committee is of the opinion that the above described conduct would violate Canon 9 if the defendant were represented by counsel.  We are of the opinion also that it would be unethical to take a statement from the defendant without (1) inquiring whether he had retained counsel, and (2) giving defendant a reasonable opportunity to employ counsel.  (8-0)