1984 ADVISORY ETHICS OPINIONS

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84-08 Under the facts presented, an attorney is not required to withdraw from a boundary dispute even though he represented the opposing party, when a property in question was purchased, where the prior representation specifically excluded investigation of "area boundaries and such matters as would be disclosed by a survey and/or a personal inspection of the premises" and the attorney gained no secrets or confidences during the former representation relating to the subject matter of the boundary dispute.

84-07 Not published.

84-06 A lawyer may not keep a discovery sanction award when the lawyer’s right to the money is disputed by the client. The money must be placed in the client trust fund and can be distributed only when the dispute is resolved.

84-05 Where a law firm is contacted but not retained by a prospective client who calls to inquire about the possibility of bringing suit against another, the law firm may later represent the other person in defense of the suit provided that the firm did not undertake to give the prospective client advice and provided that the prospective client did not in good faith disclose to the firm any confidential information.

84-04 Not published.

84-03 A collection agency employs an attorney to file law suits if necessary to collect claims which the agency has solicited for collection. The agency. pays the attorney a regular salary whether or not particular law suits result in recovery. The agency pockets the contingent. percentage fee it receives when the lawyer’s efforts are successful.The attorney has placed himself in the position of aiding a corporation in the unauthorized practice of law, contrary to the mandate of DR 3-101. The attorney has also accepted employment with an organization that promotes the use of his services, in a manner not sanctioned by DR 2-103(D).

84-02 May a lawyer, consistent with the provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility, represent a client in connection with a real estate transfer in connection with which the lawyer’s spouse who is a licensed Vermont real estate broker or salesman, has acted in the capacity of a broker?

84-01 Where a law firm represents an association comprised of police officers employed by a municipality in the association’s contract negotiations with the municipality, it is a conflict of interest for the firm to represent on a retained or assigned basis criminal defendants in cases involving the municipal police department or in cases where a police association member is a witness for the state.



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