2004 ADVISORY ETHICS OPINIONS

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04-03R An attorney may not simultaneously represent a client who is selling a parcel of real property and provide limited representation to the buyer of the same real estate by providing a title insurance policy to such buyer. The scope of the obligations inherent in issuing the title insurance policy creates a contemporaneous conflict of interest that is of such a serious character that the conflict cannot be properly waived under Rule 1.7. An attorney representing a seller may properly prepare and issue a title insurance policy naming the buyer when the Seller is under a contractual obligation to provide the buyer with title insurance.

04-02 When a lawyer sends a request for medical records to a healthcare provider based on a limited medical authorization, the covering letter must not mislead the healthcare provider as to the scope of the authorization. Although a lawyer has the duty to use legal procedure for the full benefit of a client, a lawyer may not make a frivolous discovery request and shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact to a third person.

04-01 If an attorney is aware of facts that raise a substantial question as to another attorney’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer, then that attorney must report the facts and conduct to the Vermont Professional Responsibility Program. Each attorney must make that determination based on the applicable Rule of Professional Conduct. The Professional Responsibility Committee declines to evaluate or comment on the conduct of a non-requesting attorney.



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