USE OF THREATS OF PROSECUTION IN CONNECTION WITH A CIVIL MATTER (July 6, 1992)
The Model Rules do not prohibit a lawyer from using the possibility of presenting criminal charges against the opposing party in a private civil matter to gain relief for a client, provided that the criminal matter is related to the client's civil claim, the lawyer has a well-founded belief that both the civil claim and the criminal charges are warranted by the law and the facts, and the lawyer does not attempt to exert or suggest improper influence over the criminal process.
The Model Rules do not prohibit a lawyer from agreeing, or having the lawyer's client agree, in return for satisfaction of the client's civil claim, to refrain from presenting criminal charges against the opposing party as part of a settlement agreement, provided that such agreement does not violate applicable law.
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