Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Multiple Firm Practice Blessed By Ohio Ethics Opinion

From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

The Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances  & Discipline no longer advises that a lawyer may not practice with more  than one firm in Ohio at the same time, according to an advisory opinion.

Finding “substantial justification for a new perspective on  practice in multiple firms” and considering “the context of current rules and  modern practice,” the board concluded in Opinion  2013-1 that practice in multiple firms can occur in compliance with the  Rules of Professional Conduct.

The board withdrew three previous advisory opinions on the  issue. The reasoning behind the update includes, among other things, the fact  that other jurisdictions have ruled that the practice is permissible, an  expanded definition of “firm,” and financial considerations for lawyers in  smaller communities who work more than one part-time job.

The opinion’s syllabus gives the following guidance.

“A lawyer who engages in simultaneous practice in multiple  firms must recognize the potential ethical issues connected with such practice.  The lawyer has to be diligent in avoiding conflicts of interest, and the  imputation of conflicts will apply across all associated ‘firms.’ The lawyer is  also required to scrupulously maintain client confidentiality and professional  independence. As part of the lawyer’s duty to refrain from false, misleading,  or nonverifiable communications about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services, the  lawyer must inform his or her clients of all multiple firm associations."

(Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2013/04/from-the-web-page-of-the-ohio-supreme-court-the-ohio-supreme-court-board-of-commissioners-on-grievances-discipline-no-long.html

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Comments

What's going on with the Ohio ethics board? It also recently determined that soliciting clients via text message is OK, http://bit.ly/15bLmei [ABA Journal]. Now Ohio attorneys can text spam from multiple firms!

Posted by: LFSE | May 2, 2013 6:58:29 AM

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