12th Annual Seminar on Professional Responsibility


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This CLE presentation from Kegler Brown's 12th Annual Seminar on Professional Responsibility covers duties to report and cooperate, confidentiality, professionalism, advertising guidelines and more for attorneys admitted to the bar in Ohio. The speakers were Geoffrey Stern, Christopher Weber, Rasheeda Khan and Carol Costa.

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12th Annual Seminar on Professional Responsibility

  1. 1. Welcome!
  2. 2. presented by Geoffrey Stern September 25, 2009 Professional Conduct Overview
  3. 3. Duty to Report, Duty to Cooperate & Confidentiality Under Rule 1.6 presented by Christopher J. Weber September 25, 2009
  4. 4. Duty to Report <ul><li>Rule 8.3 </li></ul><ul><li>Replaced DR 1-103(A) </li></ul><ul><li>Board Opinion 2007-1 </li></ul><ul><li>Duty arises when: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lawyer has “unprivileged knowledge” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of a Rule violation that raises a question as to the lawyer’s “honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Not all professional misconduct must be reported” </li></ul><ul><li>As compared to 1-103(A) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Duty to Report <ul><li>Very broad </li></ul><ul><li>Very vague </li></ul><ul><li>2007-1 Board Opinion - “a review of the disciplinary cases will provide ample guidance as to the types of misconduct that raise a question as to the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness” </li></ul><ul><li>Some are easy -- lawyer steals, lies to court </li></ul>
  6. 6. Duty to Report <ul><li>IOLTA/Recordkeeping </li></ul><ul><li>What about conflict of interest (Rule 1.7; 1.9) </li></ul><ul><li>What about failure to communicate with client (Rule 1.4) </li></ul><ul><li>Taking on a matter not competent to handle (Rule 1.1; 1.3) </li></ul><ul><li>“ fitness as a lawyer” </li></ul><ul><li>Charging an excessive fee (Rule 1.5) </li></ul><ul><li>Fraudulent Billing/Padding hours </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosing confidential information (Rule 1.6) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Duty to Report <ul><li>Sex with a client (Rule 1.8(j)) </li></ul><ul><li>Contacting represented party </li></ul><ul><li>Tough decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting colleagues/co-workers </li></ul><ul><li>Talk with colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to ethics counsel </li></ul><ul><li>Board - “err on side of reporting” </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Duty triggered if have “ knowledge ” of a violation </li></ul><ul><li>Actual knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Not mere suspicion </li></ul><ul><li>Is it a &quot;violation of the rules&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Generally a &quot;clear and convincing standard&quot; </li></ul>Duty to Report
  9. 9. Duty to Report <ul><li>CBA v. McCorkle , 105 OS3D 430 </li></ul><ul><li>“ concern” that lawyer with whom shared office space abandoned practice triggered duty </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Duty triggered if receive “ unprivileged knowledge of a violation” </li></ul><ul><li>No duty if learn in a privileged communication with your client </li></ul><ul><li>Client tells you former lawyer stole $$ from her </li></ul><ul><li>Other exceptions to reporting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(a) Lawyers retained to represent lawyer whose conduct is in question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(b) Lawyers who receive information while serving on bar committees designed to assist lawyers with substance abuse/mental health (includes folks at OLAP (Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program) </li></ul></ul>Duty to Report
  11. 11. <ul><li>To ODC or a certified Grievance Committee </li></ul><ul><li>It is not enough to raise the issue before a tribunal </li></ul><ul><li>Under DR 1-103, could report to bar association/ ODC or to a tribunal </li></ul><ul><li>For example, in litigation, if have actual knowledge that opposing lawyer lied to court, could &quot;bring to attention of tribunal&quot; by moving for sanctions </li></ul><ul><li>No longer have choice </li></ul>Where Do We Report?
  12. 12. <ul><li>Debate under old DR 1-103(A) </li></ul><ul><li>RPC 8.3 removes any doubt </li></ul><ul><li>When self report - do full self report </li></ul><ul><li>Investigations are very thorough </li></ul><ul><li>Less than full disclosure can hurt you in disciplinary case </li></ul>Self Reporting Duty
  13. 13. <ul><li>Duty to report </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 8.3(b) </li></ul><ul><li>Same rules apply </li></ul>Judicial Misconduct
  14. 14. <ul><li>Not a whole lot of guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Some ethics opinions from other states have said “immediately” or “promptly” </li></ul><ul><li>“ within a reasonable period of time” </li></ul>When To Report
  15. 15. <ul><li>Subject to discipline? </li></ul><ul><li>Not much law in Ohio </li></ul><ul><li>Some claims dismissed because Relator unable to prove lawyer had actual knowledge </li></ul>What Happens If I Don’t Report?
