ABA Journal

Model Rules of Professional Conduct

36 ABA Journal Model Rules of Professional Conduct articles.

Suit alleges BigLaw firm used LexisNexis product to inflate bills for flat-fee legal research

A corporate litigant disputing the legal bill charged by Squire Patton Boggs has filed a third-party complaint alleging that LexisNexis helped the law firm inflate its fees.

State ethics officials may draft new version of lawyer-bias ban after dropping appeal of adverse ruling

Pennsylvania ethics officials have withdrawn a federal appeal that sought to reinstate an ethics rule banning lawyers from knowingly manifesting bias or engaging in discrimination in the practice of law.

5th Circuit sanctions Marc Elias and other Perkins Coie lawyers for ‘redundant and misleading’ motion

A federal appeals court has sanctioned Perkins Coie attorneys who represent Democratic groups for a “redundant and misleading” motion in election litigation.

New ABA ethics opinion addresses professional responsibilities of virtual practice

Lawyers can practice law virtually but must ensure that they consider various ethical responsibilities related to the duties of competence, diligence, communication, confidentiality and supervision, according to a new opinion released by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility.

How can lawyers balance materially adverse interests? New ABA ethics opinion explores

Conflicts of interest remain a paramount ethical concern, as lawyers owe a duty of loyalty to clients. Rule 1.7 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits lawyers from having conflicts of interest between existing clients, but lawyers also often owe a duty of loyalty to former clients under Rule 1.9 and prospective clients under Rule 1.18.

Lawyers must use caution when responding to negative online reviews, new ethics opinion says

Lawyers are frequent targets of criticism and sometimes that criticism takes place in the form of negative reviews online. As such, lawyers must be careful not to violate the duty of confidentiality when responding to negative online reviews. The ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility advises that the best response is often no response at all.

Ethics attorneys hopeful COVID-19 will prompt changes in remote working rules

The continued spread of COVID-19 has resulted in lawyers across the country working remotely for months on end, including in jurisdictions where they are not licensed to practice law. While this trend prioritizes public health and provides workers with increased flexibility, it could also raise ethical issues for some attorneys.

What are ethics issues for lawyers practicing remotely from a different state during the pandemic?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more lawyers have worked remotely from home and practiced law primarily through electronic means. Some of these lawyers live in a different state than where they are licensed to practice law.

Judge blocks ethics rule banning bias by lawyers, warns of arbiters deciding ‘who and what offends’

A federal judge in Philadelphia has cited the First Amendment in blocking a Pennsylvania ethics rule that bans lawyers from knowingly manifesting bias or engaging in discrimination in the practice of law.

Hundreds of lawyers call for ethics probes of attorneys for election fraud claims; are bar charges likely?

Two former presidents of the ABA are among a group of more than 1,500 lawyers who are calling for ethics probes of lawyers making claims of widespread election fraud.

Afternoon Briefs: 25 former DC bar leaders decry election suits; ousted 1L presses due process claim

25 ex-DC bar leaders decry election suits

Twenty-five former presidents of the District of Columbia Bar are criticizing lawyers who attacked the electoral process through unfounded allegations of voter fraud…

Model rule revision allows attorneys to help pro bono clients in need

Daniel Greenberg became interested in amending ABA Model Rule 1.8(e) when he realized he’d been in violation of it his entire career.

When are personal relationships with opposing counsel conflicts? New ABA ethics opinion weighs in

Lawyers’ personal relationships with opposing counsels may create a conflict under the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, according to a new ethics opinion from the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

Suit claims anti-bias ethics rule infringes lawyer’s free speech rights

A Philadelphia lawyer has filed a First Amendment challenge to Pennsylvania’s new ethics rule barring manifestations of bias or prejudice in the practice of law.

Judges must ensure defendants can afford court costs before imposing fines and fees

Judges must take steps to ensure individuals have the ability to pay criminal justice debt before threatening incarceration, revoking probation, exercising contempt powers or considering similar consequences, according to Formal Opinion 490 from the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

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