October 6, 1989
The Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, at its meeting of September 12, 1989, considered your inquiry (89-99), dated August 3, 1989, and received on August 4, 1989.
The Committee concludes that you are obliged to report to the appropriate disciplinary authorities the possible misconduct of the attorney to whom your inquiry refers only if, upon review of the facts and the Code of Professional Responsibility, you conclude that the attorney has substantially violated that Code. If you do not conclude that the attorney substantially violated the Code, you are not required to report his or her actions. An insubstantial violation need not be reported. Since the Committee is not authorized to construe provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility, it cannot determine whether, in a particular instance, a substantial violation of the Code has occurred.
The Committee believes that the guidelines and considerations provided in previous Committee Opinions 89-54, 89-74 and 89-75, copies of which are enclosed, will be useful to you in this instance in making your determination.
Very truly yours,
Samuel J. Silverman