1981 ADVISORY ETHICS OPINIONS

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81-14 Not issued.

81-13 Not issued.

81-12 An attorney may not make a direct mailing to potential clients wherein the fees the attorney would charge are set out.

81-11 An attorney who is Director and Secretary of a corporate group and handled legal matters for the corporations and the now-deceased majority shareholder may not serve as executor and co-trustee of the estate of the majority if he retains the corporate offices and represents the corporate group and there is a dispute between the estate and the corporations on matters substantially related to his former representation of the corporation. Depending on whether disputes arise between the estate and the corporations and the nature of any such disputes, the attorney may serve as executor and co-trustee and retain some role in the corporations.

81-10 Unless personally biased against the defendants, an assistant attorney general is not ethically barred from assisting in the prosecution of a case where, as judge at an earlier time, he presided over an inquest at which the defendant did not testify.

81-09 An attorney may carry on the practice of law while also acting as a real estate broker, as long as he/she observes the restraints on dual professions delineated in DR 2-102(E).

81-08 The representation of opposing state agencies by Assistant Attorneys General in the resolution of disputes, whether by negotiation or by litigation before administrative tribunals or courts, violates DR 5-105(A) unless such representation is authorized under DR 5-105(C).

81-07 A firm which is engaged as Town Attorney is ethically barred from representing other clients in matters against the Town including criminal cases involving the Town Police Department and matters that might come before the Board of Selectman, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Planning Commission.

81-06 An attorney who is an elected official of a town (Justice of the Peace, and by virtue thereof, a member of the Board of Civil Authority) may represent clients in an action against that town seeking, inter alia, damages for wrongful taking, trespass, removal of trees, correcting drainage and punitive damages.

81-05 The Code prohibits advertising regarding lawyers except as specifically authorized. Those prohibitions do not apply to a law clerk. Therefore, such advertising may be done. (T. 12 V.S.A. App. LX, C2)

81-04 A law firm, one of whose partners once belonged to another law firm that once represented a client, may at a later date, with regard to the same subject matter, represent a different client with opposing interest to the original client, so long as the lawyer who has moved from one firm to the other, had no information, knowledge or other contact with the client whose interest will be opposed by the new law firm.

81-03 An attorney may represent a client and the client’s insurance company in a counterclaim against the client. Careful attention should be paid, however, to DR 5-106 and EC 5-14, EC 5-15 and EC 5-16.

81-02 Attorney who formerly represented three partners in partnership-related matters is not disqualified from representing two remaining partners in dissolution negotiations with withdrawing partner, under facts presented.

81-01 An attorney must maintain his client’s confidences if he finds out from his client that his client made false representations to him which resulted in an agreement disposing of a criminal case. If, however, the attorney receives information from someone other than his client that clearly establishes his client intentionally committed a fraud upon a person or tribunal, the attorney must call upon his client to rectify the same. If his client refuses or is unable to do so, the attorney must himself reveal the fraud to the affected person or tribunal.


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