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Michigan Ethics Opinions Index

This Index includes:

  • All ethics opinions released from October 2, 1988, through March 2010
  • Formal ethics opinions interpreting the former Michigan Code of Professional Responsibility
  • Judicial Tenure Commission Advisory Opinions
  • Michigan Supreme Court cases involving lawyer and judicial discipline
  • Essays and articles from the Michigan Bar Journal
  • Opinions interpreting the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct are denoted "R" for formal opinions and "RI" for informal opinions. Opinions interpreting the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct are denoted "J" for formal opinions and "JI" for informal opinions. Formal opinions interpreting the former Michigan Code of Professional Responsibility are denoted "C". Advisory Opinions of the Judicial Tenure Commission are denoted "A/O". Articles published in the Michigan Bar Journal are cited "[volume] MBJ [page] (date)".

    Copyright held by State Bar of Michigan, All Rights Reserved

    Notice to Lawyers:
    State Bar of Michigan ethics opinions are advisory and non-binding in nature. This index is a complete historical catalog. Some of the listed ethics opinions, though not expressly superseded in subsequent ethics opinions, may be nonetheless outmoded or no longer sound due to subsequent changes in case law, statutes, or court rules. Practitioners are urged to thoroughly research all sources to determine the current validity of any given ethics opinion.

    Common Citations

    The following citation abbreviations are used in this Index.

    "A/O" Opinions issued by the Judicial Tenure Commission interpreting the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct
    "C" Formal ethics opinions interpreting the former Michigan Code of Professional Responsibility
    "CI" Informal ethics opinions interpreting the former Michigan Code of Professional Responsibility
    "J" Formal ethics opinions interpreting the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct
    "JI" Informal ethics opinions interpreting the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct
    "MBJ" Michigan Bar Journal, monthly publication of the State Bar of Michigan
    "R" Formal ethics opinions interpreting the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
    "RI" Informal ethics opinions interpreting the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
    "Op" Opinions interpreting the former Canons of Professional Ethics or the former Canons of Judicial Ethics.

    Search by Opinion Number or Keywords
    Click here to use the "quick find" by opinion number or to search the full text of our ethics opinion collection.

    Index Headings

    For the researcher's convenience, this list is provided to show the topics used for indexing authorities in this volume.

    Abuse of judicial office

    Administration of justice, conduct prejudicial to

    Administrative agency practice

    Administrative duties of judicial officers

    Administrative hearing officer

    Admission to the Bar

    Advancing funds to client

    Adverse parties


    Advice to client

    Advice to third person

    Alcohol abuse

    Alternate dispute resolution

    Ancillary services


    Appearance of impropriety



    Association with nonlawyer

    Attorney-client privilege

    Attorney-client relationship




    Business interests

    Business representation

    Cameras in the courtroom

    Campaign funding, judicial

    Campaign practices


    Candor to court

    Charitable/civic activities of judges

    Circumvention of ethics rules

    City attorney



    Class actions


    Client, former

    Client misconduct

    Client property

    Code of judicial conduct


    Commercial law


    Committee on professional and judicial ethics

    Communication about lawyer services

    Communication with client

    Compensation [judicial]


    Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice


    Conflict of laws

    Conflicts of interest

    Contact with adjudicators

    Contact with represented persons

    Contact with unrepresented persons

    Contact with witnesses

    Contingent fee

    Cooperation with discipline authorities

    Corporate representation

    Corporation counsel


    Costs and expenses of litigation

    Counsel cooperation

    Court appointed representation

    Covenants not to compete

    Criminal representation


    Decision-making authority of client



    Discharge of lawyer by client

    Discipline, judicial

    Discipline, lawyer

    Discipline proceedings


    "Disinterested lawyer" standard

    Disposition of judicial campaign funds

    Disqualification, judicial

    Disqualification, lawyer


    Division of fees

    Domestic relations matters

    Dual practice

    Due process in discipline proceedings

    Duties of office




    Environmental practice

    Ethics committee

    Ethics rules

    Ex parte contacts


    Extrajudicial activities

    Extrajudicial communications

    Federal practice


    Fee splitting

    Files of client

    Financial interests

    Firm name


    Former client

    Forwarding business

    Former law firm


    Frivolous suits


    Government agency

    Government lawyer


    Identity of client


    Imputed disqualification

    Independent professional judgment

    Indigent persons

    Inside counsel


    Insurance representation

    Interest, bank




    Judicial officer


    Labor/employment law

    Law clerks

    Law firm

    Lawyer-client relationship

    Lawyer referral services

    Legal assistant

    Legal directories

    Legal services

    Legal services organizations




    Limiting liability to client




    Medical records

    Merger of law firms

    Misconduct, client

    Misconduct, judicial officer

    Misconduct, lawyer

    Missing clients

    Missing lawyers

    Multiple representation

    Multi-jurisdictional practice



    Nonpayment of fees

    "Of counsel"

