Advisory Opinions

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Updated through August 13, 2014

RADIO

REAL ESTATE

REFEREES - (SeeJUDGES)

RECORDED CONVERSATIONS

REFERRALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

REGISTRATION

RELATIVES - (See CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; Disqualification of lawyers, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, Relatives representing opposing parties; JUDGES, Relatives)

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
(see also DEPARTING ATTORNEYS)

RETAINER - (See FEES)

RETIRED ATTORNEY


RADIO

Op. 94-13 attorney's participation in radio talk shows

REAL ESTATE

Op. 88-30 legal services corporation attorney representing client in a real estate transaction

Op. 88-32 attorney for purchaser discussing matters prior to arrival of seller's attorney

Op. 90-9 lawyer concurrently representing a client as a lawyer and a realtor; lawyer for personal representative of estate acting as realtor in selling estate property

Op. 91-8 lawyer renting office space in real estate co-owned by judge and judge's spouse; appearing before judge

Op. 2002-1 law firm entering a business agreement to pay annual fee to a real estate agency and to offer discounted legal services to customers of the real estate agency in exchange for the agency promoting the law firm as a service provider in a real estate benefits program

REFEREES - (See JUDGES)

RECORDED CONVERSATIONS

Op. 97-3 attorney's surreptitious recording of conversations with clients, opposing parties, opposing counsel, and others

Op. 2012-1 Surreptitious (Secret) Recording by Lawyers

REFERRALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Op. 87-4 lawyer sending letter to other lawyers requesting referrals

Op. 88-9 lawyer seeking referrals from organization involved in the adoption of special children/offering legal services at a discounted rate for handling adoptions

Op. 88-12 free consultation by lawyer as part of funeral director's package

Op. 89-8 lawyer or law firm participating in a legal services plan offering free consultation and discounted legal fees to members of various teachers' associations

Op. 89-25 legal aid society referring cases in which it has a conflict to volunteer lawyers' project

Op. 90-9 lawyer who is realtor recommending his or her legal services to real estate client

Op. 90-11 legal services attorney making in-person offer to represent indigent defendant who appeared in court without representation

Op. 91-7 lawyer referral service providing joint advertising and screening of potential client for referral to lawyers

Op. 91-17 lawyer requesting union representative to recommend attorney to union membership

Op. 91-19 lawyer receiving referrals from non-profit social service agency while providing pro-bono legal services to agency and making periodic voluntary contributions

Op. 91-26 lawyer contacting by mail an officer or manager of a business corporation regarding employment of lawyer for general representation

Op. 92-1 lawyer paying percentage of fees earned to bar association lawyer referral service

Op. 92-15 law firm assisting business corporation in sale of legal forms and advising corporation's clients

Op. 92-17 corporation referring clients to corporation's lawyer for private representations lawyer

Op. 94-11 financing company requiring attorney to prospectively agree to pay the company a percentage of a legal fee when earned in exchange for the company’s loan to client

Op. 94-11 financing company requiring attorney to prospectively agree to pay the company a percentage of a legal fee when earned in exchange for the company's loan to client

Op. 95-6 lawyer paying percentage of fees earned to non-profit organizations other than bar associations

Op. 98-1 lawyer receiving referrals from a group legal services plan established by the lawyer and offered through an organization formed and operated by the lawyer

Op. 99-3 attorney listed in online directory of professional association; links from attorney's name attorney's e-mail address or law firm web site; links from online membership directory of a professional association to another related association; link does not constitute a referral unless facts indicate it is a referral

Op. 99-7 law firm does not become a lawyer referral service by referring clients it cannot competently handle to another law firm

Op. 2000-1 lawyer accepting a referral fee from a financial services group for referring clients in need of financial services

Op. 2000-5 attorney participating as a "referral affiliate attorney" for an online referral service that requires the attorney to pay the service a percentage of legal fees earned from the clients referred

Op. 2001-2 lawyer contacted by a law-related commercial Web site that offers to make available the attorney's name, address, phone number, area of practice to potential clients in exchange for the attorney providing compensation to the company; payment for advertisement versus payment for referral; assisting in the unauthorized practice of law

Op. 2002-1 law firm entering a business agreement to pay annual fee to a real estate agency and to offer discounted legal services to customers of the real estate agency in exchange for the agency promoting the law firm as a service provider in a real estate benefits program

Op. 2002-11 lawyer participating in a group legal services plan paid for by a church to provide estate planning services at no cost to church members

Op. 2003-1 law firm's representation of buyers or sellers of business entities; laws firm's assistance in locating buyers or sellers through the law firm or through ancillary business; law firm's referrals to business broker; law firm's referrals to lenders; law firm's fee based on percentage of transaction price; law firm sharing fee with business broker

Op. 2004-1 unsolicited commercial e-mail advertising of legal services by lawyers, lawyer advertising services, or lawyer referral services

Op. 04-9 attorney sending letter to chiropractor asking to meet to provide information regarding the attorney’s legal services; mutual referral agreements; self-recommendation

REGISTRATION

Op.88-35 lawyer performing legal services during time period when delinquent in paying registration

Op.89-26 lawyer with "inactive" registration status rendering free legal services to church members; "inactive" registration status while serving as judicial clerk

Op. 91-1 retiring lawyer with "inactive" registration status being listed in law directory; exemption from continuing legal education requirements; receiving compensation from law firm other than retirement benefits

Op. 91-18 retiring attorney with "inactive" or "retired" registration status including name in firm name, listing name on letterhead, having of counsel relationship

Op. 92-4 attorney with "inactive" or "retired" registration status serving on certified grievance committees; lecturing on legal subjects at CLE programs; performing duties of paralegal or student law clerk; serving on boards and commissions

Op. 96-3 attorney with inactive registration status continuing to hold shares in a legal professional association; attorney with inactive registration status name in firm name; retired attorney's name in firm name

Op. 2008-1 lawyer in law firm serving as “of counsel” to another lawyer or law firm; ethical implications of the “of counsel” relationship as to registration status, firm names and letterhead, division of fees, conflicts of interest, multiple “of counsel” relationships; and “of counsel” relationship with out-of-state lawyers or law firms

RELATIVES - (See CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; Disqualification of lawyers, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, Relatives representing opposing parties; JUDGES, Relatives)

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
(see also DEPARTING ATTORNEYS)

Op. 90-14 employment agreement restricting the right of a lawyer to practice law after termination

Op. 91-3 departing associate paying fees to firm

RETAINER - (See FEES)

RETIRED ATTORNEY

Op. 91-1 retired attorney with inactive status registration; exemption from CLE; listing in law list or directory; reference to self as inactive partner; payment pursuant to separation or retirement agreement

Op. 91-18 attorney with retired or inactive registration status; name in firm name; name on letterhead; "of counsel" relationship

Op. 92-4 attorney with retired or inactive registration status; serving on certified grievance committees; lecturing on legal subjects at CLE programs; performing duties of paralegal or student law clerk; serving on boards and commissions

Op. 96-3 attorney with inactive registration status continuing to hold shares in a legal professional association; attorney with inactive registration status name in firm name; retired attorney's name in firm name

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