Periodically, the Board receives inquiries regarding an attorney's duty to report misconduct.
The rules are designed to provide guidance to lawyers and to provide a structure for regulating conduct through disciplinary agencies. They are not designed to be a basis for civil liability. Furthermore, the purpose of the rules can be subverted when they are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a rule is a just basis for a lawyer's self-assessment, or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary authority, does not imply that an antagonist in a collateral proceeding or transaction has standing to seek enforcement of the rule.
An attorney should seriously consider the motive for filing a complaint against opposing counsel during the course of litigation before any court or administrative authority. Ordinarily, there are procedures for addressing possible violations within the context of the litigation. The Board cannot intervene in pending litigation. The purpose of lawyer discipline is not to punish attorneys, but to protect the public from future misconduct.