    Office sharing

    Opposing counsel


    Part-time practice



    "Personal and substantial" participation

    Personal relationships

    Personal representative

    Political activity

    Practice of law

    Prestige of judicial office

    Privileged communication

    Probate and estate practice



    Public corporation law

    Public defender

    Public official

    Real property law

    Record retention




    Referral fees


    Reinstatement & Readmission


    Remittal of disqualification

    Reporting duties

    Retainer agreements

    Retired judge

    Safekeeping client property


    Scope of representation





    Small claims



    Statements of position

    Statutes of limitation


    "Substantially related" representation

    Supervisory duties


    Taxation matters

    Termination of law practice

    Termination of lawyer-client relationship



    Trade name

    Trial practice

    Trust accounts


    Unauthorized practice of law

    Winding up law practice




    Page 1   2   3   4   5   6

    Abuse of Judicial Office
    See also Misconduct
    back to list

    Abuse of contempt power Matter of Hague, 412 Mich 532 (1982), In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)
    Advancing business interests of others JI-48, JI-52, JI-55, JI-64, JI-65, A/O 47, A/O 97
    Advancing personal interests of others JI-15, JI-41, JI-47
    Family relationships influencing judicial judgment Matter of Tschirhart, 420 Mich 1201 (1984)
    Humiliating Chief Judge Pro Tem and other court personnel In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)
    Improper termination of public defender contract Matter of Bennett, 403 Mich 178 (1978)
    Jury records used for judge's election mailings JI-104
    Perpetual recusal due to animosity toward advocate JI-44
    Vulgar and discourteous behavior while serving as judge Matter of Frankel, 414 Mich 1109 (1982)
    In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)

    Administration of Justice, Conduct Prejudicial to
    See also Appearance of Impropriety
    See also Bias
    back to list

    —Judicial Conduct

    Abuse of contempt power Matter of Hague, 412 Mich 532 (1982), In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)
    Accepting and soliciting bribes Matter of Jenkins, 437 Mich 15 (1991)
    Disobeying orders of higher court Matter of Hague, 412 Mich 532 (1982)
    Humiliating another judge and other court personnel In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)
    Improper disqualification of advocates Matter of Hague, 412 Mich 532 (1982)
    Irascibility and irrational behavior In re Crowell, 379 So2d 107 (Fla 1979), In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)
    Public comment by judge about arrest and acquittal Matter of Tschirhart, 420 Mich 1201 (1984)
    Recusal in order to negotiate employment RI-11
    Unauthorized practice of law, duty to prevent JI-26

    —Lawyer Conduct

    Administrative proceedings, lawyer's truthfulness concerning professional status RI-55, RI-283
    Agreement not to report misconduct RI-88, RI-220, RI-232
    Appearance of collusion between parties RI-66
    Contacts with presiding judge off the record RI-243
    Copying presiding judge on substantive matters RI-243
    Inconsistent testimony of client RI-33
    Negotiating settlement with represented party RI-145
    Pretrial discovery proceedings, lawyer's duty to reveal false nature of evidence RI-56
    Rejecting court appointment C-210
    Substantive contacts with presiding judge off the record RI-243
    Withdrawal as next friend when sued by ward RI-170

    Administrative Agency Practice
    See also Administrative Hearing Officer
    back to list

