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Michigan Ethics Opinions Index
Page 1   2   3   4   5   6

Bankruptcy

Adversary proceedings as part of representation RI-184
Client fraud or illegal act RI-184
Contract ambiguous about scope of representation RI-184
False information in court filings RI-184
Specialty designation RI-142

Bias
See also Appearance of Impropriety
See also Disqualification
back to list

AIDS awareness ribbon worn on judicial robes JI-68
Bias against party no remittable J-6
Burden to prove bias on party moving to disqualify Michigan Ass'n of Policy v. City of Pontiac, 177 Mich App 752 (1989)
Campaign opponent appearing before judge J-6, JI-23, JI-96, RI-52, A/O 103
Disqualification motions 75 MBJ 934 (Sep 1996)
Endorsement of pro-union or pro-business interests JI-52, JI-65
Financial interest between presiding judge and advocate C-228, J-4, J-6, People v. Perkins, 193 Mich App 209 (1992)
Gender bias not present in judge accepting scholarship to seminar to develop women leaders JI-75
Judge as police commissioner JI-94
Judge dating advocate J-6, R-3
Judge dating party appearing before judge Matter of Templin, 432 Mich 1220 (1989)
Judge former prosecutor People v. Hampton, 184 Mich App 434 (1990)
Judge's party opponent appearing as advocate in unrelated matter R-15
Judge's personal lawyer appearing before judge as advocate in unrelated matter J-5, JI-43, R-20
Judge reviewing appeals from lower court handling judge's personal case JI-43
Judge's spouse as assistant prosecutor JI-101
Motions for disqualification 75 MBJ 934 (Sep 1996)
Part-time magistrate—practice of law JI-114
Part-time magistrate serving as referee JI-77
Personal acquaintance insufficient for judicial disqualification JI-44
Sentences, judge's disapproval of mandatory life sentence People v. Houston, 179 Mich App 753 (1989)

Boards
See Charitable/Civic Activities of Judges
See Commissions
See Corporations
See Financial Interests
See Extrajudicial Activities
See Public Official
back to list

Business Interests
See also Ancillary Services
See also Dual Practice
See also Extrajudicial Activities
back to list

—Judge

Advancing business interests of others JI-13, JI-52, JI-65, A/O 47, A/O 97, JI-137
Court appointments of lawyer/tenants of judge A/O 40
Bank director J-3, J-6, A/O 87
Book authorship JI-76
Closing law practice JI-40, JI-89, 71 MBJ 1056 (Oct 1992)
Computer program of legal forms JI-21, JI-76
Continuing relationship with judge's former law firm JI-89
Co-ownership of real estate with magistrate and sheriff JI-86
Corporate officer services prohibited J-3, J-6, A/O 7
Director of business J-3, J-6
Disclosure of judge's financial interest J-4, J-6, JI-6, JI-86
Disqualification, duty to minimize instances of JI-6
Divestiture J-3, J-6, A/O 26
Divorce forms for use by nonlawyers JI-76
Financial interest with advocate, disqualification C-228, J-4, J-6, JI-40, People v. Perkins, 193 Mich App 209 (1992), 71 MBJ 1056 (Oct 1992)
Financial interest with advocate, duty to disclose J-4, J-6, JI-6, People v. Perkins, 193 Mich App 209 (1992)
Financial interest with lower court judge JI-86
Financial interest with witness JI-86
Franchise investments by judge A/O 48
Golf course board JI-70
Host of cable television show JI-137
Irrevocable trust to avoid divestiture A/O 26
Lawsuit based on business interests JI-43
Lawyer purchasing law practice JI-40, JI-89, 71 MBJ 1056 (Oct 1992)
Liquor licenses A/O 26, Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
Part-time judge business participation J-3, J-6
Real estate relationship with lawyers JI-6, JI-13, A/O 40, People v. Perkins, 193 Mich App 209 (1992)
Referrals to hospital of which judge is board member A/O 59
Retired judge business participation J-3, J-6
Spouse of judge leasing space to lawyer JI-13
Track steward JI-110

—Lawyer

Accepting referral from investment firm RI-317
Accepting referral from trust kit salesperson RI-325
Alternate dispute resolution services RI-263, RI-275
Business transaction with client RI-197, Matter of Temrowski, 409 Mich 262 (1980) reh den 409 Mich 1102 (1980)
Consulting arrangement with nonlawyer tax appeals expert RI-104
Financial services RI-190
Foreclosure of client property to collect fee RI-277
Insurance business RI-135
Lawyer for school employee union serving as faculty at school RI-279
Loan to client to start business RI-197
Mortgage on client property to secure fee RI-40, RI-354
Partnership or shareholder with disciplined lawyer RI-238
Purchasing client property at foreclosure to collect fee RI-277
Referral fee from investment firm RI-317
Referring law clients to lawyer's nonlaw business RI-190
Referring nonlaw business customers to law firm RI-190, RI-191
Representing customer of own nonlaw business RI-5, RI-190
Rent calculated as percentage of gross income RI-133
Reviewing land title issued by own company RI-5
Security interest in firm's accounts receivable RI-77
Tenants of judge subleasing to lawyer JI-6
Tenants of judge's spouse JI-13
Title insurance company owned by lawyer referring clients RI-5
Security interest in trust res to secure fees RI-357
Trust kit sales RI-325
Using door-to-door salespeople as agents RI-325

Business Representation
See also Commercial Law
See also Corporate Representation
back to list

Commission from real estate broker for referring customers RI-145
Documenting sale between two clients RI-237
Investment fraud, identifying injured persons RI-81
Lawyer representing organization has duty to communicate about acts or intentions RI-345
Seminar to identify similar claimants RI-81

Cameras in the Courtroom

Supreme Court permission required A/O 30

Campaign Funding, Judicial
State Bar Membership Services offers a booklet on this topic.
See also Campaign Practices
See also Candidates
See also Disposition of Judicial Campaign Funds
back to list

