(a) "Belief" or "believes" denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question to
be true. A person's belief may be inferred from the person's conduct in the circumstances.
(b) "Consent in writing", when used with reference to the consent of a person, denotes consent that
is given in writing by the person or oral consent promptly confirmed in writing to the client by the
(c) "Consult" or "consultation" denotes communication of information reasonably sufficient to
permit the client to appreciate the significance of the matter in question.
(d) "Firm" or "law firm" denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation,
sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law; or lawyers employed in a legal
services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization.
(e) "Fraud" or "fraudulent" denotes conduct having a purpose to deceive and not merely negligent
misrepresentation or negligent failure to apprise another of relevant information.
(f) "Jurisdiction" means this state, another state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, or a territory or possession of the United States.
(g) "Knowingly", "known", or "knows" denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's
knowledge may be inferred from the person's conduct in the circumstances.
(h) "Legal Assistant" (or paralegal) means a person who assists lawyers in the delivery of legal
services, and who through formal education, training, or experience, has knowledge and expertise
regarding the legal system and substantive and procedural law which qualifies the person to do work
of a legal nature under the direct supervision of a licensed lawyer.
(i) "Matter", for purposes of Rules 1.7 through 1.12, includes any judicial or other proceeding,
application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract claim, controversy, investigation,
charge, accusation, arrest, or other transaction.
(j) "Notice of dishonor" refers to the notice that an eligible financial institution is required to give,
under the laws of this jurisdiction, upon presentation of an instrument that the institution dishonors.
(k) "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership, a shareholder in a law firm organized as a
professional corporation, or a member of an association authorized to practice law.
(l) "Properly payable" refers to an instrument that, if presented in the normal course of business, is
in a form requiring payment under the laws of this jurisdiction.
(m) "Reasonable" or "reasonably" when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer denotes the conduct
of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer.
(n) "Reasonable belief" or "reasonably believes" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that the
lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is
(o) "Reasonably should know" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of
reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.
(p) "Screened" denotes the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely
imposition of a firm's procedures that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect
information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law.
(q) "Substantial" when used in reference to degree or extent denotes a material matter of clear and
(r) "Tribunal" denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative body,
administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity. A legislative body,
administrative agency or other body acts in an adjudicative capacity when a neutral official, after
presentation of evidence or legal argument by a party or parties, will render a binding legal judgment
directly affecting a party's interests in a particular matter.
(s) "Writing" or "written" denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or
representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or
videorecording, and e-mailelectronic communications. A "signed" writing includes an electronic
sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a writing and executed or adopted
by a person with the intent to sign the writing.
Consent in Writing
 Where it is required by these Rules, a client's consent must be given in writing at the time consent
is given or oral consent by the client must be promptly confirmed in writing to the client by the
lawyer. If a lawyer has obtained a client's oral consent, the lawyer may act in reliance on that oral
consent so long as it is promptly confirmed in writing.
 Whether two or more lawyers constitute a firm within paragraph (d) can depend on the specific
facts. For example, two practitioners who share office space and occasionally consult or assist each
other ordinarily would not be regarded as constituting a firm. However, if they present themselves
to the public in a way that suggests that they are a firm or conduct themselves as a firm, they should
be regarded as a firm for purposes of the Rules. The terms of any formal agreement between
associated lawyers are relevant in determining whether they are a firm, as is the fact that they have
mutual access to information concerning the clients they serve. Furthermore, it is relevant in doubtful
cases to consider the underlying purpose of the Rule that is involved. A group of lawyers could be
regarded as a firm for purposes of the Rule that the same lawyer should not represent opposing
parties in litigation, while the same group of lawyers might not be regarded as a firm for purposes
of the rule that information acquired by one lawyer is attributed to another.
 With respect to the law department of an organization, including the government, there is
ordinarily no question that the members of the department constitute a firm within the meaning of
these Rules. There can be uncertainty, however, as to the identity of the client. For example, it may
not be clear whether the law department of a corporation represents a subsidiary or an affiliated
corporation, as well as the corporation by which the members of the department are directly
employed. A similar question can arise concerning an unincorporated association and its local
 Similar questions can also arise with respect to lawyers in legal aid and legal services
organizations. Depending upon the structure of the organization, the entire organization or different
components of it may constitute a firm or firms for purposes of these Rules.
 When used in these Rules, the terms "fraud" or "fraudulent" do not include merely negligent
misrepresentation or negligent failure to apprise another of relevant information. For purposes of
these Rules, it is not necessary that anyone has suffered damages or relied on the misrepresentation
or failure to inform in order for the misrepresentation or failure to inform to constitute fraud.
 This definition applies to situations where screening of a personally disqualified lawyer is
permitted to remove imputation of a conflict of interest under Rules 1.11, 1.12, and 1.18.
 The purpose of screening is to assure the affected parties that confidential information known
by the personally disqualified lawyer remains protected. The personally disqualified lawyer should
acknowledge the obligation not to communicate with any of the other lawyers in the firm with
respect to the matter. Similarly, other lawyers in the firm who are working on the matter should be
informed that the screening is in place and that they may not communicate with the personally
disqualified lawyer with respect to the matter. Additional screening measures that are appropriate
for the particular matter will depend on the circumstances. To implement, reinforce and remind all
affected lawyers of the presence of the screening, it may be appropriate for the firm to undertake
such procedures as a written undertaking by the screened lawyer to avoid any communication with
other firm personnel and any contact with any firm files or other materialsinformation, including
information in electronic form, relating to the matter, written notice and instructions to all other firm
personnel forbidding any communication with the screened lawyer relating to the matter, denial of
access by the screened lawyer to firm files or other materialsinformation, including information in
electronic form, relating to the matter and periodic reminders of the screen to the screened lawyer
and all other firm personnel.
Rule 1.0 amended effective 08/01/06, 08/01/09, .
Reference: N.D.C.C. 41-03-60; Minutes of the Professional Conduct Subcommittee of the Attorney
Standards Committee on 01/10/86 and 01/31/86; Minutes of the Joint Committee on Attorney
Standards Meetings of 06/13/95, 09/15/95, 12/01/95, 06/11/96, 09/24/04, 03/18/05, 06/14/05,
09/09/05, 06/10/08, 09/19/08, 11/07/08, 12/01/08, 09/13/13, 09/12/14.