Better NOT call it unethical: An unfounded warning from one lawyer to another lawyer that certain intended behavior is unethical, can constitute an ethical violation.
Is it unethical to call a fellow lawyer unethical? Recently the Committee has received inquiries from all quarters of the bar – criminal prosecution and defense; civil plaintiff and defense – about the propriety of calling opposing counsel’s conduct unethical. Sadly, some have said that the threat of an ethical complaint has been used to coerce action.
The Committee recognizes that emotions sometime get the better of counsel when they are in the heat of battle. But there are limits and experienced counsel know the line. The purpose of this “back to basics” opinion is to give the bar a closer focus on
the line and the ability to discern real unethical behavior from that which merely reflects professional differences.