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Ethical and Admissible Witness Investigations


Understand the ethical rules and related substantive rules regarding the duty to conduct witness interviews and investigations.

In the litigation process and preparing the case, it is necessary to interview third party witnesses. Questions often arise if the interview is ethical and permissible or prohibited. The repercussions of improperly contacting a witness or discussing certain matters can result in sanctions against the attorney, including disqualification, and can result in disqualification of the witness. Accordingly, when interviewing witnesses and conducting investigations, the attorney needs to be aware of the Rules of Professional Conduct to define the permissible scope of the investigation. Like wise, attorneys need to comply with the limitations of coaching a third-party witness. This topic will address the ethical rules and related substantive rules regarding the duty to conduct witness interviews and investigations and the effects of impermissible conduct by the attorney or someone working at the direction of the attorney. This mate-rial will also discuss the scope of permissible coaching of a third party witness.



John A. Snow

John A. Snow

Parsons Behle & Latimer

  • Attorney with Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice consists of general civil litigation, including commercial, professional malpractice, construction, and insurance coverage and defense
  • Designated in The Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year in litigation, real estate, and construction law; and designated in the areas of practice of legal malpractice defense, commercial litigation, and construction
  • Designated in Utah Business magazine‚Äôs Utah Legal Elite in the areas of business and civil litigation and construction law and as a Super Lawyer in the Mountain States in Super Lawyer Magazine
  • Former Chair of the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee of the Utah State Bar
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 801-536-6772

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