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Professional Responsibility
University of Toledo School of Law
Martyn, Susan R.

General L Duties

L may not:
Criminal act that reflects adversely on the L’s:
Honesty, trustworthiness or fitness
Engage in conduct involving dishonesty or fraud
Conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice
8.4 is triggered
L shall NOT in connection w/ Gov’t officials:
Not seek to influence judge, juror,
State or imply an ability to influence improperly a gov’t agency or official,
Knowingly assist a judge in conduct that violates laws/rule
Subject to Discipline
All states where licensed and
Where conduct took place (which rules apply)
IF illegal services than Licensed States apply
Who Controls Ls
Highest court in state – not legislature – controls profession
L is subject to Professional Conduct no matter what they are doing

Who Is Your Client?

Who is your Client for Exam?
Standard: Look at it from the POV of the C – § 14 and Togstad
If the C reasonably thinks that L represents them – duties owed
Did C manifest intent that L should provide legal services?
If this is yes but not C – than they were a PC
§ 14 à 1.18 à Imputed? See Conflicts
Did L manifest consent to provide legal services? Yes à C
Did L fail to manifest lack of consent? No à PC

General Duty
Ethical duty to rep consider even if cause is unpopular
Pro Bono
L has a professional responsibility to provide legal services
Should aspire to do 50 hours – 6.1
Court Appointments
L shouldn’t seek avoiding appt. by ct. EXCEPT for Good Cause: 6.2
Violation of Other Law (best argument);
Un® Financial Burden on L; OR
C is so Repugnant to L that it would impair relationship
Civil Case – Bothwell
Ct. has inherent authority to appt a L in a civil case
Marketability Analysis is how the judge goes about thinking about it
Voluntary Choice
You have a choice – except in Court Appointments
Representing C ≠ Representing their belief – 1.2(b)
Can tell C that you find them/action morally repugnant
Limiting Representation IF– 1.2(c)
ReasonableAND IC
Note: You can be hired to take on just one issue or stage of case
Prospective Client
C/L Relationship can arise…infra…intent, consent, lack OR ct appt. § 14
Duties to Prospective C – 1.18 and § 15
Even if relationship doesn’t happen – CONFIDENTIALITY
If someone discusses a problem but no relationship – L MUST:
Not use/disclose info,
Protect person’s property in L’s custody, and
Use ® care
No rep if:
Material adverse OR Substantially related matter AND
Law, Fact, Personal Relationship
L learned significantly harmful confidential info from PC, EXCEPT:
® steps taken to avoid exposure of info AND L is SCREENED, or
Both affected C and PC give IC
Non-Engagement letters
If C ® relies on something L tells them, even if L doesn’t think they were giving legal advice, C could have a COA (Togstad).
Note: C asking for advice is asking for legal services
Don’t say “don’t do something” b/c if C has a case – your screwed!
Mother came to him for an action, declined, than a case he was working on brought the mother in as a D and L did not WD = Violation
Joint Clients
One L represents more than one person in the SAME matter
Always have to worry about one C’s interests b/coming adverse to the other
Once adverse –If you took both –WD from BOTH
Must have IC from both parties
DePape, Perez
Third Party Beneficiaries
§ 51
Evaluation for Use by TP – 2.3
L can if ® believes it is compatible w/ the relationship (see 1.2)
If L knows/should know it will likely adversely affects C’s interests adversely – NO evaluation UNLESS IC
Greycas, ® Torts § 552, Paradigm Insurance
Organizations – 1.13


L represents org – acting through duly authorized constituents



When C’s capacity to adequately make decisions – whether due to minority, mental impairment, etc.– L shall ® try to maintain a normal C/L relationship.
If L ® believes that C is at risk of SUBSTANTIAL physical, financial, or other harm – L may take ® necessary protection action and if appropriate seeking appt. of guardian.
Still protected by 1.6
L is impliedly authorized to reveal info about C in taking protective action BUT ONLY to the extent ® necessary to protect C’s interests
Can the C act in C’s own interests? No – Seek Guardian
L abide by C wishes and guardian determines what C wishes should be
Class Actions
L should act for the benefit of the class
Only have to give NOTICE to named Cs
Ending a Representation
L can WD under 1.16
C can fire L ANYTIME for ANY reason
Client-fiduciaries, Fickett, p. 99
Intended TPB such as trustees, guardians, corporate directors, or partners
Need to clarify role
“Accommodation” clients
L agrees to rep someone as an accommodation to his actual C, usually to avoid duplicated services and higher fees
Loyalty to person paying bill
If they can’t agree among themselves – than can’t rep them
Imputed Clients
Law Firms and Office Sharing
Office Sharing –Definition of Firm in 1.0(c) (important for 1.10)
1.10(a): While Ls are associated in a Firm
Cmt. 2 and 3: Whether depends on specific facts
Ls who share office space and occasionally consult – not be enough
How do they present themselves to the public?
Standard: What would a ® C think?