    City attorney acting as hearing officer RI-129
    Confidentiality of consultation under agency program RI-103
    Contacting employees and former employees of opposing party in workers' compensation case RI-120
    Duties of nonlawyer advocates RI-103
    File data not in official record RI-166
    Government program advocate RI-103
    Interference with advocate's independent professional judgment RI-103
    Judge representing or consulting for party A/O 10
    Lawyer appearing as nonlawyer representative of party RI-55
    Lawyer's duties when employee legal assistant appears on behalf of parties RI-125
    Lawyer's spouse elected to municipality RI-289
    Lawyer's truthfulness as to professional status RI-55
    Legal assistant appearing on behalf of party RI-125
    Nonlawyer advocates held to lawyer ethics rules RI-103
    Nonlawyer assistance to party C-239, RI-103, State Bar of MI v. Galloway, 124 Mich App 271 (1983), 422 Mich 188 (1985)
    Nonlawyer representative before agency C-239, RI-103, State Bar of MI v. Galloway, 124 Mich App 271 (1983), 422 Mich 188 (1985)
    Person appearing on behalf of party disclosing lawyer status RI-55
    Prejudice to case when hearing officer exposed to data outside the official record RI-166

    Administrative Duties of Judicial Officers
    Supervisory Duties
    back to list

    Administrative Hearing Officer

    File data not in official record, effect on disqualification RI-166
    Grievance filing necessitates recusal JI-123
    "Issuing support order—subsequent representation" RI-288
    Law practice by RI-110, RI-129
    Letterhead showing public office RI-129
    "Matters" affecting ability to negotiate employment RI-11
    Negotiating employment with firm which is a party before hearing officer RI-11
    "Personal and substantial" participation in matter limits private practice RI-11
    "Personal and substantial" participation in matter results in disqualification RI-11
    Presiding in cases in which employee of law firm's client appear In re Schlossberg v. State Bar Grievance Bd., 388 Mich 389 (1972)
    Preventing unauthorized practice of law C-239
    Recusal when officer files grievance against lawyer JI-123
    "Representing client—issued support order" RI-288
    Tainted by access to data outside the record RI-166
    Withdrawal from case to negotiate employment RI-11

    Admission to the Bar
    State Bar Membership Services offers a compilation of materials on this subject.
    See also Unauthorized Practice of Law
    back to list

    Character and fitness determinations 75 MBJ 682 (Jul 1996)
    Discipline imposed when admission misconduct discovered Matter of Del Rio, 407 Mich 336 (1979)
    Duty to report law student misconduct RI-29
    False information submitted to admission authority Matter of Del Rio, 407 Mich 336 (1979)
    Imputed disqualification of hiring firm when transferring from nonlaw employment RI-285
    Pro hac vice admission for a particular matter 70 MBJ 1074 (Oct 1991)
    Recertification Yashinsky v. Board of Law Exam'rs, 539 NW2d 378 (1995)
    Reporting law student activity RI-29
    Representing bar applicants while serving on admissions committee RI-194
    Unlicensed graduates 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)

    Advancing Funds to Client

    Advancing client proceeds from operating account RI-189
    Advancing court-imposed fines and costs RI-333
    Agreement with venture capital company RI-321
    Allocating attorney fees to class action clients RI-324
    Attorney fees allocated to class action clients RI-324
    By lawyers employed in legal service organizations RI-14
    Charging lien RI-86
    Departing lawyer's responsibility for RI-86
    Disbursement from operating account to avoid trust account RI-189
    Financing costs via loan RI-336
    Fines and costs advanced by law RI-333
    Indigent client RI-14
    Living and medical expenses to indigent client RI-14
    Loan from third-party vendor RI-336
    Referring client to third-party lender RI-356
    Security for court costs for indigent client RI-91
    Venture capital company advancing funds RI-321

    Adverse Parties
    See also Contact with Represented Persons
    See also Discovery
    back to list

    Client contact with opposing party RI-171
    Complaining witness in criminal case contacted by defense attorneys RI-302
    Contact with former corporate employees R-2, RI-120
    Contact with lower level corporate employees R-2, RI-120
    Contacting by letter with copy to lawyer RI-322
    Copy of letter to lawyer RI-322
    Counseling client to contact opposing party RI-171
    Defense attorney contacting complaining witness RI-302
    Duty to reveal assistance of pro se litigant without appearance is limited RI-347
    Interviewing employees of corporate party R-2
    Judge presiding in unrelated matter in which party opponent appears as advocate R-15
    Lawyer as witness for RI-21
    Prosecutor not allowing complaining witness to talk with defense attorneys RI-302
    Public defender may ethically establish separate offices to represent defendants with adverse interests RI-334
    Scope of corporation "party" R-2
    Settlement discussions between parties RI-171

