Category: Ethics Opinions

Ethics Opinions 1211

Topic: Fees vs. disbursements, charges of contract lawyer or co-counsel Digest: If a lawyer is handling a personal injury matter for a client who dies during the case, the attorney-client relationship automatically terminates, but the lawyer may enter into a new attorneyclient relationship with the former client’s putative personal representative. The new retainer agreement may … Continued

Ethics Opinions 1210

Topic: Conflicts of interest; definition of law firm; public defender; part-time justice Digest: A county attorney’s office represents and advises the county public defender’s office on grant funding and other financial and administrative matters. However, the county attorney’s office has no access to information concerning the public defender’s clients, the two offices do not share … Continued

Ethics Opinions 1209

TOPIC: Retention of former appellate judge with respect to easement on which judge previously ruled. DIGEST: A former appellate judge, who was on a panel which issued a dispositive order about the scope of an easement, is personally disqualified from representing the owner of the servient estate of the same easement with respect to legal … Continued

Ethics Opinions 1208

Topic: Solicitation and Referral of Real Estate Matters by Real Estate Broker Employed by Lawyer as Paralegal Digest: A lawyer who has no financial interest in the commission generated by a real estate transaction may accept referrals for real estate closings from her paralegal who is also a real estate broker, provided such referrals will … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1207

Topic: Firm names; trade names Digest: A law firm may practice in New York using a name that does not include the name of any lawyer currently or formerly practicing in the firm (i.e., under a “trade name”) as long as the name under which the firm practices is not false, deceptive or misleading. A … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1206

Topic: Litigation Financing Digest: A law firm may not refer its clients to a company providing litigation financing where the sole owner of the company is married to a lawyer who is “of counsel” to the law firm. Rules: 1.8(e); 1.8(i); 1.10 (a); 7.5(a). FACTS 1. The Committee has received an inquiry from a lawyer … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1205

Topic: Government Employee Negotiating for Private Employment Digest: A lawyer serving as in-house counsel for a federal agency may not negotiate for private employment with an organization that is an adverse party in litigation before the agency where the lawyer is participating personally and substantially in the litigation. Rules: 1.0(l) & (n), 1.11 FACTS 1. … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1204

Topic: Law Firm Letterhead Digest: A law firm that has purchased a retired (and now deceased) lawyer’s practice may list on the purchasing law firm’s letterhead the name and dates of operation of the former law firm. Rules: 7.1(a), 7.5(a) FACTS 1. The inquiring lawyer is a member of a law firm with two offices. … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1203

Topic: Withdrawal from representation based on attorney health concerns Digest: An attorney may withdraw from representation, with the permission of the Immigration Court, based on fear of contracting COVID-19 as a result of in-person appearances in the proceeding, where such fear renders it difficult for the attorney to carry out the representation effectively. Rules: 1.0(w), … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1202

Topic: Legal fees Digest: A lawyer may charge a fixed fee for a matter as long as it is not excessive, and the lawyer specifies the services that are included in the engagement. The client must remain liable for costs, other than as permitted by Rule 1.8(e). The lawyer may require advance payment of fees, … Continued