Reference is made to your Opinion No. 531
I should 1ike to submit the following further questions in an effort to obtain clarification as to the rule in this area:
Assuming that the plaintiff or his counsel has not been advised that the matter is being handled on behalf of either the insurance company or the insured by any member of the legal profession, would there be anything improper in the plaintiff or his counsel addressing to the insurance company a letter which contained nothing more than the terms on which the plaintiff was prepared to settle the case and mailing to the insured a duplicate of such letter? No personal contact would be made with the insured and the letter would in no way attempt to argue the merits of the proposed settlement or to give advice relative to the legal rights of the parties to the dispute.
Would the answer to Question 1 be the same if the plaintiff or his counsel were aware that the matter was being handled (a) by a member of the legal profession who was in the employ of the insurance company or (b) by a member of the legal profession who was not in the employ of the insurance company but had been retained by the insurance company?
The Committee is of the opinion that before the insurer or the insured is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff’s attorney Is free to write to the insured directly or to send him a copy of a letter addressed to the insurer,
2. Once it appears that the claim is being handled by an attorney for the Insurer, it would be a violation of Canon 9 to communicate either with the insurer or the insured, Whether the attorney is in the employ of the insurer or had been retained for the matter involved would not seem to make any difference.
Dated: July 27, 1965