    See also Business Interests
    See also Dual Practice
    See also Firm Name
    See also Letterhead
    See also Solicitation
    See also Trade Name
    back to list

    —Judicial Campaigns

    City employees displaying campaign signs A/O 57
    Criticism of sitting judges C-219, JI-4
    Criticism of existing law C-227
    Discussing position on political or legal issues JI-131
    Endorsement from sitting judge JI-95
    Incumbency, inference when not fact A/O 51, A/O 104
    In political party ad book JI-36
    Listing in non-approved directories C-209
    Literature at political candidate's event JI-93
    Misleading campaign ad placing decision-making blame JI-4
    Name recognition JI-74
    Picture in robes when not incumbent A/O 51
    Placing advertisement in nonjudicial candidate's literature A/O 20
    Pledges in judicial campaign JI-131
    Political candidate's literature at judicial candidate event JI-93
    Political endorsement of judge's candidacy JI-11
    Space donated in nonjudicial candidate's literature A/O 20
    Sponsorship of youth sports team JI-58
    "Strict sentencing philosophy" slogan C-219


    Academic credentials RI-212
    "Affiliation" must be defined for clarity RI-200
    "Affordable" services RI-244
    Ancillary services RI-105, RI-135
    Announcements sent to former firm's clients RI-49, 76 MBJ 84 (Jan 1997), 69 MBJ 154 (Feb 1990)
    Areas of practice C-232, R-18, RI-142, 70 MBJ 72 (Jan 1991)
    Bankruptcy specialty designation RI-142
    Booth outside co-sponsored seminar RI-99
    Computer technology RI-276
    Consultation charges RI-244
    Coupons for legal services RI-366
    Credentials of lawyers R-18
    Direct mail C-218
    Discounts for special services RI-164, RI-229
    Donation of fee for charitable service RI-163
    Dual professions RI-212
    Duty to review referral service marketing plan R-6, R-8, RI-7, RI-24, RI-31
    Failure to remove lawyer listings from phone directory after discipline In the Matter of Freedman, 406 Mich 256 (1979)
    Fee information RI-244
    Firm name as part of franchise RI-130
    Firm name including historical building where firm located RI-173
    Firm name including out-of-state lawyer RI-144
    Firm name including retired shareholder RI-90
    Firm name inferring multiple offices RI-246
    Firm name, PLLC designation R-17
    Former judge status, description of RI-362
    Free legal seminar RI-81
    Group advertising plan R-18, RI-9, RI-200
    Internet use RI-276
    "Law Offices" inferring more than one office RI-246
    Lawyer communications regarding "specialties" 70 MBJ 72 (Jan 1991)
    Lawyer named “Super Lawyer” may advertise it RI-341
    Lawyer Referral Service vs. advertising RI-340
    Lawyer's name not required in ad RI-221
    Letter regarding lawyer's services in "newcomer" packets RI-169
    Listing on out-of-state firm website for referrals as advertising RI-340
    Marketing by independent contractor R-6, R-8, R-18, RI-9
    Misleading ads R-18, RI-9, RI-221, RI-246
    Misleading ads, inferring more than one lawyer RI-221, RI-246
    Name of lawyer in group ad RI-9
    "No fee unless recovery" C-238, RI-9
    "Of counsel" relationships RI-102, RI-236, A/O 80
    Office presence without staffing RI-246
    Patent law practice RI-144, RI-167
    Prosecutor's appearance as public official in pro bono case RI-283
    Public official in law firm RI-236
    Referral service participation 70 MBJ 146 (Feb 1991)
    "Specialties" C-232, RI-142, RI-167, 70 MBJ 72 (Jan 1991), Peel v. Ill Attorney Reg. and Dis. Comm., 496 US 91 (1990)
    Status as former judge RI-362
    SuperLawyer RI-341
    Telephone directory listings after discipline imposed In the Matter of Freedman, 406 Mich 256 (1979)
    Television ads R-18
    Third party advertising lawyer's services as incentive to members RI-147
    Trade name C-231, R-18, RI-16, RI-130, RI-221
    Welcome Wagon participation C-221
    Unassociated lawyers C-230