Accepting contribution after general election JI-5, JI-7
Accepting contribution prior to 180 days JI-17, A/O 65
Amount of contribution raising bias JI-2
Campaign committee formed prior to fund raising period JI-74
Campaign committee solicitation JI-1
Candidate prohibited from soliciting or accepting JI-17
Candidate contributions prior to fund raising period JI-74
Circumvention of solicitation rule JI-92
Contribution received after election JI-5, JI-7
Contributions from independent fundraiser JI-92
Contributions from PACs to judicial campaign JI-2
Contributions to influence candidate JI-2
Creditors paid by third party JI-7
Disposition of campaign funds to government committee A/O 14
Early contributions JI-17, JI-74, A/O 65
Early expenditures JI-74, JI-78
Expenditures prior to announcing candidacy JI-81
Expenditures prior to fund raising period JI-74, JI-78
Family compensation for campaign work A/O 66
Family contributions JI-7
Fund raising events, quantity JI-92
Fund raising period JI-1, JI-74, JI-78
Fund raising by independent sponsor JI-92
Improper reporting Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
Improper contributions JI-2
In-kind contributions JI-2
Investiture celebration JI-60, A/O 71
Invitations sent prior to fund raising period JI-78
Judge serving on campaign committee JI-14
Judge serving as treasurer JI-14
Judicial Code conflicts with Michigan Campaign Financing Act Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
Lawyer solicitations JI-1, JI-92
Loan from candidate JI-74
Loan from previous election A/O 56
Multiple fund raisers, $100 solicitation limit JI-92
$100 solicitation limit per election JI-1
$100 solicitation limit per PAC JI-2
$100 solicitation limit per lawyer JI-1
Personal funds from candidate JI-74, JI-81
Prior to creation of judgeship JI-16
Received after general election, mailed prior JI-5
Received after judicial election JI-5
Refunds after close of campaign JI-63
Reimbursing candidate from campaign funds JI-74, JI-81
Relative of candidate as treasurer JI-90, A/O 15
Repaying loans to campaign JI-7, JI-63, A/O 56
Reporting JI-63, Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
Retiring campaign debts JI-7, JI-63, A/O 71
Return of excess funds Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)
Solicitation by candidate prohibited JI-1, A/O 24, Matter of Hotchkiss, 415 Mich 1101 (1982)
Solicitation of lawyers JI-1, JI-92
Solicitation of PACs JI-2
Solicitation prior to creation of judgeship JI-16
Sponsorship of youth sports team JI-58
Treasurer for campaign JI-90, A/O 15
Unsolicited contributions JI-2, JI-92, A/O 65
Unsolicited contributions from lawyers JI-1, JI-7, A/O 106
Unsolicited contributions prior to fund raising period JI-74, A/O 65
Unusually large campaign contributions JI-2
Victory party JI-60, A/O 71

Campaign Practices
State Bar Membership Services offers a booklet on this topic.
See also Advertising
See also Campaign Funding, Judicial
See also Candidates
See also Political Activity
back to list

—Judicial Candidates

Accepting contribution after general election JI-5
Activities before announcing candidacy JI-81
Activities before fund raising period JI-74, JI-78, JI-81
Ballot proposals, judicial candidate stating opinion on C-219, C-222, C-237, JI-27
Campaign committee formed prior to fund raising period JI-74
Campaign committee solicitation JI-1
Campaign committee workers JI-17, JI-79
Campaign contributions to influence candidate JI-2
Campaigning prior to creation of judgeship JI-16
Candidate ratings by local bar association JI-120
Criticizing case decisions of incumbents C-227
Criticizing incumbent judges C-219, JI-4, 69 MBJ 820 (Aug 1990)
Debates JI-27, 69 MBJ 820 (Aug 1990)
Disclosure when judicial campaign committee member appears as advocate before candidate JI-79
Discussing positions on legal issues JI-131
Discussing positions on political issues C-237, JI-27, JI-131
Disqualification of judge when campaign opponent appears as advocate before judge J-6, JI-23, JI-96, A/O 103
Disqualification of lawyer when appearing before judge opponent RI-52
Endorsement of judicial candidate by judge JI-95
Endorsements prior to announcing candidacy JI-81
Improper campaign contributions JI-2
Incumbency, inference when not fact JI-74, A/O 51, A/O 104
In-kind campaign contributions JI-2
Investiture celebration JI-60, A/O 71
Judge as campaign treasurer for judicial candidate JI-14
Judge as member of judicial candidate's campaign committee JI-14, A/O 24
Judge as member of planning committee of judicial candidate JI-14
Jury records used for judge's election mailings JI-104
Literature at political candidate's event JI-93
Millage participation by judge JI-116
Misleading ad placing decision-making blame on incumbent judges JI-4
Misleading publication of candidate's rating JI-120
Name of candidate similar to name of incumbent JI-74
Name used in candidate's campaign may not be misleading JI-74
$100 solicitation limit per election JI-1
$100 solicitation limit per PAC JI-2
$100 solicitation per lawyer JI-1
Opinions on ballot proposals C-219, C-222, C-237, JI-27
Opponent appearing before judge J-6, JI-23, JI-96, RI-52, A/O 103
Opponent's firm appearing before judge J-6, JI-23, RI-52
New judgeship, campaigning prior to creation JI-16
Planning activities prior to candidacy JI-81
Pledges of performance in office JI-131
Political party affiliation of judicial candidate Op 206
Political party endorsement of judicial candidate JI-11
Public debates JI-27
Public statements by judge on behalf of candidate A/O 13
Ratings by local bar association JI-120
School millage participation JI-116
Slogans A/O 104
Soliciting endorsement from jurors JI-104
Sponsorship of youth sports team JI-58
Sports sponsor JI-58
Statements on philosophy C-219, C-222, C-227, JI-27
Surveys C-222, C-237, JI-82, 69 MBJ 820 (Aug 1990)
Unsolicited campaign contributions JI-2, JI-74, A/O 65
Unusually large campaign contributions JI-2

—Nonjudicial Candidates

Endorsement by judge JI-30
Fund raising events A/O 25
Judge contribution to political action committee JI-105
Judge participating in campaign JI-30
Judge purchasing fund-raising tickets A/O 25
Judge's spouse on campaign committee JI-47
Participation in social event JI-47
Public endorsement by judge of nonjudicial candidate JI-30

—Third Parties

Campaign committee workers JI-17, JI-79
Disqualification of lawyer when appearing before judge opponent RI-52
Endorsement of judicial candidate by judge JI-95
Judge as campaign treasurer for judicial candidate JI-14
Judge as member of judicial candidate's campaign committee JI-14, A/O 24
Judge as member of planning committee of judicial candidate JI-14
Public statements by judge on behalf of candidate A/O 13
Sentencing to compile judicial campaign statistics JI-107

Candidates
See also Advertising
See also Campaign Funding, Judicial
See also Campaign Practices
back to list

—Judicial
State Bar Programs & Services offers a booklet on this topic.

