A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Caution Tape
Hiroshi Kimura, Unsplash

If you're briefing on an ethical issue in the District of Delaware, consider the local rules before relying exclusively on the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (DLRPC):

(d) Standards for Professional Conduct. Subject to such modifications as may be required or permitted by federal statute, court rule, or decision, all attorneys admitted or authorized to practice before this Court, including attorneys admitted on motion or otherwise, shall be governed by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association (“Model Rules”), as amended from time to time.

D. Del. Local Rule 83.6(d). According to the Judge Jordan, back in 2004:

[T]he ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, not the Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct, set the standards for professional conduct for attorneys appearing before the Court.

United States v. Gordon, 334 F. Supp. 2d 581, 585 n.7 (D. Del. 2004).

I've been doing some research on an ethical issue, and I'm seeing fairly recent briefs that rely exclusively on the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct. This is something I've seen before, so I figured I'd post a reminder here. If you're going to rely on the DLRPC in the District of Delaware, make sure you're doing it knowingly and offering context, and are not just assuming that they are the final word.

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