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CLA Exam: ABA Summary of Model Rules of Professional Conduct
Terms in this set (34)
A lawyer must provide competent representation to clients
A lawyer must abide by a clients decision concerning representation, such as whether to accept a settlement or whether to enter a plea in a criminal case, whether to waive a jury trial, or whether the client will testify.
A lawyers representation may be limited to a specific matter.
A lawyer cannot advise or assist a client to engage in fraudulent or criminal conduct; and if a client expects assistance not permitted by professional conduct rules, the lawyer must advice the client of the lawyer's ethical limitations.
A lawyer must exercise diligence in handling client matters.
A lawyer must keep a client reasonably informed about the status of the clients case, must comply with a clients reasonable requests for information, and must explain things to the client so that the client can make informed decisions.
A lawyers fee must be reasonable, considering such factors as the time and labor required; the difficulty of the legal issues involved; the time constraints to obtain a result; the results obtained; and the expertise, reputation, and experience of the lawyer performing the service. Lawyers must advise clients right away of the rate that will be charged.
A lawyer cannot disclose information concerning the representation of a client unless the client consults or unless the disclosure is necessary to carry out the representation.
A lawyer cannot represent opposing parties in a legal matter unless 1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the representation will not affect either party adversely and 2) each party consents.
This rule lists a number of specific transactions by lawyers which are either prohibited or restricted.
When a clients ability to make adequately informed decisions in connection with a representation is impaired, the lawyer may seek appointment of a guardian or may take other action to protect the interests of the client.
A lawyer must hold property of clients or third parties separate from the lawyers own property. Money must be held in a separate account located in the same state where the lawyers office is located and complete records must be kept. Clients or third parties must be notified immediately when the lawyer receives money or property on their behalf; the money or property must be disturbed promptly; and a full accounting must be made by the lawyer.
A lawyer must not represent a client, or must withdraw from representation of a client, if the representation will result in a violation of the rules of professional conduct; if the lawyers physical or mental condition materially impairs the ability to represent the client; or if the lawyer is discharged. If a court orders her to do so, the lawyer must continue the representation. If representation ends, the lawyer must give the client reasonable notice so that other counsel can be obtained and must cooperate with substitute counsel to protect the clients interests.
A lawyer must not file frivolous lawsuits or raise frivolous issues in a lawsuit
A lawyer must take reasonable steps to expedite litigation consistent with the clients best interests.
A lawyer cannot knowingly make a false statement of material fact to a tribunal or judge, cannot fail to disclose a material fact when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a fraudulent or criminal act by the client, cannot fail to disclose legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction even though it may be adverse to the position of the lawyers client, and cannot knowingly offer false evidence, including perjured testimony.
Cannot unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence and cannot falsify, alter, destroy, or conceal material that may be used as evidence.
Cannot advise or help anyone else to do any of these things.
Cannot offer an illegal inducement to a witness for the witnesses testimony.
Cannot make a frivolous discovery request and must make a diligent effort to comply with all proper discovery requests made by the opposing party.
Cannot counsel anyone other than a client to withhold information from the opposing party unless (1) that person is a relative, employee, or other agent of the client and (2) the lawyers reasonably believes that no harm can come to the person by withholding the information
During trial, a lawyer cannot allude to any matter unless the lawyer reasonably believed it to be relevant.
Cannot assert personal knowledge of facts except when testifying as a witness.
Cannot state a personal opinion about the justification if the cause, the credibility of a witness, or the guilt or innocence of a defendant accused of a crime.
A lawyer cannot attempt to influence a judge, juror or any other official. Neither can she communicate ex parte with any of these individuals except under circumstances clearly permitted by law.
A lawyer cannot make an out of court statement to the press if the statement could prejudicially affect a pending civil case triable by jury or a pending criminal proceeding that could result in incarceration.