  16. 16. What Happens If I Don’t Report <ul><li>ODC v. Bozanich (2002), 95 OS3rd 109 </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyer disciplined for failing to report judicial misconduct </li></ul><ul><li>Judge before whom he appeared required that he paid him $$ </li></ul><ul><li>Other jurisdictions - not much either </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Mr. Himmel suspended for a year </li></ul><ul><li>disciplined solely for failing to report another lawyer’s misconduct </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Himmel represented a woman in a claim against her prior lawyer (Casey) </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Casey stole money from settlement funds in a P. I. case ($35,000) </li></ul>In re: Himmel (1988) – Illinois
  18. 18. <ul><li>Mr. Himmel negotiated a settlement whereby Casey would pay $75,000 and, in exchange, his client agreed not to initiate a disciplinary case against Casey </li></ul><ul><li>Casey failed to pay </li></ul><ul><li>Himmel sued Casey and gets a judgment for $100,000.00 </li></ul><ul><li>It came to light Mr. Himmel failed to report Mr. Casey’s misconduct. </li></ul>In re: Himmel (1988) – Illinois
  19. 19. <ul><li>(1) no duty to report because he learned of Casey’s misconduct through a privileged communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court disagreed - not privileged because his client discussed the matter with him in the presence of her mother and fiancé </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(2) No duty because his client complained to disciplinary authorities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court disagreed – “Common sense would dictate that if a lawyer has a duty under the Code, the actions of a client would not relieve the attorney of his own duty.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(3) Himmel argued that he did not report because his client directed him not to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court disagreed: “A lawyer, as an officer of the Court, is duty bound to uphold the rules in the Code.” </li></ul></ul>Himmel’s Defenses
  20. 20. <ul><li>Casey was disbarred </li></ul><ul><li>Himmel’s disciplinary case </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing Panel recommended a private reprimanded </li></ul><ul><li>The Board recommended dismissal – client had reported the misconduct and client directed Himmel not to report </li></ul><ul><li>Illinois Supreme Court – disagreed – 1 year off!! </li></ul><ul><li>Shows the uncertainty with this system – happens in Ohio too! </li></ul>Other Interesting Points from Himmel
  21. 21. <ul><li>Immune from civil liability for reporting ( Hecht v. Levin ) </li></ul><ul><li>But, reporting/threatening to report to gain advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 1.2(e) – prohibits a lawyer from threatening criminal or &quot;professional misconduct allegations solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.&quot; </li></ul>Other Points
  22. 22. <ul><li>Rule 1.6 </li></ul><ul><li>2009 Board Opinion – “Client confidentiality is a hallmark of the attorney-client relationship” </li></ul><ul><li>A lawyer shall not reveal “ information relating to the representation” unless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1) client gives informed consent; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2) disclosure is implied to be authorized in order carry out the representation; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(3) the disclosure is permitted by Rule 1.6(b); or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(4) disclosure is required by Rule 1.6(c) </li></ul></ul>Confidentiality of Information
  23. 23. <ul><li>“ Information relating to the representation of the client” </li></ul><ul><li>includes information protected by the attorney-client privilege </li></ul><ul><li>broader than the attorney-client privilege </li></ul><ul><li>A/C privilege - applies to lawyer-client communications made in confidence </li></ul><ul><li>for the purpose of securing legal advice or assistance </li></ul>Confidentiality of Information
  24. 24. <ul><li>Part of law of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>A/C privilege applies where disclosure sought in an adversarial proceeding </li></ul><ul><li>R.C. 2317.02(A) – lawyer compelled to testify </li></ul><ul><li>Common law A/C privilege –prohibits disclosure of communications in instances where R.C. 2317.02 does not apply (e.g. request for privileged documents; client testimony) </li></ul>Confidentiality of Information
  25. 25. <ul><li>broader than “confidences” and “secrets” under former Rule DR 4-101 </li></ul><ul><li>DR 4-101 “Confidences”-“information protected by the attorney-client privilege” </li></ul><ul><li>DR 4-101 “Secrets” - “information gained in the professional relationship that the client has requested be held inviolate when the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would be likely to be detrimental to the client” </li></ul>Confidentiality of Information
  26. 26. <ul><li>“ Information” is not defined </li></ul><ul><li>Protection attaches to information that relates to the representation </li></ul><ul><li>Not just information gained in the professional relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Client identity </li></ul><ul><li>Client whereabouts </li></ul><ul><li>Client’s financial situation </li></ul><ul><li>Comment 3 - confidential even if information available from other sources </li></ul><ul><li>Confidential even if not harmful/embarrassing </li></ul>So How Broad is 1.6?
