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PR 15-35 Lacroix v. Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority No Violation

The Complainant alleged RIHEAA violated the APRA when it failed to respond to his December 18, 2014 APRA. It appears from the record that at the time of the Complainant's December 18, 2014 APRA request, he had a lawsuit pending against the RIHEAA, wherein the Complainant was represented by legal counsel. The legal counsel for RIHEAA raised Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 4.2 as the reason for not responding. Rule 4.2 states: "In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order." While the Complainant claimed that the subject matter of his APRA request was unrelated to the subject-matter of his lawsuit, we have found nothing in the record that demonstrates this representation was made to RIHEAA or to its legal counsel while the December 18, 2014 APRA request was pending.

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