    Advertising lawyer discount as incentive for membership RI-147
    Ancillary services RI-105, RI-135
    Announcement of nonlawyer appraiser joining law firm RI-105
    Appraiser employed at law firm RI-105
    Chamber of Commerce advertising lawyer discount RI-147
    Church advertising lawyer discount RI-229
    Duty to review advertising R-6, R-8
    Lawyer discount used as membership incentive RI-147
    Insurance customers RI-135
    Recommending services of particular lawyer R-18, RI-147
    Telephone listing separate from law firm prohibited RI-105

    Advice to Client
    See also Decision-Making Authority of Client
    See also Scope of Representation
    back to list

    Alternate dispute resolution options RI-262
    Arbitration clause in fee agreement RI-2
    Asking for appointment as personal representative RI-291
    Discharge of lawyer 74 MBJ 822 (Aug 1995)
    Duties owed when assisting pro se litigant RI-347
    Duty to advise of judicial candidacy RI-361
    Duty to advise on ADR options RI-262
    Initial consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
    Lawyer fiduciary making legal decisions for ward RI-213
    Lawyer's nonlaw business agent RI-190, RI-191, RI-275
    Legal services staff reduction RI-252
    Limited by lawyer's contract with presiding court JI-50
    Limited by third party payor of fee RI-132
    "Living will" and health care directive information presented at seminar RI-141
    Not to discuss litigation with adverse party R-2
    On advisability of arbitration clause in fee agreement RI-2
    Pursuit of cause of action for minor RI-140
    Representing client on unrelated matters when client is fugitive RI-160
    Successor counsel's conduct RI-202

    Advice to Third Person

    Advising interested persons to seek independent counsel R-10
    Corporate employees not to discuss litigation R-2
    Duty to convey offer to resolve through RI-255
    Negotiating settlement with opposing party RI-145
    Parent consulted when representing minor child RI-140
    Requesting employees not to discuss litigation R-2

    Alcohol Abuse

    By judicial officer In re Somers, 384 Mich 320 (1971), In the Matter of Sobotka, 421 Mich 1201 (1985)

    Alternate Dispute Resolution


    Adjudicators representing former parties in matter RI-235
    Advising unrepresented party RI-256
    Advocacy by adjudicator RI-274
    Arbitrator is retired judge JI-28
    Conciliation proceedings handled by judge JI-69
    Conflicts of arbitrators JI-28, RI-268, RI-271
    Disclosures to parties RI-268, RI-271
    Ex parte contacts with adjudicators RI-274
    Judge participating JI-28, JI-69, A/O 28, A/O 34, A/O 73, A/O 91, A/O 94
    Judge serving on "Commission to Take Testimony" A/O 2
    Mediator drafting parties' agreement RI-278
    Mediator subsequently representing party RI-235
    Mediator subsequently serving as arbitrator in same matter RI-265
    Party-nominated adjudicator RI-271, RI-274
    Retired judge serving as arbitrator JI-28


    Duty to advise on ADR option RI-262
    Duty to convey offer to resolve through ADR RI-255
    Limiting liability of lawyer RI-2
    Party represented by matter's former mediator RI-235
    Testimony from RI-264
    Withdrawal when clients dispute acceptance of mediation award RI-134


    Calculation of mediation sanctions Bennett, et al v. Weitz et al (Dec 1996), 73 MBJ 1085 (Oct 1994)
    Coercing civil settlements RI-78
    Decisions about settlement RI-76
    Forcing settlement on disabled client RI-76
    Mediation award, multiple clients RI-134
    Multiple clients, accepting mediation award RI-134
    Negotiating settlement of merits and attorney fee concurrently C-235
    Plea bargain, defense counsel duty to remind prosecutor RI-165
    Settlement offers, client decision on RI-76

    —Establishing Business

    Independent of law practice RI-275
    Materially limiting service to law clients RI-275
    Nonlaw business owned by lawyer RI-263, RI-275
    Servicing clients of lawyer/owner RI-275
    Servicing clients of opponents of lawyer/owner RI-275
    Waiver of liability clause RI-263

    —Ethics Rule Application

    Eligibility of adjudicators RI-265
    Ex parte contacts with adjudicators RI-274
    Record retention of arbitrator not governed by ethics rules RI-188


    Advocacy by adjudicator RI-274
    Disclosures of adjudicator outside interest RI-268, RI-271
    Duty to convey offer to resolve through ADR RI-255
    Ex parte contacts with adjudicators RI-274
    Recordkeeping RI-188


