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Legal Profession
University of Denver School of Law
Sterling, Joyce S.

Legal Profession Fall 2005 Attack Sheet

Client-Lawyer Relationship

1.1          Competence
May achieve competence after taking representation
Emergency – allows temporary incompetent representation
1.2          Representation (scope, authority)
Limits must be reasonable
NOT counsel or assist illegal acts (but opinion on consequences okay)
1.3          Diligence
Workload must be controlled
Carry through to conclusion
NOT procrastination
1.4          Communication
Promptly / reasonably inform client
Before / after depends on circumstances
Delay – only if client would react imprudently c7
Must disclose if not licensed to practice in jurisdiction 5.5
1.5          Fees
Reasonable requirement
Factors – time required; precludes other E; customary fee; amount / results; client-imposed limitations; client relationship; lawyer capability; fee type
Writing preferred, communication required
Writing required – contingent fee
Contingent prohibited – criminal ∆; domestic relations (BUT post-judgment collection)
Fee splitting – only if…proportionate; client consent; total fee reasonable
Arbitration preferred for settlement
Credit acceptable / Aid in obtaining a loan acceptable
1.6          Confidential Information
Disclosure – consent, implied authorization, exception
Only allowed to extent reasonably necessary to purpose
Exceptions – optional
Reasonably certain death or substantially bodily harm
Fraud prevention – reasonably certain substantial financial harm; lawyer services
Fraud mitigation – same conditions as prevention
Compliance with Rules
Claim or defense – assertion sufficient, NOT need wait for claim c10
Court order – must communicate ability to appeal
Indirect disclosures protected – reasonably lead to information by 3rd investigation
Mandatory disclosure – 3.3
Reasonable care of information required – proper instruction of staff
Presence of unnecessary 3rd parties destroys confidentiality / privilege
1.7          Conflict – Existence
Determination – directly adverse; OR significant risk of material limitation on lawyer
Exception – reasonable belief of diligence; not prohibited by law; not directly adverse in same litigation; AND informed consent from each client in writing
Court approval needed for pending litigation
Non-waivable – directly adverse; criminal ∆; proper informed consent impossible
Consent – may be revoked later; general is ineffective
Wholly unrelated – still conflicted, need consent c6
Litigation increases impact of conflict
Personal Interest – family, employment, business, own action disputed (NOT

         Limited liability partnership acceptable
Liability settlement NOT allowed with unrepresented person…
Written disclosure advising seeking independent counsel
Sexual relations NOT allowed…prior to representation (NOT imputed)
1.9          Conflict – Former Clients
Same or substantially related à requires written consent (financial information)
Past firm represented another client, materially adverse interest, holds confidential material information à requires written consent
Actual knowledge required c5
Information – can’t use to client’s disadvantage, can’t disclose
1.10      Conflict – Imputation
1.7 and 1.9 conflicts are imputed; Personal conflicts with no risk of limitation are NOT
Conflicted lawyer leaves – firm representation acceptable unless…
Substantially related AND another lawyer has confidential material information
Waiver by client is acceptable unless not under 1.7
Political beliefs NOT imputed; Ownership of adverse party IS imputed
Prohibited transactions under 1.8(a) are also imputed
Screening – required for non-lawyers, law student interns