RULE 8.3 REPORTING PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
(a) A lawyer
having knowledge who knows
that another lawyer has committed a violation of these
rules that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a
lawyer in other respects shall initiate proceedings under the North Dakota Rules of
Procedure for Lawyer Discipline.
(b) A lawyer
having knowledge who knows
that a judge has committed a violation of the North
Dakota Rules Code of Judicial Conduct that raises a substantial
question as to the judge's honesty,
trustworthiness, or fitness for judicial office in other respects shall initiate proceedings under the
Rules of the North Dakota Judicial Conduct Commission.
(c) This rule does not require disclosure of information protected by Rule 1.6 or information gained by a lawyer or judge while participating as a committee member, peer counselor, or program staff in a lawyer assistance program established under Administrative Rule 49.
 Self-regulation of the legal profession requires that members of the profession initiate disciplinary investigation when they know of a violation of these Rules. Lawyers have a similar obligation with respect to judicial misconduct. An apparently isolated violation may indicate a pattern of misconduct that only a disciplinary investigation can uncover. Reporting a violation is especially important where the victim is unlikely to discover the offense. A report should be made to the Disciplinary Board of the North Dakota Supreme Court.
 A report about misconduct is not required
where making the
report if it would involve the
reporting lawyer in a violation of Rule 1.6 by the reporting lawyer. However,
a lawyer excused
from reporting a violation on that ground should encourage the
a client to consent to disclosure
where prosecution would not substantially prejudice the client's interests.
 If a lawyer were obliged to report every violation of these Rules, the failure to
technical or insubstantial violations would itself be a violation of these Rules
any violation would
itself be a professional offense. This Rule limits the reporting obligation to those offenses
self-regulating profession must vigorously endeavor to prevent. A measure of judgment is,
therefore, required in complying with the provisions of this Rule. Whether a violation
is The term
"substantial" depends on refers to the seriousness of the possible
offense and not the quantum of
evidence of which the lawyer is aware. Similar considerations apply to the reporting of judicial
 The duty to report professional misconduct does not apply to a lawyer retained
to represent a
lawyer whose professional conduct is in question. Such a situation is governed by the rules
applicable to the
client-lawyer lawyer-client relationship.
 Information about a lawyer's or judge's misconduct or fitness may be received
by a lawyer in
the course of that lawyer's participation in a lawyer assistance program established under
Administrative Rule 49. In that circumstance, providing for an exception to the reporting
requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule encourages lawyers and judges to
through such a program. Conversely, without such an exception lawyers and judges
to seek assistance from the program, which may result in additional harm to their professional
careers and additional injury to the welfare of clients and the public. These Rules do not
address the confidentiality of information received by a lawyer or judge participating in
approved lawyer assistance program . Confidentiality ; such an
obligation may, however, be
imposed by the rules of the program or other law or rule.
Reference: Minutes of the Professional Conduct Subcommittee of the Attorney
Committee on 12/13/85 and 01/31/86; Minutes of the Joint Committee on Attorney Standards on
06/11/02, 11/15/02, 02/28/03, 09/25/03,
and 11/14/03, 09/24/04, 04/08/05,