    Agreement requiring client/lawyer dispute arbitration RI-257
    Agreement requiring fee arbitration RI-2, RI-196, RI-257
    Arbitration of attorney fees RI-2, RI-196
    Duty to advise on ADR options RI-262
    Fee arbitration as condition of representation RI-2, RI-196
    Fees, negotiating as part of settlement C-235
    Independent advice on accepting arbitration clause RI-2, RI-196
    Limiting advice to specific settlement proposal RI-132
    Requirement in attorney/client fee agreement RI-2, RI-196
    Statutory attorney fees C-235

    —Types of Matters

    Client/lawyer disputes RI-257
    Fees RI-2, RI-196
    Environmental law class action matter RI-132

    Ancillary Services
    See also Business Interests
    See also Dual Practice
    See also Office Sharing
    back to list

    Advertising RI-105, RI-135
    Alternate dispute resolution services RI-263, RI-275
    Confidentiality of communications from users of law firm nonlaw services RI-187
    Consulting arrangement with nonlawyer tax appeals expert RI-104
    Document preparation service RI-191
    Financial services RI-73
    Insurance sales RI-135
    Lobbyist employee of law firm RI-187
    Psychology and law practice RI-212
    Telephone listing separate from law firm RI-105
    Title insurance business RI-5


    Charging For R-11
    Client refuses to pay for appeal or accept settlement, seeking protective order for client RI-76
    Client's untruthful trial testimony RI-273
    Consolidation of conflicting cases on appeal RI-108
    Continuing representation—now employed by prosecutor's office RI-295
    Criminal representation—lawyer now at prosecutor's office RI-295
    Disclosure of client's fraudulent acts to retrial counsel RI-209
    Duty to take appeal when agreement silent R-11

    Appearance of Impropriety
    See also Administration of Justice, Conduct Prejudicial to
    See also Conflicts of Interest
    See also Disqualification
    back to list

    Advancing business interests of particular company A/O 47
    Appearance by judge's personal lawyer in unrelated matter J-5, J-6, JI-39, JI-43, R-20
    Bias in assignment of indigent cases Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
    Campaign contributions, unusually large JI-2
    Character reference from judge JI-41, A/O 67
    Disqualification of part-time domestic relations referee RI-1
    Disqualification of judge—firm purchasing judge's former practice JI-118
    Disqualification of judge when cohabiting with or dating advocate or party J-6, R-3
    Disqualification of judge for personal acquaintance with advocate or party JI-44
    Disqualification of judge who was former prosecutor People v. Hampton, 184 Mich App 434 (1990)
    Favoritism by judge in remitting bail bond money In the Matter of Laster, 404 Mich 449 (1979)
    Financial interest between presiding judge and advocate C-228, J-4, J-6, JI-6, JI-13, People v. Perkins, 193 Mich App 209 (1992)
    Free legal services, judge accepting Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
    Investment club membership by judge JI-119
    Judge as host of commercially-sponsored program JI-137
    Judge as member of honorary committee on behalf of charitable organization JI-139
    Judge as member of investment club with lawyers JI-119
    Judge as officer, director, trustee, or nonlegal advisor of charitable or non-profit organization JI-139, J-8
    Judge attending political party fundraiser JI-115
    Judge encouraging pro bono activities J-7
    Judge participating in grant approval as a member, officer, or director of an organization or governmental agency devoted to improvement of the law JI-140
    Judge participating in "lockup for charity" JI-125
    Judge present in courtroom as moral support for party JI-15
    Judge presiding over case with judicial opponent representing a party JI-138, RI-361
    Judge serving as moderator at debate JI-121
    Judge setting "bail for charity" JI-125
    Law firm buying judge's former practice appearing before judge JI-118
    Lawyer who could be called as witness RI-297
    Lawyers asked to participate in pro bono activities J-7
    Leasing space to lawyers, judge as landlord JI-6
    Liquor license, interest held by judge Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
    Negotiating employment with advocate's firm JI-35
    Part-time referee engaging in law practice JI-126
    Part-time referee hearing matters presented by former law firm RI-1
    "Perpetual recusal" of judge for personal dislike of advocate JI-44
    Personal acquaintance of judge requiring disqualification JI-44
    Political party inviting judge to attend dinner JI-115
    Pro bono solicitation by judge J-7
    Potential of lawyer as witness RI-297
    Presiding over matters presented by appointee JI-29
    Referee who also practices law before own court JI-126
    Referrals to organization of which judge is board member JI-64, A/O 59
    Representing client—issued support order as magistrate RI-288
    Solicitation of funds by judge for charity J-1, JI-3, JI-33, J-8
    Soliciting pro bono participation J-7
    Spouse of judge is assistant prosecutor JI-101, JI-132, JI-133
    Spouse of judge leasing space to lawyers JI-13
    Spouse of judge preparing income tax returns for others in judge's former office A/O 5
    Under the influence of alcohol on the bench In re Somers, 384 Mich 320 (1971)
    Unusually large campaign contributions JI-2
    Using office to benefit friends Matter of Del Rio, 400 Mich 665 (1977)
    Vulgar and obscene language used by judge Matter of Bennett, 403 Mich 178 (1978)