Campaign committee solicitation JI-1
Campaign contributions to influence candidate JI-2
Campaign pledges JI-4
Criticism of sitting judges during campaign JI-4
Disclosure when campaign committee member appears as advocate before candidate JI-79
Discussing position on political or legal issues JI-131
Disqualification when presiding over campaign opponent's case J-6, JI-23, JI-96, RI-52, A/O 103
Endorsement of judicial colleague JI-95, A/O 52
Endorsement from judge JI-95, A/O 13
Endorsements prior to fund raising period JI-81
Family member as campaign treasurer JI-90
Governmental board member prior to election JI-91
Improper campaign contributions JI-2
In-kind campaign contributions JI-2
Judge as campaign treasurer JI-14
Judge as member of campaign committee JI-14
Judge as member of planning committee of another candidate JI-14
Jury records used for judge's election mailings JI-104
$100 solicitation limit per election JI-1
$100 solicitation limit per PAC JI-2
$100 solicitation limit per lawyer JI-1
Planning committee prior to fund raising period JI-81
Pledges of performance in office JI-131
Presiding in case where judicial opponent represents a party JI-138
Public statements by judge on behalf of judicial candidate A/O 13
Recommendation to governor on judicial appointment A/O 55
Representing party before judicial opponent RI-361
Solicitation of PACs JI-2
Soliciting endorsement from jurors JI-104
Unsolicited campaign contributions JI-2
Unusually large campaign contributions JI-2
Withdrawal when appearing before campaign opponent J-6, JI-23, RI-52, A/O 103

—Nonjudicial

Endorsements of nonjudicial candidates by judge A/O 24
Judge participating in campaign JI-30
Nominating petition signed by judge A/O 25
Public endorsement of nonjudicial candidate JI-30
Resignation from judicial office before becoming candidate JI-10, JI-19, JI-59
Nominating petition signed by judge A/O 25

Candor to Court

Correcting false pleadings prepared from client information RI-184
Disclosing client's confession of crime RI-72
Disclosing client's perjured testimony RI-148
Duty to report unauthorized practice RI-101
Lawyer appearing as nonlawyer representative RI-55

Charitable/Civic Activities of Judges

—Board Membership

<
Academic advisory committee A/O 35
Board membership, generally J-1, JI-42, J-8
Board of charitable or non-profit JI-139, J-8
Board of civic improvement A/O 58, JI-140
Board organized under political party JI-22
Cancer society A/O 69, A/O 70
Census committee board JI-18
Charitable or non-profit organization that fundraises for court’s own court-ordered programsJI-139
Children's hospital A/O 59
Community foundation board JI-103
Court staff serving on board whose staff appears as witness JI-66
Crippled children charity A/O 16
Ethnic organization A/O 48
Firefighter and police officer dependent benefits group A/O 107
Fund distribution board JI-103, JI-140
Improving business opportunities for particular group A/O 48
Improving public and private sector relations A/O 58
Judge attending political party fundraiser JI-115
Legal aid organization JI-38, JI-51, A/O 45
Nonprofit board formed by university JI-18
Part-time judge serving as director J-1, J-3, J-6, J-8
Permitted activities, generally J-1, JI-139, J-8
Political party inviting judge to attend dinner JI-115
Public charity foundation JI-103
Referrals to organization JI-64, JI-66, A/O 59
Resignation J-1, J-8
School board member JI-19
Serving on a board J-1, A/O 102, JI-139, JI-140, J-8
Staff of board appears as witness before judge JI-66, JI-139
Testimonial board organized under political party JI-22
Victim abuse board JI-66

—Generally

AIDS educational efforts JI-68
Appearance of impropriety J-1, J-8
Appearing on letterhead of organization J-1, J-8
Attorneys asked to participate in pro bono activities J-7
Fashion show modeling JI-71
Judge encouraging pro bono activities J-7
Legal advisor for organization J-2
Letterhead of organization J-1, A/O 83, A/O 102, J-8
Model in fashion show JI-71
Prestige of office J-1, A/O 101, JI-139, J-8
Pro bono solicitation by judge J-7
Securing grants for charity A/O 31
Sentencing practices favoring certain charities JI-48, JI-55, JI-64
Signature of judge on letters J-1, A/O 83, J-8
Soliciting pro bono participation J-7
Testimonial honoring community leaders A/O 75
Testimonial honoring judge JI-49, A/O 95
Witnesses are associated with organization on which judge serves JI-66

—Disqualification Issues

Case pending before judge involves issues of organization A/O 107
Disqualification from matters brought before judge J-1, JI-140, J-8
Investment club membership by judge JI-119
Judge as member of investment club with lawyers JI-119
Organization litigating before judge member J-1, JI-139, JI-140, J-8
Organization litigating regularly in any court J-1, JI-139, JI-140, J-8
Resignation from board J-1, J-8
Staff of organization as witness before judge JI-66

—Fund raising

Charitable fund raising by judge JI-33, JI-48, JI-139, J-8
Charitable fund raising by judge's organization JI-33, J-8
Door to door solicitation for charity JI-3
Easter Seals television show A/O 22
Fund-raising without personal solicitation A/O 54, JI-139
Host-hostess at fund-raising event A/O 29
Invitations showing judge's name and office A/O 29
Judicial participation prohibited J-1, JI-3, JI-33, JI-49, JI-54, A/O 22, JI-139, J-8
Letterhead for J-1, A/O 102, J-8
NAACP radiothon message JI-87
Participating in "lockup for charity" JI-125
Separate letter from judge accompanying solicitation letter A/O 101
Setting "bail" for charity event JI-125
Signature on solicitation letter J-1, A/O 83, J-8
Solicitation by third party for judge participation J-1, J-8
Solicitation of funds by judge J-1, JI-3, JI-33, JI-48, Matter of Merritt, 431 Mich 1211 (1988), J-8
Solicitation of other judges A/O 61
Telephone operator A/O 82

—Participation in Activities

AIDS ribbon on judicial robes JI-68
Attending testimonial dinner held to honor judge JI-9, A/O 95, J-8
Attorneys asked to participate in pro bono activities J-7
Debate moderator A/O 23, A/O 63
Debate sponsored by political party-judge as moderator JI-121
Endorsement of pro-business or pro-union interests JI-52, JI-65
Fund-raising event JI-49, A/O 54, JI-139, J-8
Host-hostess at fund-raising event A/O 29
Investment club membership by judge JI-119
Invitations to fund-raising event showing judge's name and office A/O 29, JI-139, J-8
Judge as member of investment club with lawyers JI-119
Judge encouraging pro bono activities J-7
Judge participation in "lock up for charity" JI-125
Judge serving as moderator at debate JI-121
Millage participation by judge JI-116
Political party-sponsored debate-judge as moderator JI-121
Pro bono solicitation by judge J-7
Reenactment of cases and legal decisions A/O 77
School millage participation JI-116
Setting "bail" for charity event JI-125
Solicitation by third party for judge participation J-1
Soliciting funds by judge from other judges A/O 61
Soliciting memberships J-1, A/O 79
Soliciting pro bono participation J-7
Soliciting participation A/O 79
Speeches A/O 48
Sponsorship of youth sports team JI-58
Sports event sponsorship JI-58
Sports event participation A/O 52
Television event for charity A/O 22, A/O 77
Union resolution concerning plant closings, endorsed by judicial officers JI-52