Prejudice statements are those that relate to the expected testimony, character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a party or a witness. Also included are statements about a persons guilt or innocence, confessions, pleas, results of a test or persons refusal to submit to a test.
A lawyer can relate information concerning the general nature of a claim or defense, information contained in a public record, confirmation that an investigation is in progress, and the like.
A lawyer cannot be an advocate in a case in which the lawyer likely will be a witness except (1) when the testimony relates to an uncontested matter, (2) when the testimony concerns the type and value of legal service rendered in a case or (3) when disqualification of the lawyer would pose a substantial hardship to the client.
A criminal prosecutor must not file a charge when she knows it is not supported by probable cause and must not do anything else that might unfairly prejudice an accused.
A lawyer appearing before a legislative body or an administrative agency in a no trial setting must disclose that her appearance is on behalf of a client but need not identify the client if the matter relates to the law reform generally.
In the course, of representing a client, a lawyer cannot make false statements about material fact or law from a third person and cannot withhold a material fact from a third person when disclosure is required to prevent a client from committing fraud or a crime.
In representation of a client, a lawyer cannot communicate with an opposing party directly or indirectly about the pending case when the lawyer knows that the party is represented by counsel, unless opposing counsel consents.
While representing a client, a lawyer who comes into contact with an unrepresented person cannot do or say anything to lead that person to believe that the lawyer is disinterested. Additionally, when the lawyer knows or should know that an I represented person has misunderstood the lawyers role and must correct it.
While representing a client, a lawyer cannot use tactics that violate the legal rights of third persons or those that have no purpose other than to embarrass, harass or delay.
Lawyers who employ legal assistants and other non lawyers are required to take reasonable measures to ensure that the legal assistances conduct is compatible with the lawyers professional obligations. Lawyers are responsible for any conduct of the legal assistance which violates the rules of professional conduct.
With limited exceptions, a lawyer cannot share fees with a non lawyer and cannot enter a business relationship with a non lawyer if any activities of the business involve the practice of law.
In addition, when any other than the client pays the lawyers fees, that person cannot be permitted to interfere with the lawyers independent judgement in providing legal services to the client.
A lawyer cannot practice law in a jurisdiction where she is not authorized to do so.
A lawyer cannot assist a non lawyer to engage in UPL in any jurisdiction.
A lawyer cannot make an agreement that attempts to restrict another lawyer's right to practice, (restrictive agreements concerning the provision of retirement benefits are permitted)
A lawyer should provide pro bono and reduced fee legal services to people of limited means or to charitable organizations or should provide financial support to organizations that provide legal services to people of limited means.
A lawyer cannot make a false or misleading statement about either the lawyer or the lawyers services.
Statements are prohibited if they contain material misrepresenting of fact or law, if they are likely to create unjustified expectations about what the lawyer can door if they compare a lawyers service with the services provided by other lawyers, unless the comparison can be substantiated.
A lawyer is permitted to advertise their services through public media or through written or recorded communications, provided that the ad does not violate any other ethics rules.
The ad or communication must contain the name of at least one lawyer responsible for its content, and a copy of it must be kept for two years following its last dissemination.
Lawyers cannot pay referral fees to private parties; however, the legitimate cost of advertising and the ordinary charges of nonprofit referral services are permitted.
A lawyer cannot use direct contact (either in person or by live phone) to solicit professional employment from those who have had no prior professional relationship with the lawyer or who have no family relationship to the lawyer.
All written or recorded communications soliciting employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal service must include the term " Ad Material" on the outside envelope or at the beginning and end of recorded communications.
A lawyer may communicate the fact that he does or does not practice in a particular field of law but can neither state nor imply that he is a specialist unless he is a patent attorney and is engaged in admiralty practice.
A lawyer cannot use a firm name,letter head or other professional designation that conveys false or misleading information.
The name of a lawyer holding public office cannot be used in the name of the law firm during any period when the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.
A lawyer cannot state or imply a partnership or other form of practice that does not exist.
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