  27. 27. Prospective Client <ul><li>Rule 1.18(b) has a parallel confidentiality rule </li></ul><ul><li>prohibited from revealing information learned in the consultation </li></ul><ul><li>keep in mind when meeting with prospective client </li></ul><ul><li>may later be asked represent the adverse party in the same matter </li></ul><ul><li>1.18(c) – if learned information that could be “significantly harmful,” need consent from prospective client </li></ul>
  28. 28. How Long Does Duty of Confidentiality Last? <ul><li>Continues after the representation is terminated (Rule 1.9(c)(2)) </li></ul><ul><li>Client’s death does not extinguish the duty </li></ul>
  29. 29. Repercussions for Unlawful Disclosure <ul><li>Discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Stark County Bar v. Miller </li></ul><ul><ul><li>informed client’s daughter of content’s of client’s will </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ODC v. Yurich </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lawyer representing trustors divulged information to successor trustee </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Columbus Bar Association v. Dye </li></ul><ul><ul><li>made statements in open court about former client’s psychiatric condition (criminal “conflicts” hearing) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cleveland Bar v. Watkins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>revealed that client had been paid under the table </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Repercussions for Unlawful Disclosure <ul><li>Akron Bar v. Holder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>revealed information regarding client’s felony convictions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>court rejected Respondent’s argument that information was public record </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-Disciplinary Remedies </li></ul><ul><li>Basis for an action for money damages for wrongful disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Fellows v. Keating , 1988 Ohio App. LEXIS 797 </li></ul><ul><li>Attorney enjoined from revealing client confidences </li></ul><ul><li>American Motors Corp. v. Huffstutler , 61 Ohio St. 3d 343 </li></ul><ul><li>Disqualification – fear that lawyer may reveal </li></ul>
  31. 31. Confidentiality in “common representation” <ul><li>represent multiple clients in same matter </li></ul><ul><li>confidential information is shared </li></ul><ul><li>generally, no private confidences of matters relating to common representation </li></ul><ul><li>may have to withdraw if one client wants information kept from the others </li></ul>
  32. 32. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>1. where client gives informed consent </li></ul><ul><li>2. disclosure is impliedly authorized as necessary to the representation </li></ul><ul><li>Share information within the firm </li></ul><ul><li>Share information outside the firm with those assisting in the representation (accounting firm, printing company, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>This exception covers disclosure when it is to the client’s advantage </li></ul><ul><li>What if representing an insured and insurance company requests an audit of bills? </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance defense counsel </li></ul><ul><li>need informed consent from the client </li></ul>
  33. 33. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>Board Opinion 2000-2 </li></ul><ul><li>Concern that may result in waiver of A/C privilege </li></ul><ul><li>Cites U.S. v. MIT , 129 F. 3d 681 (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>IRS sued MIT </li></ul><ul><li>Requested MIT’s billing statements that had been subject to audit </li></ul><ul><li>Held: disclosure in audit forfeited A/C priv. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>1.6(b) - A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation if the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comment 6: you learn that client has discharged toxic waste into a town’s water supply - risk that people who drink water will contract a life-threatening or debilitating disease </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>2. Prevent the commission of a crime by the client or other person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than mere suspicion is required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>only applies to crimes not yet committed (continuing crimes and future crimes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>exception does not authorize a lawyer to reveal information pertaining to past crimes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but see Rule 1.6(b)(3) discussed below </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If choose to disclose, limit disclosure to the extent possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited to alerting authorities of the intent of the client or other person to commit a crime </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>2. Prevent the commission of a crime by the client or other person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In re Original Grand Jury Investigation , 89 OS3d 170 (2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal defense lawyer obtains letter wherein client threatens to harm others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contacted Sec. of Board – told to report matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He does – permitted to do so under Rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court commends him – recognizes dilemma when faced with competing challenges of confidentiality and public safety“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But “went beyond” what ethical duty allows by reading entire letter to court/police </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawyer also compelled to turn over the letter itself in response to grand jury subpoena </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>To mitigate injury to financial interests/property that has resulted from the client’s commission of an illegal or fraudulent act, and furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer’s services </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited to client’s past illegal or fraudulent conduct </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lawyer learns that client used the lawyer’s services to commit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Added to Model 1.6 in 2003 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in response to Enron scandals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate counsel – disclosure of corporate fraud </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lawyers appearing before SEC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To secure ethics advice about the lawyer’s compliance with these rules </li></ul>
