1999

  • Opinion No. 99-5
    Summary: When a lawyer for an estate, who represents the co-administrators, learns that a beneficiary has stolen money from the estate and that one co-administrator may be implicated, the lawyer must inform the other co-administrator of the theft. Whether the lawyer may or must take other action depends on the development of other facts concerning the activities and knowledge of the co-administrator who may be involved.
  • Opinion No. 99-4
    Summary: Lawyer received a letter addressed to the other side's client that was mailed to Lawyer by mistake. An associate, believing that the firm simply had been copied, filed the letter. In reviewing the file in preparation for a hearing, Lawyer first read the letter, saw that it contained important evidence of which he was formerly unaware, and informed opposing counsel of what had occurred. If Lawyer concludes that it is in his client's best interest to do so, he should resist the opposing counsel's demand for return of the letter and should urge the tribunal to reject the claim of attorney-client privilege.
  • Opinion No. 99-3
    005{00000000ummary: A lawyer ought not act as a testifying expert for a party in a matter that is substantially related to a matter in which the lawyer represented the other party, even if the lawyer actually has no relevant confidential information.
  • Opinion No. 99-2
    Summary: A lawyer who learns that her partners, without their clients' knowledge, have intentionally made material misrepresentations to state and federal agencies to prevent imposition of substantial penalties on firm clients for the law firm's failure to file timely reports must report her partners' misconduct to the clients, act to avoid the consequences of the fraud on the state agency, and report the misconduct to Bar Counsel. Rule 1.4 mandates informing the clients. The permission granted in Rule 1.6(b)(1) to disclose confidential information of firm clients to prevent fraudulent acts means that such information is not protected by Rule 1.6 from disclosure to the state agency and Bar Counsel in these circumstances. Affirmative obligations imposed by Rule 5.1(c)(2) (as to avoiding harm to the state agency) and Rule 8.3 (as to disclosure to Bar Counsel) require the lawyer to act. The Committee does not have sufficient facts to address whether the lawyer has an obligation to act to mitigate her partners' fraud on the federal agency.
  • Opinion No. 99-1
    Summary: A lawyer who wishes to sue a former client for legal services in a non-litigation matter may do so pro se without violating Rule 3.7. A lawyer who brings such a lawsuit should consider the desirability of seeking mediation but is not required to do so.
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