Formal written opinions are issued only by the Disciplinary Board and are restricted to questions of broad interest and applicability to the bar.  The Disciplinary Board will not issue formal opinions covering individual situations or circumstances.  The topics of formal opinions are usually chosen from suggestions by the Hawai`i Supreme Court, the Disciplinary Board, the ODC, and the bar.

Formal opinions are binding on all members of the bar, and should an attorney fail to observe a formal opinion, that failure can be a basis for disciplinary liability and sanction.

The following are the formal opinions that are currently in effect:

Number 18 and 22: Sharing Office Space (amended March 19,2015)
Number 24: Gifts (amended March 19, 2015)
Number 28: Retaining Lien (amanded March 19,2015)
Number 31: Donating Legal Services to Charitable Organization
Number 32: Charging Interest on Client’s Outstanding Account
Number 34: Obtaining Loan Financing for Clients (amended March 19,2015)
Number 35: Deleted and incoporated in Number 45 (March 19, 2015)
Number 36: Insurance Defense Counsel’s Disclosure of Confidential Client Information to Insurer’s Outside Auditors
Number 37: Insurer Guidelines for Insurance Defense Counsel (amended March 19,2015)
Number 38: Disclosure of Deceased Client’s Confidential Information (amended March 19,2015)
Number 39: Deleted, superseded by new HRPC Rule 4.4 (March 19, 2015)
Number 40: Email Security
Number 41: Attorney Websites (amended March 19,2015)
Number 42: Captive Law Firms (amended March 19,2015)
Number 43: Of Counsel (amended March 19,2015)
Number 44: Pro Se Communication
Number 45: Handling Credit Card Payments (amended March 19,2015)
Number 46: Referral Fee (amended March 19,2015)
Number 47: Cost to Client for Use of a Contract Attorney
Number 48: Public Defender Imputed Disqualification
Number 49: Deleted,
superseded by HRPC 1.2(d) [amended 10/20/2015]