1981

  • Opinion No 81-11
    Summary: Purchase by a lawyer of warrants issued by his corporate client to pay the costs of a public offering as to which he was advising the client is not in itself a violation of the disciplinary rules.
  • Opinion No 81-10
    Summary: If a sole practitioner who employs others in the course of his legal business or a law firm has incorporated as a professional corporation, that status should be disclosed to clients and others with whom the practitioner or firm may come in professional contact where relevant.
  • Opinion No. 81-9
    Summary: Lawyer may not bid on his own account at a third party's foreclosure sale of property involving substantial equity that has been attached to satisfy his client's judgment, even if client does not bid and consents to bidding by lawyer, unless lawyer agrees in advance to bid an amount sufficient to satisfy client's judgment in full. Lawyer on a contingency may not withdraw from representation before foreclosure sale simply because client cannot afford to bid.
  • Opinion No. 81-8
    Summary: The fact that two attorneys are husband and wife does not by itself create a conflict of interest between them within the meaning of Canon 5; rather the existence of the relationship is one of the many factors that should be considered in determining whether a conflict exists in a particular situation. Consequently, there is no per se bar to the representation of criminal defendants by a law firm that employs an attorney who is the spouse of an assistant district attorney even in cases in which the firm and the assistant district attorney are opposing counsel of record.
  • Opinion No. 81-7
    Summary: It is not ethically improper for a lawyer to agree with a client to defer the payment of a fee for services rendered or to be rendered in a non-contingent civil matter and to receive from the client, as evidence of the client's indebtedness, a promissory note secured by a second mortgage on the client's home. Such a transaction may be entered into only if (1) the lawyer has made, in advance of the transaction, a full disclosure to the client of any differing interests between lawyer and client that exist or may arise as a result of this arrangement and (2) the client freely consents.
  • Opinion No. 81-6
    Summary: An attorney is a member of the LRS (Lawyer Referral Service) of the MBA and receives a form indicating that a person has been referred to him for a legal consultation involving one of 24 substantive law areas. Even though a reasonable period of time to enable the inquirer to contact the attorney may have elapsed, the attorney is prohibited by DR 2-103 from telephoning or writing the person to find out whether he is still interested in receiving legal advice for the question for which the person initially contacted LRS. Such an inquiry may, however, be made by the LRS.
  • Opinion No. 81-5
    Summary: A law firm practicing as a partnership under the name of "A, B & C" may not continue to use B's name in the title of the firm where B is leaving the firm to become an employee of another law firm in the same city.
  • Opinion No. 81-4
    Summary: An attorney may not properly obtain information which is a matter of public knowledge and convey it to a client under suspicious circumstances if he believes that he may be assisting the client in conduct that the lawyer knows to be illegal, even though the client might be able to obtain the information directly, unless the attorney first satisfies himself that the purpose of obtaining the information is not illegal.
  • Opinion No. 81-3
    Summary: An attorney may not advertise himself as a "Specialist in Taxation," even though the advertisement is inserted only in a weekly newspaper designed primarily for lawyers.
  • Opinion No. 81-2
    Summary: A lawyer may not represent a party as a class representative in a class action while at the same time he is opposing that party in a separate civil action even if both parties to the second action have consented because (1) on the facts presented the clients' consent is ineffective because the lawyer failed to inform the clients sufficiently about the possible adverse consequences of the dual representation and (2) it is not obvious that the lawyer can adequately represent the interests of each client.
  • Opinion No. 81-1
    Summary: An attorney's duty to preserve confidences and secrets may arise even from a "threshold" interview which does not lead to further representation. Therefore, if the non-lawyer at such an interview discloses matters relating to a potential claim against one of the lawyer's clients, the lawyer may be prohibited from disclosing them to the client and from disclosing them in connection with an auditor's letter inquiring about potential litigation. The American Bar Association's Statement of Policy Regarding Lawyers' Responses to Auditors' Requests for Information does not, in any case, mandate such disclosure. The committee has not been asked, and therefore expresses no opinion on, the question of the extent to which a threshold interview may disqualify an attorney in some matter.
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