1994

  • Opinion No. 94-10
    Summary: A lawyer may properly advertise contingent fee rates or percentages, provided that the advertisement specifies whether the advertised rate is computed net or gross of any expenses for which the client is responsible, and provided that the advertisement is not otherwise deceptive or violative of any other disciplinary rule.
  • Opinion No. 94-9
    Summary: Absent special circumstances, a law firm is not precluded from handling bond work for the State Treasurer because it represents private parties in dealings with other state agencies.
  • Opinion No. 94-8
    Summary: In the circumstances of this inquiry, a lawyer has an obligation to reveal to his client a conversation with a witness who claimed that the client intimidated him into executing a perjurious affidavit, which has not yet been filed. A lawyer should not file an affidavit that the affiant now claims is perjurious, and if the lawyer does not file the affidavit, the lawyer has nothing to report to the court with respect to witness fraud. The lawyer has insufficient information about client fraud or about any threatened client intimidation to impose any obligation to make disclosure to the court about his client.
  • Opinion No. 94-7
    Summary: Where a lawyer has received an IRS administrative summons requiring the lawyer to disclose the identity of clients from whom the lawyer has received cash in excess of $10,000, as well as the amount of each such cash receipt, and where the client has refused to consent to such disclosure, then, if there is any doubt as to whether the law compelling disclosure overrides the lawyer's obligation to preserve the client's confidences or secrets, the lawyer should resist disclosure of the client's identity in response to the summons, or in any subsequent enforcement proceeding, until such time as a court orders disclosure.
  • Opinion No. 94-6
    Summary: It is not a violation of the Disciplinary Rules, in the circumstances of this inquiry, for a government lawyer to possess and use corporate documents, some of which are covered by the attorney-client privilege, that were copied by an employee of the corporation and later sent to a governmental agency without any participation by any state or federal employee.
  • Opinion No. 94-5
    Summary: Lawyers should not discuss confidential information on a cellular telephone if there is any nontrivial risk that such information may be overheard by a third party, whether that third party is involved in the particular matter or not, unless the client, after full disclosure of the dangers to confidentiality, consents to such communication.
  • Opinion No. 94-4
    Summary: Once a divorce has become final, an attorney can enter into a contingent fee agreement with the custodial spouse for collection of delinquent child support payments. However, an attorney acting under a contingent fee agreement may not seek to enforce child support obligations through criminal contempt proceedings. The Disciplinary Rules do not categorically prohibit contingent fee agreements based on the value of future payments, but such fees must be reasonable. The committee believes that, in some cases, a contingent fee based on the value of future child support payments will be unreasonable.
  • Opinion No. 94-3
    Summary: A lawyer who is holding funds belonging to an estate and who has reason to believe that his client, the administratrix of the estate, intends to divert funds from those entitled by law to receive them should seek instructions from the Probate Court before disbursing the funds.
    Lawyers from the same law firm may not simultaneously represent the administratrix of an estate and serve as sureties on her bond.
  • Opinion No. 94-2
    Summary: In certain circumstances, town counsel may undertake litigation on behalf of the board of selectmen of a town against a subordinate town agency even though town counsel is currently representing the agency in other litigation. It is crucial in the present inquiry that the two items of litigation are unrelated, that town counsel has no relevant confidences or secrets of the town agencies, that the representation of the agency involves appellate representation on a question of law, and that neither litigation involves the credibility or performance of the agency.
  • Opinion No. 94-1
    Summary: Where an attorney receives a benefit from a service provider which accrues at no additional cost as a result of expenses paid by the client, the attorney must disclose the receipt of the benefit to the client (1) if the client may claim or otherwise take advantage of the benefit or (2) if the benefit is of such significant value as to have a potential to influence the attorney's selection of a service provider.
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