  38. 38. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>Where necessary to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>establish a claim/defense in a controversy between the lawyer and the client (fee dispute; malpractice) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>establish a defense to a criminal charge or a civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>respond to allegations in any proceeding, including any disciplinary matter, concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No formal complaint is required </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note that the latter two are not limited to claims, charges or allegations made by the client </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Disciplinary matter based upon a grievance filed not by the client, but some other party </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lawyer needs to reveal client confidences to defend himself/herself </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Client information/files necessary to defend disciplinary claims </li></ul></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>For all above exceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosure is permitted – not required </li></ul><ul><li>Decision not to disclose does not violate the rule </li></ul><ul><li>If disclose, take steps to limit disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>File papers under seal </li></ul><ul><li>Use protective orders </li></ul>
  40. 40. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>SSD v. GVC , 2009 Ohio 2490 (8 th App. May 28, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 1.6(b)(5) </li></ul><ul><li>SSD sued former client to collect fees </li></ul><ul><li>Counterclaims for malpractice/breach of fiduciary duty </li></ul><ul><li>SSD sought to use information in its possession to defend </li></ul><ul><li>Relied on Rule 1.6(b)(5) </li></ul><ul><li>Comment 11 – “permitted to prove services rendered in action to collect” </li></ul><ul><li>Trial court concluded it could </li></ul>
  41. 41. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>8 th District held: court erred “to the extent that it gave SSD unrestricted permission to use information in its possession in this matter, which is otherwise claimed to be protected by the attorney client privilege” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fee agreements/billing statements may contain privileged info.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We hold that all documents claimed to come within the attorney-client privilege, which indeed were intended to be privileged, must be reviewed under the applicable law” </li></ul>
  42. 42. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>the law of waivers of A/C privilege </li></ul><ul><li>“ We cannot read Rule 1.6(b)(5) as the preeminent and controlling authority in this matter” </li></ul><ul><li>“ the correct analysis must focus chiefly upon the statutory and common law related to the A/C privilege for each piece of evidence for which this privileged is claimed” </li></ul>
  43. 43. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>So rules regarding “waiver” of A/C privilege must be analyzed </li></ul><ul><li>No “automatic waiver” just because adverse to client </li></ul><ul><li>R.C. 2317.02 – prohibits lawyer testimony unless </li></ul><ul><li>Client consents </li></ul><ul><li>Client testifies on the issue </li></ul>
  44. 44. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>Common law A/C – implied waiver </li></ul><ul><li>Hearn test </li></ul><ul><li>Asserting party’s affirmative act (filing suit) </li></ul><ul><li>The protected information is at issue in the case </li></ul><ul><li>Application of privilege would deny opposing party access to information vital to defense </li></ul><ul><li>Court conducts evidentiary hearing/in camera to determine </li></ul>
  45. 45. Exceptions to duty of confidentiality <ul><li>Disclosure permitted when required by law or court order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Statute requiring attorneys to report child abuse in certain circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court orders you to produce information </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Mandatory Disclosure Rule 1.6(c) <ul><li>Where lawyer reasonably believes it is necessary to comply with Rules 3.3 and 4.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 3.3(b) - disclosing fraud to tribunal </li></ul><ul><li>You know that a person, including your client, intends to engage, is engaging, or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct relating to the proceeding </li></ul><ul><li>Client or witness offers false evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Take steps to remedy </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage client/witness to disclose </li></ul><ul><li>If that fails – disclose </li></ul>
