2007 ADVISORY ETHICS OPINIONS

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07-01 (1) A lawyer who is representing a terminated employee in litigation against the company that formerly employed him may not communicate with a manager within the "control group" of the company on an employment-based matter, even if the subject matter on which the communication is anticipated does not include the manager's direct scope of responsibility.

07-02 A lawyer may publicize the fact that he or she is listed in a publication such as The Best Lawyers in American, so long as the lawyer makes clear that he or she is not claiming to be one of the best lawyers in American, without violating Rule 7.1.

07-03 A lawyer who is advised of a client’s execution of an agreement with a medical provider that directs the lawyer to pay for the provider’s services from the proceeds of a claim for personal injuries on which the lawyer is representing the client, is not required to formally acknowledge the agreement and may not sign it unless the client so directs.

Upon receipt of the settlement funds, the lawyer should (1) deposit the funds in a client trust account; (2) notify the client; (3) advise the client that the lawyer appears to have a duty to notify the provider and that the agreement signed by the client includes a direction to the lawyer to pay any balance due to the provider prior to distributing funds to the client.

Unless the client directs, the lawyer is not required to notify the medical provider of the receipt of the settlement funds. However, the funds should be kept separate until there is an accounting and severance of the respective interests of the client, provider and the lawyer. No funds may be disbursed until there is a resolution of any dispute concerning the amounts due to the respective parties.

07-04 1. A newly hired deputy state’s attorney must not disclose any confidential information learned by him or her concerning clients of the law firm for which the deputy had formerly worked.

2. A newly hired deputy state’s attorney must not participate in the prosecution of any case in which he or she had taken part “personally and substantially” while the deputy was engaged in private practice.

3. The office of the state’s attorney is not disqualified from continuing to prosecute cases where the defendants have been and still are represented by the law firm at which the new deputy state’s attorney formerly had been employed.

 

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1978-Present Index to the Advisory Ethics Opinions of the VBA Committee on Professional Responsibility