2017 ADVISORY ETHICS OPINIONS

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17-01 An attorney inquires about ACH transfers into IOLTA accounts, citing experience with transfers being reversed thereby leaving insufficient funds in the account, and asks whether accepting ACH transfers into IOLTA accounts complies with the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.  An attorney can take steps to minimize the risk of an overdraft in an IOLTA account arising because of the reversal of an electronic funds transfer.  If a reversal occurs, the attorney must act immediately to protect other clients’ funds or funds of third parties in the trust account that may be at risk as a result.

17-02 A deceased partner’s limited and terminated representations, separately or when viewed collectively, of a predecessor corporation merged into another corporation, do not require a law firm to seek the former client’s consent or to withdraw from representing plaintiffs in an environmental class action suit involving the conduct of the predecessor client corporation, when no other lawyer currently at the firm had a role with the deceased partner’s representation or has access to the files, and the current class action is not substantially related to the deceased partner’s former representation pursuant to the V.R.P.C. 1.9 or 1.10 former client and imputation of conflicts rules.

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