Rule 3.9. Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings


Colorado Court Rules
Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct


As amended through Rule Change 2018(6), effective April 12, 2018

A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity. Further, in such a representation, the lawyer:

(a) shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a)(1), 3.3(a)(3), 3.3(b), 3.3(c), and 3.4(a) and (b);

(b) shall not engage in conduct intended to disrupt such proceeding unless such conduct is protected by law; and

(c) may engage in ex parte communications, except as prohibited by law.

Cite as RPC 3.9

History. Entire Appendix repealed and readopted April 12, 2007, effective January 1, 2008.



[1] In representation before bodies such as legislatures, municipal councils, and executive and administrative agencies acting in a rule-making or policy-making capacity, lawyers present facts, formulate issues and advance argument in the matters under consideration. The decision-making body, like a court, should be able to rely on the integrity of the submissions made to it and on the candor of the lawyer. For this reason the lawyer must conform to Rules 3.3(a)(1), 3.3(a)(3), 3.3(b), 3.3(c), and 3.4(a) and (b) in such representation.

[2] Lawyers have no exclusive right to appear before nonadjudicative bodies, as they do before a court. The requirements of this Rule therefore may subject lawyers to regulations inapplicable to advocates who are not lawyers. However, legislatures and administrative agencies have a right to expect lawyers to deal with them as they deal with courts.

[3] This Rule only applies when a lawyer represents a client in connection with an official hearing or meeting of a governmental agency or a legislative body to which the lawyer or the lawyer's client is presenting evidence or argument. It does not apply to representation of a client in a negotiation or other bilateral transaction with a governmental agency or in connection with an application for a license or other privilege or the client's compliance with generally applicable reporting requirements, such as the filing of income-tax returns. Nor does it apply to the representation of a client in connection with an investigation or examination of the client's affairs conducted by government investigators or examiners. Representation in such matters is governed by Rules 4.1 through 4.4.

[4] This Rule recognizes that the lawyer's conduct and communications described in Rules 3.9(b) and (c) may be protected by constitutional or other legal principles.