A. MI Supreme court adopted Rules in October 1, 1988 – MI Supreme court changes them as they see fit
B. In MI, it’s not a violation of the Rules for a lawyer to have sex with a client. It has been considered when revisions come up, but has not been adopted. (Some states have it).
C. A company sells fill-in-the blank form wills over the internet &helps the customer prepare a online will and reviews the customers completed form for “consistency &completeness” is NOT practicing law without a license-but look at what the company is doing, & how much they are helping the customer.
Rule 1.1: Competence
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. A lawyer shall not:
(a) handle a legal matter which the lawyer knows or should know that the lawyer is not competent to handle, without associating with a lawyer who is competent to handle it;
(b) handle a legal matter without preparation adequate in the circumstances; or
(c) neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer.
(1) Legal Knowledge and Skill
(a) Factors to determine whether a lawyer is able to provide competent representation include:
(i) relative complexity and specialized nature of the matter
(ii) lawyer’s general experience
(iii) lawyer’s training and experience in the field in question
(iv) preparation and study the lawyer is able to give the matter
(v) And whether it is feasible to refer the matter to, or associate or consult with, a lawyer of established competence in the field in question
(b) Usually, the required proficiency is that of a general practitioner – expertise or special training may or may not be required.
(c) “A lawyer can provide adequate representation in a wholly novel (new) field through necessary study” or through the association of a lawyer of established competence in the field in question.
(d) In an emergency, a lawyer may give advice or assistance in a matter in which the lawyer does not have the skill ordinarily required where referral to or consultation or association with another lawyer would be impractical, however, assistance should be limited to that reasonably necessary in the circumstances b/c unplanned action under emergency conditions can jeopardize the client’s interest
(e) A hired or appointed lawyer may offer representation where the requisite level of competence (that of a general practitioner or expertise if required) can be achieved by reasonable preparation.
(2) Thoroughness and Preparation
(a) Competent handling of a particular matter includes
(i) (1) Analysis of thefactual & legal elements and (2) the use of methods & procedures
(ii) meeting the standards of competent practitioners.
(iii) adequate preparation & attention – which is determined in part by what is at stake- major/ complex litigation requires more than matters of lesser consequence.
(3) Maintaining Competence
(a) To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should continue study & education.
Rule 1.6: Confidentiality of Information
(a) “Confidence” refers to info protected by the client/lawyer privilege under applicable law, and “secret” refers to other information gained in the professional relationship that the client has requested be held inviolate or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would likely to be detrimental to the client.
(b) Except when permitted under paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) reveal a confidence or secret of a client;
(2) use a confidence or secret of a client to the disadvantage of the client; or
(3) use a confidence or secret of a client for the advantage of the lawyer or of a third person, unless the client consents after full disclosure
(c) A lawyer may reveal:
(1) confidences or secrets with the consent of the client or clients affected, but only after full disclosure to them
(2) confidences or secrets when permitted or required by these rules, or when required by law or by court order;
(3) confidences and secrets to the extent reasonably necessary to rectify the consequences of a client’s illegal or fraudulent act in the furtherance of which the lawyer’s services have been used;
(4) the intention of a client to
ight be injured by client, lawyer’s own involvement in the transaction, and factors that may extenuate the conduct in question. Disclosure should be no greater than the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to the purpose.
– If the lawyer’s services will be used by the client in materially furthering a course of criminal or fraudulent conduct, the lawyer must withdraw as stated in 1.16(a)(1)
– After withdrawal, lawyer required to refrain from making disclosure of client’s confidences, except as otherwise provided in Rule 1.6.
Dispute Concerning Lawyer’s Conduct
– When legal claim or disciplinary charge alleges complicity of lawyer in client’ conduct or other misconduct of the lawyer involving representation of the client, the lawyer may respond to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to establish a defense. Disclosure should be no greater than the lawyer reasonably believes is necessary to vindicate innocence.
– If lawyer is charged with wrongdoing in which the client’s conduct is implicated, the rule of confidentiality should not prevent the lawyer from defending against the charge.
Disclosure Otherwise Required or Authorized
– Scope of client-lawyer privilege is a questions of law. If lawyer is called as witness to give testimony concerning client, absent waiver by the client, paragraph (b)(1) requires the lawyer to invoke the privilege when it is applicable.
– Lawyer must comply with the final orders of a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction requiring the lawyer to give information about the client if 1.6 is superseded by another law.
– The duty of confidentiality continues after the client-lawyer relationship has terminated.