Unit 4 Assignment
ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
LS102: Introduction to Law
Professor Stephen Renick
May 21, 2013
The American Bar Association developed the Model Rules of Professional Conduct so that American lawyers can know the basic standards of legal ethics and professional responsibility. There are certain rules that would be most important to lawyers, and also for law firms. Rule 1.6 of the model rules involves confidentiality of information, and it is a vital rule to follow when dealing with a client that may-be guilty. Rule 1.9 of the model rules deals with the duties to former clients. Then there is rule 1.16 of the model rules deals with declining or terminating the representation of a client. (American Bar Association, n.d) When it comes to law firms the most important rules of professional conduct would include rule 5.4, rule 5.6, and rule 5.7. Rule 5.4 involves the professional independence of the lawyer. Rule 5.6 deals with the restrictions on the right to practice, and rule 5.7 involves the responsibilities regarding law-related services.
Rule 1.9 includes the duties to former clients, and after the termination of a client-lawyer relationship, a lawyer has certain continuing duties with respect to confidentiality and conflicts of interest and thus may not represent another client except in conformity with this Rule. (ABA, n.d) The provisions of this Rule are for the protection of former clients and can be waived if the client gives informed consent. This rule is important for lawyers because they still have an obligation of confidentiality to their former clients, and the lawyer cannot reveal anything the former client had said unless the client gives consent to do so. The former client cannot be an example for the new client, and cannot be treated the same as the former client was.
Rule 1.6 includes confidentiality of information between the client and the lawyer. According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent. (American Bar Association, n.d) This rule is important to lawyers because it protects the client’s right to confidentiality and it safeguards the lawyer’s relationship with his/her client. Even though a client may state that he wants to commit another crime, the lawyer is required to advise the client from doing such act, but under the rule 1.6 the lawyer cannot reveal what his/her client says otherwise the lawyer can lose his/her right to practice law. Confidentiality is a major aspect of being a lawyer, and a client needs to know that they have confidence in the lawyer to tell him/her anything.
Rule 1.16 is the other rule that is important to lawyers because it involves the declining or termination of representation of the client. According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if the representation violates the rules of professional conduct or other law, the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client or the lawyer is discharged. (ABA, n.d) “Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law.” (ABA, n.d) The lawyer must make sure that whatever the client has told him/her, that information still stays confidential even when a...
References: Fails as Lawyers Declare the Legal Profession is Not for Sale! The Berkeley Electronic Press. Retrieved on May 19, 2013, from:http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1263&context=elders
The Shely Firm, PC, Scottsdale, Arizona. Retrieved on May 19, 2013, from: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/cpr/pubs/Shely.authcheckdam.pdf
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