Circumvention of Ethics Rules
See also Administration of Justice, Conduct Prejudicial to
See also Misconduct
back to list

Advances from operating account to avoid trust account RI-189
Agreement to refrain from reporting lawyer misconduct RI-88, RI-220, RI-232, RI-257
Assignment of unpaid client bill while representing client RI-159
Associating co-counsel to effectuate judicial recusal JI-44
Cannot request separate checks for lawyer and client to avoid trust account requirements R-21
Cannot skirt rules by retaining collection agency to report nonpaying client to credit-reporting agency RI-335
Conditioning case referral on payment of referral fee RI-158
Delaying undertaking representation until conflict removed RI-239
Delaying withdrawal until conflict removed RI-139
Failure to disclose altered evidence RI-56
Fugitive client, representing in other matters RI-160
Office procedures which fail to safekeep property RI-92
Practice after suspension, duty to report RI-101
Recusing from case in order to pursue private interests RI-11
Timing of representation affecting applicability of conflicts rule RI-139, RI-239

City Attorney
See Corporation Counsel
See Government Lawyer
See Prosecutors
back to list

Civility

—Judges

Conduct toward litigants and advocates Matter of Del Rio, 400 Mich 665 (1977), Matter of Frankel, 414 Mich 1109 (1982)
Hostility toward attorneys Matter of Mikesell, 396 Mich 517 (1976), Matter of Frankel, 414 Mich 1109 (1982)
Personal dislike for advocate JI-44
Vulgar and discourteous behavior Matter of Bennett, 403 Mich 178 (1978), Matter of Frankel, 414 Mich 1109 (1982), In re Seitz, 441 Mich 590 (1993)

Claims

Administrative claims pursued by nonlawyer employee RI-125
Direct contact with organization employees prior to litigation RI-39, RI-360
Legal assistant pursuing administrative claims RI-125

Class Actions

Class counsel as counsel for prospective class members RI-219
Contacts with prospective opt-out class members RI-219
Defendant inside counsel responding to inquiries from prospective class plaintiffs RI-219
Organizational parties represented by inside counsel RI-219
Relationship between inside counsel and class counsel RI-219

Client
See also Advice to Client
See also Attorney-Client Relationship
See also Decision-making Authority of Client
See also Former Client
back to list

Accepting arbitration of attorney fees RI-2, RI-196
Advancing court-imposed fines and costs RI-333
Charging fees to answer grievance from debtor RI-330
Child as "client" when lawyer hired by parent RI-140
Corporate employees as "party" R-2
Corporate entity as "client" RI-95
County as "client" of county corporation counsel RI-112
Court-appointed receiver charging to defend grievance RI-330
Disabled client, representing 77 MBJ 1320 (Dec 1998)
Divorce consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
Duties owed to pro se litigant assisted by lawyer RI-347
Employees of corporation as "parties" R-2
Estate matters R-10, RI-156
Fees paid by third party RI-293
Fines and costs advanced by law RI-333
Former corporate employees as "party" R-2, RI-120
Guardian as "client" RI-140, RI-176, RI-213
Independent judgment—fees paid by third party RI-293
Initial consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
Insurance representation RI-89
Lawyer retained by a fiduciary R-10, RI-156, RI-342, RI-350
Lawyer testifying concerning client's fees RI-299
Legal assistant's "client" is client of lawyer RI-125
Minor child under disability RI-140
Missing client, expense to locate RI-38, RI-67
No-fault representation, duties to medical providers C-226, RI-155
Personal representative of estate as "client" R-10, RI-156
Prosecutor's "client" RI-183
Receiver charging fees to defend grievance RI-330
Recording conversations with client RI-309
Representing client—issued support order as magistrate RI-288
Representing municipality RI-94
Secretly recording conversation RI-309
Unbundling legal services delivered to pro se litigant as client RI-347
Ward as "client" RI-140, RI-213

Client, Former
See Former Client
back to list

Client Misconduct
See Misconduct
back to list

Client Property
See also Files of Client
See also Liens
See also Record Retention
See also Safekeeping Client Property
See also Trust Accounts
back to list

Client's right to representation file 68 MBJ 856 (May 1989)
Conditioning availability of file RI-86, RI-245
Damage to file beyond the control of lawyer RI-109
Disbursements client has not cashed RI-222
Disposition of client files by retiring lawyer RI-100
Disposition of client files by new judge RI-100
Escheat when unclaimed RI-38, RI-58
File is property of lawyer R-19
Interview note retention RI-240
Lawyer referral service file maintenance RI-178
Medical record retention RI-240
Microfilm in lieu of paper file R-12
Missing client, trust balance RI-38, RI-58
Notice regarding disposition of closed representation files R-12, RI-109, RI-178
Ownership of representation file R-19
Prospective clients, file material RI-240
Record retention plans R-5, R-12, RI-240, 70 MBJ 1018 (Oct 1991)
Retaining lien RI-203, 68 MBJ 856 (Sep 1989)
Returning 70 MBJ 1196 (Nov 1991)
Security interest RI-182

Code of Judicial Conduct

Applicable to magistrates JI-10, JI-56, JI-77, JI-97
Applicable to referees JI-19, JI-45, JI-77, RI-1
Applicable to unemployment hearing officers JI-123
Prevails in conflict with Michigan Campaign Financing Act Matter of Lawrence, 417 Mich 248 (1983)

Collections
See also Commercial Law
See also Fees
See also Liens
back to list

Action against current client RI-159
Assignments RI-159, Bay County Bar Ass'n v. Finance System, Inc., 345 Mich 434 (1956)
Child support arrearages RI-198
Collection agency as intermediary between lawyer and client RI-15
Collection agency operated by lawyer RI-198
Interest on unpaid client accounts 76 MBJ 986 (Sep 1997)
Lawyer testifying concerning client's fees RI-299
Percentage of recovery arrangement RI-15
Prosecutor using outside firm to collect restitution RI-329
Pursuing fee award when client judgment unsatisfied RI-247
Reporting unpaid bills to credit reporting agency permissible only under certain conditions RI-335
Suing current client RI-159
Trust account use by prosecutor RI-329