  47. 47. Mandatory Disclosure Rule 1.6(c) <ul><li>Rule 4.1(b) – disclosing fraud/illegal conduct toward others </li></ul><ul><li>requires us to disclose ongoing/future illegal or fraudulent acts by a client in order to avoid assisting that legal or fraudulent act </li></ul><ul><li>learn that statement of material fact in business transaction is false </li></ul><ul><li>Opposing party will be misled </li></ul><ul><li>failure to disclose viewed as assisting client’s fraud </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal may not be enough </li></ul>
  48. 48. Duty to Cooperate <ul><li>Set forth in Gov. Bar Rule V, Section 4(G) </li></ul><ul><li>may be called upon to assist in an investigation </li></ul><ul><li>testify in a matter </li></ul><ul><li>In a word - cooperate! </li></ul>
  49. 49. Attorney Advertising & Solicitation presented by Rasheeda Khan September 25, 2009
  50. 50. Information About Legal Services <ul><li>Rules 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7.1 Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7.2 Advertising and Recommendation of Professional Employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7.3 Direct Contact with Prospective Clients </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read all 3 together </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget the comments! </li></ul>
  51. 51. Rule 7.1 - Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services <ul><li>A lawyer shall not make or use a false, misleading, or nonverifiable communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading. </li></ul>
  52. 52. The Basics of Rule 7.1 <ul><li>Rule governs all communications about a lawyer’s services. </li></ul>
  53. 53. The Basics of Rule 7.1 <ul><li>Part 1 : Rule requires all affirmative statements to be truthful. </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2 : Communications must not omit facts needed to make the statements accurate when considered as a whole. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “If there is no recovery, there is no legal fees owed by our clients.” Zauderer v. Ohio Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 3 : The Comments - Truthful statements that are misleading are also prohibited. </li></ul>
  54. 54. Examples of Potentially Misleading Statements <ul><li>Advertisements likely to create unjustified expectations. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promises of positive outcomes or results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References to prior successes or case results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comment 3: “Truthfully reporting a lawyer's achievements may be misleading so as to create unjustified expectations.” </li></ul>
  55. 55. Examples of Potentially Misleading Statements <ul><li>Comment 3 continued: </li></ul><ul><li>Disclaimers: Inclusion of disclaimers may preclude a finding that the statement is likely to create unjustified expectations or otherwise mislead a prospective client. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effectiveness of a disclaimer often depends on its placement in print advertisement or how it is displaced in television media. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples of disclaimers: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Each case is different and the results obtained in an individual case depend on the facts and the law.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ We cannot guarantee results in a particular case because of difference in the law and facts of each matter.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  56. 56. Examples of Potentially Misleading Statements <ul><li>Advisory Opinion 2003-2: It is improper to provide statistics to potential clients regarding the number of intellectual property matters won, lost and settled. </li></ul><ul><li>Advisory Opinion 2002-7: Listing settlement or verdict amounts in past cases is improper. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg. “Trip/fall sidewalk brain injury, $1M verdict.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Dog bite, $50K settlement” </li></ul></ul>
  57. 57. Other Examples of Potentially Misleading Statements <ul><li>Unsubstantiated comparisons of the lawyer’s services or fees with the services of fees of other lawyers. </li></ul><ul><li>Implying an ability to improperly influence. </li></ul>
  58. 58. Other Examples of Potentially Misleading Statements <ul><li>Characterization of rates or fees such as “cut-rate,” “lowest,” “giveaway,” “below cost,” “discount,” or “special” is misleading. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advisory Opinion 2005-9: Coupons for free consultation or dollars off the cost of legal services are not permitted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: It is permissible to state that the initial consultation is free. </li></ul></ul>
  59. 59. Other Examples of Potentially Misleading Statements <ul><li>Client testimonials: no longer prohibited so long as they are not misleading. </li></ul>
  60. 61. Rule 7.2 - Advertising & Recommendation of Professional Employment <ul><li>Rule 7.2(a) : Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded, or electronic communication, including public media. </li></ul>
  61. 62. Rule 7.2 - Advertising & Recommendation of Professional Employment <ul><li>Rule 7.2(b) : A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may pay any of the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the usual charges of a legal service plan; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the usual charges for a nonprofit or lawyer referral service that complied with Rule XVI of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17. </li></ul></ul>
  62. 63. The Basics of Rule 7.2 <ul><li>Part 1 : Lawyers may advertise subject to Rules 7.1 and 7.3. Advertisements must include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content. </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2 : Lawyers may not give anything of value in exchange for recommending or channeling legal work. </li></ul><ul><li>Part 3 : Reciprocal referral agreements between lawyers or between a lawyer and non-lawyer are prohibited. </li></ul>
