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Professional Responsibility/Legal Ethics
Wayne State University Law School
Rodwan, Gail

Scope of MI Rules
Rule 1.0
·        Violations of the rules don’t automatically result in
o       Civil cause of action
o       Criminal cause of action
o       Malpractice
·        Violation is admissible as evidence
 
Keywords
Mandatory:
·        Shall
·        Must
Discretionary:
·        May
·        Could
·        Might
Exceptions:
·        Unless
·        Except where
 
 
Attorney-Client Relationship
 
Formed by:
·        Face to Face meeting followed by an oral or formal written retainer agreement
·        Spouse of client
·        Intermediary
o       F -> A -> B and C (-> = advice)
·        Atty appointed by the court
·        Pymts made by client to lawyer are good evidence of relationship although money
o       although money needs never to change hands in order for a relationship to be formed.
§         E.g. indigent clients
·        If the initial stages of an atty-client relationship have taken place, the best way for the atty to eliminate misunderstanding re: final formation of the relationship is to get it in writing.
o       Also important to get it in writing when the relationship has ended.
·        Person’s reasonable belief that he has an atty-client relationship w/ atty
 
 
Rule 1.8(f):
Makes it possible for one person to pay the fees for another person as long as the 2nd person consents, there are no conflicts of interest, and the attorney-client privilege is kept intact.
 
Confidential requirement doesn’t apply to accountants.
Identity of person who pays attorneys fees to represent another is not protected under

.
Jdg had no authority to create atty-client relationship
Ds could not be bound by any action of the atty w/o first consenting to the representation.
 
Agency Character of Relationship:
Lawyer is agent for client and his conduct can bind the client
Relationship will have a finite scope depending on the terms of the retainer agreement.
Much better to clarify the scope of the relationship in the retainer agreement so the client has an idea of what type of issue the lawyer will feel obligated to handle for the client.
As an agent of the client, an atty must act in conformity with client’s authority and instructions.
 
Rule 1.2(c):
Lawyer cannot counsel or assist client in illegal or fraudulent conduct.
 
Rule 1.16(a):
Requires the attorney to withdraw if his services will materially further illegal or fraudulent course of action by the client
 
Binding the Client:
Lawyer’s conduct will be attributable to the client, even if the lawyer errs or is careless.
Clients can give a lawyer authority, either actual or implied, to handle matters that would otherwise be limited to the client’s discretion       (i.e. settlements)
Vicarious Admissions: 
Lawyer is subject to the rule of admissions in FRE 801(d)(2)(c) – may bind the client to admissions made in pleadings and in opening statements. 
Statements made in briefs are only evidentiary admissions, and may be rebutted by the party making them.