Commercial Law
See also Business Representation
See also Collections
See also Corporate Representation
back to list

Assignment of receivable while representing client RI-159
Clients brought to firm by new lawyer conflict with interests of firm's existing clients RI-97
Credit card arrangement between lawyer and credit company for client fees RI-168
Documenting sale between two clients RI-237
Litigation to collect overdue fee while still representing client prohibited RI-159
Representation affecting client's ability to collect judgment RI-137
Representation which will affect assets available to satisfy former client's judgment RI-137
"Substantially related" to divorce matter against same opponent RI-137

Commissions
See Public Official
back to list

Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics
See Ethics Committee
back to list

Communication about Lawyer Services
See Advertising
See Contact with Adjudicators
See Contact with Represented Persons
See Contact with Unrepresented Persons
See Contact with Witnesses
See Letterhead
See Solicitation
back to list

Communication with Client

Duty to communicate with organizational client about officer’s acts or intentions RI-345
Duty to communicate limitation in scope of representation to pro se litigant client RI-347
Instructing client to contact represented opposing party RI-171
Nonlawyer assistant communication with client on lawyer's behalf RI-349
Recording conversations with client RI-309
Revealing medical file to client RI-63
Secretly recording conversations RI-309
Using "Honorable" in letterhead RI-327

Compensation [Judicial]

Honorarium for serving as host of commercially-sponsored program JI-137
Marriage ceremonies A/O 33
Mileage expenses A/O 33
Reporting outside compensation JI-75, JI-80
Scholarship JI-75
Sale of former practice JI-118
Speaking honorarium JI-80

Competence
See also Malpractice
back to list

Fixed fee arrangement does not abrogate duty of competence RI-343
Referring case to another lawyer RI-116
Rejecting court appointment to represent client C-210
Repeatedly missing filing deadlines RI-149
Withdrawing from court-appointed representation C-210

Conduct Prejudicial to Administration of Justice
See Administration of Justice, Conduct Prejudicial to
back to list

Confidences
See also Attorney-Client Privilege
See also Reporting Duties
See also Secrets
back to list

—Circumstances

Access to computer records by technical support personnel RI-328
Appeal in criminal matter RI-273
Benefit to another client RI-57, RI-239
Client as witness in unrelated case RI-239
Client behavior RI-261
Client information to legal services corporation RI-311
Computer-stored information access by technical support RI-328
Judge asked for privileged information concerning former client JI-32
Grievance proceedings, waiver to defend lawyer RI-84
Inevitable breach of confidence of former client RI-35
Information from opposing party about client misconduct RI-217
Initial interview by nonlawyer employee RI-123
Joint client confidences RI-287
Judge board member of organization appearing before JI-38, A/O 45
Lawyers for insureds can be housed in insurance company offices RI-338
"Loan" purportedly to conceal marital assets from former client RI-217
Office sharing with spouse RI-118
"Possibility" of breach of confidence triggers disqualification RI-35
Questioning of friend in criminal matter RI-62
Recording conversations with client RI-309
Screening of transferring lawyer R-4
Secret litigation settlement 77 MBJ 950 (Sep 1998)
Secretly recording conversations RI-309
Technical support personnel access to computer records RI-328
Transferring lawyer R-4, RI-285
Transferring nonlawyer RI-115, RI-284
Wrongful discharge suit, lawyer employee 74 MBJ 54 (Jan 1995)

—Disclosure and Use

Alleged fraud on former client RI-217
Client behavior RI-261
Client misconduct, lawyer duties 72 MBJ 198 (Feb 1993)
Content and fact of unpaid legal bills are confidential information RI-335
Contents of client's medical file RI-63
Deposition concerning privileged information JI-32, RI-106 69 MBJ 551 (Jun 1990)
Disclosure of client information to credit reporting agency RI-335
Disclosure of client information to legal services corporation RI-311
Guardian ad litem report to court RI-318
Joint client confidences RI-287
Legal services corporation disclosing client information RI-311
Perjury RI-13, RI-151
Preparing written guardian ad litem report to court RI-318
Privileged information concerning lawyer misconduct RI-314
Regulatory authority, disclosure of information to RI-111
Reporting cash transactions over $10,000 RI-54
Reporting client information to legal services corporation RI-311
Reporting lawyer misconduct RI-314
Report to court on representation as guardian ad litem RI-318
Revealing client information to lawyer's spouse RI-62
Secret litigation settlement 77 MBJ 950 (Sep 1998)
Settlement terms including promise not to file grievance RI-220, RI-232
Subpoena for privileged information JI-32, RI-106
Subsequent representation of unrelated client RI-248

—Protecting

Access to information about client of former firm R-4
Client's former proceeding RI-273
Computer information shared with technical support personnel RI-328
Content and fact of unpaid legal bills are confidential information RI-335
Government program advocate RI-103
Lawyer must not reveal client confidences to lawyer’s lending institution RI-336
Legal services plan participation RI-210, RI-223
Privileged information concerning lawyer misconduct RI-314
Technical support personnel access to computer file RI-328
Transferring lawyer's duty to protect R-4
Wrongful discharge suit, lawyer employee 74 MBJ 54 (Jan 1995)

—Scope

Communications to corporate counsel R-2
Duty to disclose continues after lawyer is discharged RI-72
Former client RI-35, RI-207
Inevitable disclosure resulting from scope of prior representation RI-35
Information from opposing party about client misconduct RI-217
Information from opposing counsel about client misconduct RI-220
Information in settlement negotiations RI-217, RI-220, RI-232
In house counsel giving recommendations to CEO RI-300
Materiality of information RI-273
Nonlawyer agents of lawyer's business RI-190, RI-191
Nonlawyer employees, duty to protect R-4, RI-104, RI-123
Opposing party alleging fraud of client RI-217
Presumption that former partner has access to client information R-4, RI-8
Prospective client consultation RI-154
Settlement terms including promise not to file grievance RI-220, RI-232
Subordinate lawyer disclosing information to supervising lawyer RI-300
Supervising lawyer who is subject to review by subordinate lawyer RI-300
Transferring lawyers R-4, RI-285
Transferring nonlawyers RI-115, RI-284
Waiver to defend lawyer in grievance proceedings RI-84

