Professional Responsibility - Florida Rules


Terms in this set (...)

Florida Rule 4-1.5: Fees and Costs for Legal Services

(a) Illegal, Prohibited, or Clearly Excessive Fees and Costs
Shall not charge an illegal, prohibited, or clearly excessive fee or cost


a fee generated by employment obtained through advertising or solicitation not in compliance with the rules.
Florida Rule 4-1.5: Fees and Costs for Legal Services

(a) Illegal, Prohibited, or Clearly Excessive Fees and Costs

When is a fee clearly excessive?
When a lawyer of ordinary prudence would be convinced that the fee or cost exceeds a reasonable fee or cost


the fee or cost is sought or secured by means of misrepresentation or fraud.
Florida Rule 4-1.5: Fees and Costs for Legal Services

(e) Duty to Communicate Basis or Rate of Fee or Costs to Client and Definitions
When not regularly representing a client, the rate shall be preferably in writing before or within a reasonable time after commencing representation.

Writing REQUIRED for any fee that is nonrefundable.
Florida Rule 4-1.6: Revealing Information

(b) When Must a Lawyer Reveal Information (2 times)?
(1) to prevent a client from committing a crime


(2) to prevent a death or substantial bodily harm to another
Florida Rule 4-1.7(a)

When shall a lawyer not represent a client due to adverse interests (2 times)?
(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client


(2) substantial risk of material limitation
Florida Rule 4-1.7(b)

If there are clients with adverse interests, when may a lawyer represent them (4 necessary components)?
(1) reasonably believes they can provide competent and diligent representation to all clients;
(2) not prohibited by law;
(3) no assertion of a position adverse to another client when you are in the same proceeding; AND
(4) informed consent, confirmed in writing or clearly stated on the record at a hearing by all clients
Florida Rule 4-1.7(c)

Explanation to Clients
When representation of multiple clients in a single matter is undertaken, the consultation shall include explanation of the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved.
Florida Rule 4-1.7(d): Lawyers Related by Blood or Marriage

What are the family members that this rule counts?

What can you not do?

What is the exception?
parent, child, sibling, and spouse

represent a client directly adverse to a person who the lawyer knows is represented by the family member

EXCEPT upon consent by the client
Florida Rule 4-1.7(e): Representation of Insureds

What's the rule?
Lawyer must ascertain if the lawyer will be representing both or only the insured

AND to inform both regarding the scope of the representation
Florida Rule 4-1.10(b): Former Clients of Newly Associated Lawyer

What's the rule for a firm when a new lawyer joins?
The firm may not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter in which the lawyer or lawyer's previous firm had previously represented a client whose interests are materially adverse to that person AND about whom the lawyer acquired information that is material to the matter.
Florida Rule 4-3.4(g) & (h)

A lawyer must not...
(g) present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter


(h) present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present disciplinary charges under these rules solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.
Florida Rule 4-5.8: Procedures for Lawyers Leaving Law Firms and Dissolution of Law Firms

(c) Contact With Clients

Can a lawyer leaving a law firm unilaterally contact firm clients about the departure/solicitation?

What's the exception?

Is the procedure the same if a firm is dissolving?


If the lawyer has contacted an authorized representative of the firm and bona fide negotiations have been unsuccessful.

Florida Rule 4-8.1
an applicant shall not (c) commit an act that adversely reflects on the applicant's fitness to practice law. An applicant who commits such an act before admission, but which is discovered after admission, shall be subject to discipline under these rules.
Florida Rule 4-8.4