1986

  • Opinion No. 86-3
    Summary: A law firm may properly provide an educational seminar to a mixed audience of clients and non-clients so long as neither the seminar brochure nor the presentation contains a recommendation that the law firm or any of its lawyers be employed as a legal practitioner for a fee or otherwise. Such an educational seminar does not constitute "solicitation" under DR 2-103 even if part of the motivation is the hope that future business be generated. Invitations sent to non-clients to such a seminar therefore need not comply with the labeling or other requirements of DR 2-103. Opinion 83-4 of this committee is reaffirmed.
  • Opinion No. 86-2
    Summary: An attorney who defends both a police officer and a town in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. S1983 may become involved in representing differing interests within the meaning of DR 5-105(A) and DR 5-105(B). Accordingly, the attorney may appear on behalf of both the officer and the town only if it is obvious that he can adequately represent the interests of both, and only if he obtains the consent of each after full disclosure of the risks of such joint representation. As a practical matter, when there is substantial possibility that the town may wish to defend on the grounds that the officer was not acting within the scope of his official duties, the attorney cannot adequately represent both the town and the officer, and such joint representation is prohibited by DR 5-105(C). However, if there is a substantial identity of interests among all the defendants joint representation may be appropriate.
  • Opinion No. 86-1
    Summary: Although DR 5-101(A) states that with consent a lawyer may represent a client when his judgment reasonably may be affected by his own financial, business, property, or personal interests, other rules may in some cases preclude the representation. On the facts of this case, as presented to the committee, it would not be a per se violation for an attorney who is a defendant in a legal malpractice action brought by one of his longstanding, regular clients to continue to represent that client on other matters and to represent that client in new matters. The client, however, must freely consent to such representation after full disclosure of the ways in which the attorney's financial and personal interests relating to the malpractice action may affect the exercise of his professional judgment on behalf of the client as well as all possible adverse consequences to the client of the proposed representation. The presence of other facts not stated in the inquiry to the committee, however, could preclude such representation even with consent.
©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association