—Type of information

Access to computer records by technical support personnel RI-328
Accounts receivable pledged for bank loan RI-77
Address of former client RI-207
Client behavior RI-261
Client identity RI-54, RI-77, RI-133, RI-186
Client location RI-160
Client's confession of crime RI-72
Client tailoring testimony in exchange for compensation RI-138
Computer-stored information access by technical support RI-328
Disabled client 69 MBJ 943 (Sep 1990)
Employee home addresses of client R-2
Fact and amount of unpaid bill RI-335
Fees RI-54, RI-77, RI-133, 75 MBJ 822 (Aug 1996)
Fees over $10,000, reporting to IRS RI-54
Fraud information from opposing party RI-217
Guardian ad litem report to court RI-318
Identity of client RI-54, RI-77, RI-133
Inconsistent testimony of client RI-33
Initial interview by nonlawyer employee RI-123
Internal investigative information used in management proceeding RI-47
Lawyer misconduct RI-314
Location of fugitive client RI-160
Marital assets allegedly concealed RI-217
Materiality of information RI-273
Medical file of client RI-63
Prospective client consultation RI-154
Questioning of friend in criminal matter RI-62
Report to court on guardian ad litem duties RI-318
Settlement terms including promise not to file grievance RI-220, RI-232
Suitability of guardian to serve RI-62
Using one client's information for another client JI-77, JI-97, RI-57

Conflict of Laws

Multistate practice, conflicting ethics rules RI-70, 71 MBJ 1300 (Dec 1992)
Referring cases across state lines RI-122, RI-199
Trust account rules of different states conflict RI-70

Conflicts of Interest
See also "Disinterested Lawyer" Standard
See also Disqualification
See also Dual Practice
See also Former Client
See also Imputed Disqualification
See also Independent Professional Judgment
See also Multiple Representation
See also Personal Relationships
See also "Personal and Substantial" Participation
See also "Substantially Related" Representation
See also Witnesses
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See Conflicts of Interest—The Basics, 78 MBJ 60 (Jan 1999) and 78 MBJ 180 (Feb 1999)

—Client Consent

Advance consent to future conflicts invalid RI-183
Client as witness in unrelated case RI-239
Client should not agree to representation RI-25
Consent of clients insufficient RI-108, RI-111
Consent of clients required R-20, RI-172, RI-358
Disabled client RI-76, RI-176
Fees paid third party RI-293
Forcing settlement on incompetent client RI-76
Former client consent to new representation RI-35
Government client waiving outside counsel conflict RI-267
Inside counsel handling waiver for client entity RI-267
Insurer retaining lawyer for insured RI-89
Limited scope of representation, consent to RI-358
Multiple clients, accepting mediation award RI-134

—Current Client Interest

Advancing costs through venture capital company RI-321
Adverse effect on current client RI-25
Against firm with referral arrangement with lawyer RI-294
Agreement with venture capital company RI-321
Assignment of collection case while still representing client RI-159
City attorney acting as state hearing officer RI-129
Client should not agree to representation RI-25
Client seeks to impose conditions on granting a waiver of conflicts of interest RI-358
Client suing lawyer for malpractice RI-25
Conflicting matter concluded prior to withdrawal, effect of RI-139
Contingent fee—sharing with health care provider RI-304
Consolidation of conflicting cases on appeal RI-108
Cross-examination of client in unrelated matter RI-218, RI-239
Disabled client, seeking protective order against RI-76, RI-176
Disclosing personal relationship with opposing counsel or judge J-6, R-3
"Disinterested lawyer" standard of judgment RI-25, RI-66, RI-80, RI-108, RI-111, RI-172, RI-176, RI-239, RI-358
Dispute among clients on acceptance of mediation award RI-134
Divorce consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
Effect of conclusion of conflicting matter RI-139
Effect of screening to cure conflict R-4, RI-139, RI-172
Environmental clean up site R-16
Government lawyer also representing tax assessors RI-307
Grievance filed by current client RI-84, 70 MBJ 698 (Jul 1991)
Judge as client conflicting with duties to other clients R-20
Initial consultation triggering disqualification RI-48
Insurance benefits of client shared with others RI-304
Insurance representation RI-89
Insurer retaining lawyer for insured RI-89
Lawyer/advocate as witness in will contest RI-21
Lawyer paying client's surety RI-65
Lawyer-legislator represents municipal clients RI-331
Lawyer-witness against firm client RI-21
Legal services agency conducting pro se clinic RI-301
"Materially limited" representation JI-77, JI-97, RI-176, RI-177
Medical provider client disputing bill with unrelated client RI-215
Multiple clients RI-47, RI-172, RI-176
Multiple clients, accepting mediation award RI-134
Multiple clients, county and county sheriff RI-96
Multiple clients, discharged from representing all RI-111, RI-176
Multiple clients, discharged from representing some RI-98, RI-172
Multiple clients, environmental clean up site R-16
Multiple clients, lienors and personal representative RI-155
Multiple clients, municipality and tax assessors RI-307
Multiple clients, proceeds distribution R-10
Multiple clients, ward and guardian RI-176
Multiple clients, withdrawal from representing all RI-108, RI-111
Multiple clients, wrongful death action R-10
Municipal clients-lawyer-legislator representing RI-331
Municipality and internal board RI-47
Municipality, representing county and tax assessors RI-307
No-fault claim, dispute concerning medical bill RI-155
Nonlawyer employee witness in will contest RI-21
Performing both prosecutor and defense functions R-13
Personal relationship with client 68 MBJ 518 (Jun 1989)
Personal relationship with judge J-6, R-3
Personal relationship with opposing counsel R-3
Personal representative as claimant and as fiduciary R-10, RI-79
Potential conflicts R-16
Pro se clinic conducted by legal services agency RI-301
Prosecutor as advisory deputy sheriff RI-96
Prosecutor providing services to Department of Social Services RI-183
Prosecutor providing legal advice to sheriff's department RI-96
Prospective client directly adverse RI-66, RI-358
Public defender may ethically establish separate offices to represent defendants with adverse interests RI-334
Real estate referral for fee RI-146
Referral and acceptance of referral fee RI-116
Referral arrangement with firm—new claim RI-294
Representing bargaining unit in salary negotiations when members are adverse witnesses in unrelated case C-215
Representing client—issued support order as magistrate RI-288
Screening does not cure RI-139, RI-172
Sharing contingent fee with health care provider RI-304
Special prosecutor appointments of private practitioners C-225
Suing current client for fees RI-159
Tactical motions for disqualification RI-287
Testimony inconsistent with client's interests RI-21
Timeliness of withdrawal RI-139
Timing of representation affecting applicability of rule RI-239
Transferring lawyer bringing conflicting clients to firm RI-97
Using confidences RI-239
US Army Legal Assistance providing legal assistance to soldiers and spouses RI-172
Venture capital company advancing funds RI-321
Waiver in advance does not vitiate conflict RI-183
Withdrawal required upon discovery RI-139
Wrongful death proceeds distribution R-10

