1987

  • Opinion No. 87-3
    Summary: A law firm may not permit a financial services agency to solicit business for the firm by writing letters to the agency's clients advising that it has arranged for the law firm to perform services for the agency's clients at reduced rates. Such an arrangement would violate DR 2-103(E)'s prohibition of paid solicitation. The inducing of solicitation of business by a third party for a law firm without payment by the firm violates DR 1-102(A)(2) in situations where the law firm itself would be forbidden to solicit.
  • Opinion No. 87-2
    Summary: A lawyer who receives funds in connection with an imminent real estate closing must first decide whether the funds are "client" funds for purposes of DR 9-102. If they are client funds and if, because of the possibility of delay in the closing, the lawyer deposits them in an interest-bearing account containing commingled client funds, the lawyer must account to the client for the interest received even if the funds are held only for a short time and the interest received is therefore small. In deciding whether such funds may be placed in an IOLTA account rather than an interest-bearing client funds account, the lawyer must make the substantive judgment in advance whether the situation meets the IOLTA requirement that the funds will only be held for a "short period of time." If the funds are placed in an IOLTA account and the closing is substantially delayed, the lawyer should withdraw them and place them in an interest-bearing client funds account.
  • Opinion No. 87-1
    Summary: In Sorensen v. Sorensen, 369 Mass. 350 (1975), the Supreme Judicial Court abolished the doctrine of parental immunity and permitted actions on behalf of minor children against their parents. Procedurally, such actions must be brought by a parent or by another adult acting as the child's next friend or guardian. In selecting an appropriate adult to serve as next friend, an attorney must consider whether an action brought on behalf of the children is substantially related to the attorney's current or prior representation of the parents, thus requiring the parents' informed consent pursuant to DR 5-105(C) or DR 4-101. If the attorney finds himself simultaneously representing both the children and the parents, he must also decide whether it is "obvious" that he can adequately represent the interests of each, as required by DR 5-105(C).
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