    See also Guardianship
    back to list

    Commissioner representing indigent defendants in courts within budget control R-15
    Contract for defense services RI-253
    Contract for public guardian or conservator RI-213
    County establishing two public defender offices RI-334
    Court appointments of lawyer/tenants of judge A/O 40
    Court appointment of former prosecutor for defense services RI-253
    Defense contract bid by former prosecutor RI-253
    Guardian ad litem related to public employees RI-250
    Guardian ad litem subsequent representation in matter RI-227
    Public defender-county establishing two groups RI-334
    Recommendation to governor on judicial appointment A/O 55
    Rejecting court appointment to represent client C-210
    Relatives of guardian ad litem in justice system RI-250
    Withdrawing from court appointed case C-210

    See Alternate Dispute Resolution
    back to list

    Association with Nonlawyer
    See Ancillary Services
    See Division of Fees
    See Dual Practice
    See Law Firm
    See Nonlawyers
    See Unauthorized Practice of Law
    back to list

    Attorney-Client Privilege
    See also Confidences
    See also Misconduct
    See also Secrets
    back to list


    Access to computer records by technical support personnel RI-328
    Accounts receivable of law firm for bank loan RI-77
    By corporate employees to corporate counsel R-2
    Client behavior RI-261
    Client fee information RI-54, RI-73, 75 MBJ 822 (Aug 1996)
    Client identity RI-54
    Client location RI-160
    Computer-stored information access by technical support RI-328
    Corporate employee home addresses R-2
    Death of client, survival of privilege 77 MBJ 1222 (Nov 1998)
    Disclosure of client information to credit reporting agency RI-335
    Disclosure of client information to legal services corporation RI-311
    Disclosure of information to regulatory authorities RI-111
    Disclosure to successor counsel of client's fraudulent acts RI-209
    Duty to rectify suspected client perjury RI-13, RI-33, RI-151, RI-272
    Employee home addresses R-2
    Fee information RI-54, RI-73, 75 MBJ 822 (Aug 1996)
    False pleadings prepared from client information RI-184
    Former client information JI-32, RI-106, RI-207
    Fraud or illegal act RI-106, RI-184, RI-209
    Guardian ad litem report to court RI-318
    Identity of former client RI-207
    Illegal act of client RI-72, RI-111, RI-151, RI-160
    Illegal act of former client RI-106, RI-138
    Inaccurate, truthful testimony of client RI-272
    Inadvertent disclosure 75 MBJ 418 (May 1996)
    Inconsistent testimony of client RI-33
    Information in settlement negotiations RI-217, RI-220, RI-232
    In house counsel giving recommendations to CEO RI-300
    Legal services corporation-disclosing client information RI-311
    Misconduct by lawyer, duty to report C-229, RI-88, RI-220
    Misconduct of lawyer obtained in client relationship RI-232
    Observations of client conduct RI-261
    Perjury of client RI-13, RI-33, RI-138, RI-151
    Perjury, suspicion insufficient for disclosure RI-13, RI-33
    Preparing written guardian ad litem report to court RI-318
    Privileged information concerning former client JI-32
    Privileged information concerning lawyer misconduct RI-314
    Reporting client information to legal services corporation RI-311
    Reporting lawyer misconduct C-229, RI-88, RI-101, RI-220, RI-232, RI-314, 70 MBJ 698 (Jul 1991)
    Reporting to court on representation as guardian ad litem RI-318
    Security interest in firm's accounts receivable RI-77
    Subordinate lawyer disclosing information to supervising lawyer RI-300
    Supervising lawyer who is subject to review by subordinate lawyer RI-300
    Survival of privilege after death of client 77 MBJ 1222 (Nov 1998)
    Suspicion of client perjury insufficient RI-13, RI-33
    Suspicion of client fraud insufficient RI-156
    Technical support personnel access to computer records RI-328
    Title defects when drafting quitclaim deeds RI-157
    Truthful, inaccurate testimony of client RI-272
    Volunteering information about former client RI-106
    Wrongful discharge suit, lawyer employee 74 MBJ 54 (Jan 1995)