—Former Client Interest

Adverse to former client's recovery RI-137, RI-174
Beneficiary under will RI-80
City attorney presiding as hearing officer in matters related to city client's insurer RI-129
Collecting fee award when client judgment unsatisfied RI-247
Confidences used to disadvantage of former client RI-53, RI-174, RI-176, RI-248
Conflict screening R-4, 70 MBJ 440 (May 1991)
Conflict when relevant confidences not used RI-248
Consent to new representation RI-35
Constant interaction with former client on behalf of new client RI-35
Defense contract bid by former prosecutor RI-253
Discrimination suit against company lawyer formerly represented in discrimination suit RI-192
Duty to protect client's recovery RI-137, RI-174
Extensive knowledge of former client may trigger disqualification RI-35
Former corporate client RI-35
Former inside counsel representing client against corporation RI-35
Former inside counsel representing party in dealings with former employer RI-35
Good faith basis to believe relevant confidences were shared RI-53
Inevitable breach of confidence of former client RI-35
Limitations on scope of future employment RI-35
Nonpublic information relevant to subsequent case RI-248
Personal representative's personal interests conflict with duties of fiduciary R-10, RI-80
Presumption of access to confidential information R-4, RI-183
Previous employment for opposing party R-4
Previous employment with opposing firm R-4
Previous representation of opposing party RI-183
"Possibility" of breach of confidence triggers disqualification RI-35
Prior divorce, current wrongful death action RI-53
Property in dispute was awarded to former client RI-174
Pursuing fee award when client judgment unsatisfied RI-247
Real estate claim against former client's property settlement RI-248
Representation adverse to former corporate client RI-35, RI-192
Representing witness from former client's proceeding RI-41
Representing officer against former client RI-95
Screening from case R-4, RI-97, 70 MBJ 72 (Jan 1991)
Screening from fee R-4, 70 MBJ 72 (Jan 1991)
"Substantially related" matter RI-35, RI-46, RI-48, RI-137
Subsequent representation depleting assets available to pay client's judgment RI-137
Timing of representation affecting applicability of rule RI-239
Transferring lawyer bringing clients to firm RI-97
Tribal court prosecutor representing criminal defendants in other courts R-13
Using confidences RI-53

—Judicial Conflicts

Acquaintance with witness JI-57, JI-61, JI-62, A/O 36
Attending MADD vigil when hearing drunk driving cases A/O 100
Business interests J-3, J-6
Campaign opponent appearing before JI-138
Charitable/civic activities J-1, J-8
Disclosure when campaign worker appears as advocate before candidate JI-79
Disqualification motions 75 MBJ 934 (Sep 1996)
Divesting real estate JI-6
Employment negotiation JI-35, RI-11
Financial arrangement with advocate J-4, J-6, JI-6, JI-20, JI-35, JI-37, JI-40
Investment club membership by judge JI-119
Judge as member of investment club with lawyers JI-119
Law firm of part-time magistrate JI-114
Lawyer of judge appearing before judge in unrelated matter J-5, J-6, JI-39, JI-43, R-20
Part-time probate judge, private practice JI-42
Part-time magistrate—practice of law JI-114
Part-time referee, participated in matter as lawyer JI-29, RI-1, A/O 93, A/O 111
"Personal and substantial" participation in matter in prior position J-4, J-6, JI-34, RI-11
Personal lawyer of judge appearing before judge in unrelated matter J-5, J-6, JI-39, JI-43, R-20
Personal relationship with advocate J-6, R-3, 68 MBJ 518 (Jun 1989)
Professional relationship with advocate J-4, J-6, J-5, J-6, JI-6, JI-29, JI-35, JI-39, R-15, A/O 80
Relationship to matter J-4, J-6, JI-29, JI-34, RI-1, RI-249, A/O 17
Relationship with party J-4, J-6, JI-44, R-3, 68 MBJ 518 (Jun 1989)
Remittal J-6
Spouse of judge is assistant prosecutor JI-101, JI-132 , JI-133
Witness acquainted with presiding judge JI-57, JI-61, JI-62, A/O 36

—Law Firm's Interest

Conflicts involving nonlawyer employees 71 MBJ 826 (Aug 1992)
Employee conflict 71 MBJ 826 (Aug 1992)
Insurance company which regularly forwards business as adverse party in unrelated case C-234
Judge as client conflicting with duties to other clients R-20
Lawyer-legislator member of firm representing municipal clients RI-331
Legislator is member of law firm suing state agency RI-306
Legislator’s firm representing municipal clients RI-331
"Of counsel" fiduciary duties impute to firm RI-237
Representing client before state agency law firm member is legislator RI-306
Representing union while secretaries voting to become unionized RI-60
Tactical motions for disqualification RI-287
Transferring nonlawyer employee results in imputed disqualification RI-115, RI-284, RI-285
Union client organizing law firm's staff RI-60

—Lawyer's Own Interest

Advancing costs through venture capital company RI-321
Agreement not to report lawyer misconduct RI-88, RI-220, RI-232, RI-257
Agreement with venture capital company RI-321
Ancillary ADR business RI-263, RI-275
Attorney fee as part of case resolution C-235
Client in dispute with person referring case to lawyer RI-215
Client suing city council—lawyer also member RI-292
Criminal appeal representation—lawyer now prosecutor RI-295
Defense lawyer's spouse testifying on behalf of prosecution RI-242
Forcing settlement on incompetent client RI-76
Grievance filed by current client against lawyer RI-84
Judicial candidate RI-52
Lawyer for school employee union serving as school faculty RI-279
Lawyer for school employee union serving as employment dispute mediator RI-279
Lawyer paying client's surety RI-65
Lawyer as member of council suing council RI-292
"Of counsel" fiduciary duties impute to firm RI-237
Personal representative's interests conflict with interests of lawyer's employer RI-79
Presiding judge in matter is campaign opponent RI-361
Prosecutor renting office space from defense lawyer RI-82
Prosecutor's spouse as defense lawyer RI-228
Representing client against city council—lawyer or council RI-292
Representing client before judicial opponent RI-361
Representing client suing advocate for malpractice in unrelated matter RI-25
Representing customer of own nonlaw business RI-5
Representing insured on fixed fee basis not per se conflict between client and lawyer’s own interests RI-343
Revealing confidences to lawyer's spouse RI-62
Reviewing title issued by own company RI-5
Special prosecutor appointments of private practitioners C-225
Spouse becomes member of Board being sued RI-289
Strike by lawyers affecting representation C-224
Testimony of lawyer consistent with client's interests RI-136
Venture capital company advancing funds RI-321