  63. 64. Reciprocal or Mutual Referral Agreements <ul><li>Advisory Opinion 2004-9 : An attorney may send a letter to a chiropractor asking to meet for purposes of providing information about the attorney’s services. The attorney may not enter an agreement for mutual referrals or reward the chiropractor for referring clients. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the attorney and the chiropractor must both exercise independent professional judgment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disinterested and informed referrals are best. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advisory Opinion 91-7 : Participating in referral services that screen potential clients and refer them to participating lawyers is unethical. </li></ul>
  64. 65. Networking Organizations <ul><ul><li>Lead-share/networking organizations that base membership on a commitment to provide referrals is unethical. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virginia Ethics Opinion 1846: Lawyers may not take part in organizations that obligate members to exchange leads. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  65. 67. The Basics of Rule 7.3 <ul><ul><li>Prohibits in-person, live telephone, or real time electronic contact to solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exception : the person contacted is a lawyer OR the person contacted has a family, close personal or prior professional relationship with the lawyer. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  66. 68. The Basics of Rule 7.3 <ul><ul><li>Regardless of the relationship, both live and recorded solicitation is prohibited if: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to solicited by the lawyer or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  67. 69. The Basics of Rule 7.3 – Written, Recorded or Electronic Communication <ul><ul><li>Disclosure requirements for recorded communications turn on whether the solicitation is targeted or untargeted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted communications : directed to individuals known to have particular legal problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Untargeted : no knowledge that the subject i.s in need of legal services in a particular matter. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  68. 70. 3 Basic Disclosure Requirements – Rule 7.3(c) <ul><li>Disclose accurately and fully the manner in which the lawyer or law firm became aware of the identity and specific legal need of the addressee; </li></ul><ul><li>Disclaim or refrain from expressing any predetermined evaluation of the merits of the addressee’s case; </li></ul>
  69. 71. 3 Basic Disclosure Requirements – Rule 7.3(c) <ul><li>Conspicuously include in its text and on the outside of the envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of every recorded or electronic communication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ADVERTISING MATERIAL” or “ADVERTISEMENT ONLY.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Emails should include &quot;ADVERTISEMENT ONLY&quot; in the subject line and text of the email. </li></ul></ul>
  70. 72. Other Disclosures - Rule 7.3(d) and 7.3(e) <ul><li>Communications being sent within 30 days of an accident or disaster that gives rise to a potential claim for personal injury or wrongful death. Rule 7.3(e) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Basic Disclosure Requirements AND </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ UNDERSTANDING YOUR RIGHTS” disclosure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The prospective client has been named a defendant in a civil action. Rule 7.3(e) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Basic Disclosure Requirements AND </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawyer must confirm service of action </li></ul></ul>
  71. 73. Is the communication in response to a request from a prospective client? Is the person a lawyer OR do you have a close personal, or prior professional relationship? Communication not restricted NO YES Communication not restricted Is communication/contact “live” (in-person, telephone, real-time electronic)? Advertisement or solicitation is permissible so long as communication is in compliance with Rule 7.3. Contact is prohibited Rule 7.3(a) Limitation: People who previously told you “I’m not interested.” Exception: Participation in a prepaid or group legal service plan. YES NO YES NO See next page for specific restrictions and requirements #1 #2 #3 Rule 7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
  72. 74. Is there a reasonable belief that the prospective client is in need of legal services in a particular matter or does the contact include a personalized letter? Disclosures not required. YES NO Is the communication being sent within 30 days of an accident or disaster that gives rise to a potential claim for personal injury or wrongful death? Examples: General announcements and newsletters NO YES Inclusion of “Understanding Your Rights” under Rule 7.3(e) AND the 3 basic Rule 7.3 (c) disclosures Has the prospective client been named as a defendant in a civil action? YES NO The 3 basic disclosures under Rule 7.3(c) are required: Lawyer must verify service of action AND include the 3 basic Rule 7.3 (c) disclosures Disclose how you know identity and need 7.3 (c)(1) “ Advertisement Only” 7.3 (c)(2) No Evaluation of merits 7.3 (c)(3) #4 #5 #6 Disclose how you know identity and need 7.3 (c)(1) “ Advertisement Only” 7.3 (c)(2) No Evaluation of merits 7.3 (c)(3)
  73. 76. Attorney Advertising & Solicitation presented by Rasheeda Khan & Geoffrey Stern September 25, 2009
  74. 77. Substance Abuse presented by Carol Costa September 25, 2009
  75. 78. Thank You! <ul><li>Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter </li></ul><ul><li>Capitol Square, Suite 1800 </li></ul><ul><li>65 East State Street </li></ul><ul><li>Columbus, OH 43215 </li></ul><ul><li>(614) 462-5400 </li></ul>