    —Nature of Duties

    Corporate employees and inside counsel R-2
    Death of client, survival of privilege 77 MBJ 1222 (Nov 1998)
    Deposition response JI-32
    Effect of discharge of lawyer on client perjury RI-13
    Firm of transferring lawyer, duty to protect R-4
    Initial interview conducted by nonlawyer employee RI-123
    Judge asked for privileged information concerning former client JI-32
    Rectifying client misconduct RI-13, RI-33, RI-151, RI-272, RI-273
    Services used in furtherance of client illegal act RI-273
    Subpoena for client information RI-106
    Survival of privilege after death of client 77 MBJ 1222 (Nov 1998)
    Transferring lawyer's duty to protect R-4
    Waiver to defend lawyer in grievance proceedings RI-84

    Attorney-Client Relationship
    See also Winding Up Law Practice
    back to list

    Accepting fee but not performing services RI-58
    Appeal included in agreement to represent at trial R-11
    Appointment as personal representative when preparing will RI-291
    Assisting pro se litigant by unbundling legal services RI-347
    Charging fees for withdrawal RI-296
    Charging fees to answer grievance from debtor RI-330
    Client agreeing to pay lawyer's malpractice premium RI-319
    Client naming lawyer drafting will as personal representative RI-291
    Contingency fee—re-negotiating with client RI-308
    Contingent fee—sharing with health care provider RI-304
    Corporate entity as "client" RI-95
    County as client of prosecuting attorney/county corporation counsel RI-112
    Court-appointed receiver charging to defend grievance RI-330
    Created by activities of legal assistant RI-125
    Created at initial conference RI-48, RI-57, RI-154, RI-185
    Divorce consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
    Drafting documents without direct client contact RI-128
    Drafting lawyer named as personal representative without bond RI-291
    Employee legal assistant providing assistance in administrative agency proceedings RI-125
    Established to raise privilege R-2
    Failure to personally contact client RI-128
    Fees paid by third party RI-293
    File is property of lawyer R-19
    Group legal services plan C-233
    Inadvertent disclosure 75 MBJ 418 (May 1996)
    Independent judgment—fees paid by third party RI-293
    Initial consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
    Insurer retaining lawyer for insured RI-9
    Insurance benefits of client shared with nonlawyer RI-304
    Law firm "leasing" lawyer employees RI-310
    Lawyer representing insured may receive fixed fee RI-343
    "Leased" lawyers working for law firm RI-310
    Legal services agency conducting pro se clinic RI-301
    Limited by conditions imposed by payor of attorney fee RI-132
    Limiting liability in retainer agreement RI-319
    Minor child as client RI-140
    Negotiating settlement with represented party RI-145
    No-fault representation, duties to medical providers C-226, RI-155
    Ownership of representation file R-19
    Personal representative of estate as "client" R-10, RI-156
    Personal representative retaining lawyer for wrongful death action R-10, RI-114
    Probate court-appointed lawyers JI-50
    Pro se clinic conducted by legal services agency RI-301
    Prospective client's case not undertaken RI-48, RI-154
    Receiver charging fees to defend grievance RI-330
    Recording conversations with client RI-309
    Reduced billing for limiting liability of lawyer RI-319
    Re-negotiating contingency fee agreement RI-308
    Scope of corporation "party" R-2
    Secretly recording conversations RI-309
    Self help clinics conducted by legal services agency RI-301
    Temporary lawyers working for law firm RI-310
    Termination of a fixed fee arrangement RI-69
    Testifying concerning client's fees RI-299
    Trust kit sales RI-325
    Unbundling legal services RI-347
    Using door-to-door salespeople as agents RI-325
    Using employee as intermediary RI-128
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