Ethics Opinion 901
Simultaneously representing both a corporation and a director, officer or shareholder of that corporation can create conflicts, but if the conflicts are consentable, then the conflicts can be cured by obtaining informed consent from each affected client, confirmed in writing.
Ethics Opinion 902
A lawyer may not base compensation to a marketing firm on the number of potential or actual clients the firm introduces to the lawyer.
Ethics Opinion 903
When a lawyer jointly represents two co-defendants pursuant to a validly obtained consent to the dual representation and to any future conflicts that might arise between the clients, and one of the clients later revokes consent, whether the lawyer may continue to represent the non-revoking client depends upon the circumstances, unless an advance agreement specifies what happens upon revocation of consent.
Ethics Opinion 904
Under New York Rule 4.2(a), a lawyer representing the victim of an alleged crime for purposes of seeking restitution may not communicate with the subject of a criminal investigation into the same facts if the victim’s lawyer knows that the subject is represented by counsel with respect to the criminal investigation unless the victim’s attorney has the prior consent of that counsel, is authorized by law to communicate with the subject directly, or the criminal defense attorney, upon inquiry, disavows representation with respect to the restitution claim.
Ethics Opinion 905
Rules 1.9 and 1.10 do not apply to a lawyer who acquired confidential information while acting solely as a paralegal or legal assistant. A law firm that hires a lawyer who acquired confidential information while acting as a paralegal or legal assistant has an obligation to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the lawyer does not reveal the confidential information. A law firm should instruct the newly hired lawyer not to divulge confidential information. The firm should also perform a conflicts check reasonable under the circumstances. If the lawyer acquired confidential information in a matter while working as a paralegal or legal assistant, the lawyer ordinarily must be screened from any personal participation in the matter to avoid communication to others in the firm of confidential information that the firm has a duty to protect.
Ethics Opinion 906
Sharing of legal fees by an attorney with a not-for-profit organization that is not a law firm is prohibited by Rule 5.4.
Ethics Opinion 907
An attorney may agree to make an anonymous donation on behalf of a client, and must protect the confidentiality of the identity of a client when asked by the client to do so, provided the request does not involve the lawyer in prohibited conduct.
Ethics Opinion 909
Where a member of a town board is barred from representing clients in certain matters in town Justice Court because the board has salary or budget control over the Court or the police department, other lawyers in the member’s law firm are not disqualified unless there are particular facts that would likely give rise to public suspicions of improper influence or to a conflict of interest between the private client and the member’s duties to the town.
Ethics Opinion 910
In a matrimonial matter, the likelihood of nonpayment of the legal fee does not alone justify charging a multiple of the Firm's normal hourly rates. The lawyer may obtain a confession of judgment from the client for legal fees already earned or take a security interest in property of the client to secure fees and expenses, under the conditions described in the opinion. The lawyer may request a client to amend a retainer agreement. Whether such amendment must meet the requirements for fee agreements under Rule 1.5 or for business transactions between the lawyer and client under Rule 1.8(i) depends on the circumstances.
Ethics Opinion 911
A New York lawyer may not practice law principally in New York as an employee of an out-of-state entity that has non-lawyer owners or managers.
Ethics Opinion 912
The Rules of Professional Conduct do not prohibit a lawyer from hosting or participating in a blog dedicated to publishing factually accurate criticism of another lawyer’s professional conduct.
Ethics Opinion 913
A lawyer may accept an equity interest in a client if the lawyer complies with the Rule of Professional Conduct governing business transactions with clients and the acceptance does not otherwise create a conflict for the lawyer or result in an excessive fee.
Ethics Opinion 914
Members of a panel of lawyers established to provide legal assistance to indigent clients when the Legal Aid Society has a conflict are not members of the same firm for purpose of conflict analysis as long as the panel members are independently engaged by, and independently render legal services to, their indigent clients.
Ethics Opinion 915
Assuming relevant advertising rules are adhered to, a law firm’s website may link to the website of a nonlegal entity, and vice versa.
Ethics Opinion 916
A lawyer may not offer free legal services as an add-on bonus to a party to a real estate transaction in which the lawyer is acting as broker, even if the lawyer advises the party that the party may retain separate counsel.
Ethics Opinion 917
A law firm may ethically pay a bonus to a nonlawyer employee engaged in marketing based on the number of clients obtained through advertising provided the amount paid is not calculated with respect to fees paid by the clients. The law firm may not pay a fee for the referral or recommendation of a specific client.
Ethics Opinion 918
A lawyer may ethically produce and post an internet video designed to educate lay individuals about a legal subject, and may distribute flyers to members of the public inviting them to view the video. However, the lawyer must adhere to advertising and solicitation requirements under the Rules if the video or the flyers encourage participants to retain the lawyer.
Ethics Opinion 919
: A lawyer may not act as an attorney for any party to a real estate transaction in which the lawyer is acting as a broker. A lawyer who is employed part time by a real estate office as a broker may be able to serve as a party’s attorney even if a member of that real estate office is acting as a broker for one of the parties, but the lawyer must comply with Rule 1.7. If the lawyer will materially benefit from the closing based on his employment at the broker’s office or is personally involved with the transaction at that office, then his representation of a party to the transaction is per se prohibited.
Ethics Opinion 920
A lawyer may not practice under a law firm name that consists only of the lawyer's initials.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993