—Third Party Interest

Campaign contribution to prosecutor from relative of defendant RI-23
Client adverse to referral to participating legal services lawyer RI-230
Client in dispute with person referring case to lawyer RI-215
Commissioner appearing before local courts within budget control R-15
Commissioner/lawyer examining witness deputy sheriffs in unrelated matter, when commissioner has budget control over sheriff R-15
Commissioner representing indigent defendants R-15
Commissioner serving as township attorney C-214
Contingent fee—sharing with health care provider RI-304
Conflicts involving nonlawyer employees 71 MBJ 826 (Aug 1992)
County commissioner may not represent clients against housing authority RI-126
Disclosure when campaign worker appears as advocate before candidate JI-79
Duties to administration of justice when client is fugitive RI-160
Duties to law firm RI-37
Duties to public office C-241, R-15, RI-22, RI-126, RI-180, RI-236
Employee conflict 71 MBJ 826 (Aug 1992)
Firm of commissioner representing clients before commission C-241, RI-22, RI-180, RI-236
Firm of legislator suing state agency RI-306
Government lawyer also representing tax assessors RI-307
Insurance company which regularly forwards business as adverse party in unrelated case C-234
In house counsel giving recommendations to CEO RI-300
Insurance benefits of client shared with others RI-304
Judge client conflicting with duties to other clients R-20
Law firm member serves on client's board RI-136
Law firm of member appearing before member C-241, RI-22, RI-180, RI-236
Law firm appearing before subordinate board C-241, RI-22, RI-126, RI-180
Lawyer for municipality related to mayor RI-94
Legal services referral adverse to agency client RI-230
Medical provider in bill dispute with client RI-215
Multiple client, municipality and tax assessors RI-307
Parent's interest in representation of minor child RI-140
Prosecutor serving on community corrections board RI-208
Representing client before state agency where law firm member is legislator RI-306
Representing client on unrelated matters when client is fugitive RI-160
Representing client which will result in liability of partner RI-37
Representation adverse to current employer RI-80
Sharing contingent fee with health care provider RI-304
Special prosecutor appointments of private practitioners C-225
Subordinate lawyer disclosing information to supervising lawyer RI-300
Supervising lawyer who is subject to review by subordinate lawyer RI-300

—Transferring Between Employment

Defense lawyer becoming prosecutor RI-152
Defense lawyer joining plaintiff's firm R-4
Nonlawyer transferring after becoming lawyer RI-285
Transferring nonlawyer employee results in imputed disqualification RI-115, RI-284

Contact with Adjudicators

Communication with court on substantive matters RI-243
Communication with court personnel JI-134
Copying opposing counsel RI-243
Disqualification of attorney spouses R-3
Disqualification of judge without contacting opposing counsel JI-83
Disqualification of judge spouse of advocate J-6, R-3
Ex parte contact with presiding judges 75 MBJ 1192 (Nov 1996)
Judge dating party appearing before judge Matter of Templin, 432 Mich 1220 (1989)
Judge seeking ethics opinion concerning a matter pending before the judge JI-8
Judicial misconduct Matter of Jenkins, 437 Mich 15 (1991)
In camera inspection of brief without copy to opposing counsel JI-85
Lawyer as court employee handling juvenile matters JI-50
Lawyer asked to draft judge's opinion RI-195
Lawyer communicating with court on substantive matters RI-243, 75 MBJ 1192 (Nov 1996)
Letters to court copying opposing counsel RI-243, 75 MBJ 1192 (Nov 1996)
Off the record case updating RI-243
Prejudice to case when hearing officer exposed to data outside the official record RI-166
Pretrial services information copying presiding judge RI-243
Prosecutor's pro bono appearance as public official RI-283
Prospective opposition to filed motions Matter of Jaques, 401 Mich 516 (1977), on remand 407 Mich 26 (1979)
Prospective subpoena of witnesses Matter of Jaques, 401 Mich 516 (1977), on remand 407 Mich 26 (1979)
Reciprocal duty of lawyers and judges 75 MBJ 1192 (Nov 1996)
Reporting improper contacts JI-85, RI-195
Scheduling questions Matter of Jaques, 401 Mich 516 (1977), on remand 407 Mich 26 (1979)
Seeking judicial recusal without contacting opposing counsel JI-83

Contact with Represented Persons
See also Advice to Client
See also Advice to Third Person
See also Witnesses
back to list

Acts or omission of employee imputed to organization RI-120
Attorney proceeding pro se 70 MBJ 571 (Jun 1991)
"Authorized by law" contact 75 MBJ 170 (Feb 1996)
Class members contacting defendant's inside counsel RI-219
Client contacting opposing party RI-156
Contact "authorized by law" 75 MBJ 170 (Feb 1996)
Contact with FIA caseworker RI-316
Contact with employees present when alleged conduct occurred R-2
Contact with former employees of hospital R-2
Contact with non-managerial employees of hospital R-2
Contact with party employees pursuant to court order RI-42
Contacting by letter with copy to lawyer RI-322
Copy of letter to lawyer after contact with party RI-322
Corporation as "party" R-2
Co-workers of discharged employee RI-44
Counsel requests employees not to discuss litigation R-2
Defense counsel communicating with prospective opt-out class plaintiffs RI-219
Duty to report improper contact RI-145
FIA caseworker contact in probate court matter RI-316
FOC investigator who is attorney JI-129
Former corporate employees R-2, RI-120, 71 MBJ 425 (May 1992)
Inside counsel contacted by client of outside counsel RI-267
Investigators' conduct imputed to lawyer RI-153
Lawyer/party proceeding pro se 70 MBJ 571 (Jun 1991)
Letter sent to party with copy to lawyer RI-322
Lower level corporate employees R-2, RI-120
Negotiating settlement with represented party RI-145
Nonparty indemnitor RI-113
Organization generally represented by inside counsel RI-39
Party attorney contacting adverse party 71 MBJ 425 (May 1992)
Prior to litigation RI-39
Referee/attorney questing party JI-129
Remedies for improper contacts 73 MBJ 826 (Aug 1994)
Reporting improper contacts RI-145
Restricting communication by employees R-2
Settlement contacts between parties RI-156

Contact with Unrepresented Persons

Clarifying lawyer's role to interested persons R-10, RI-156
Class members contacting defendant's inside counsel RI-219
Contact with FIA worker in probate court matter RI-316
Contact with nonparty indemnitor during litigation RI-113
Contact with organization employees to investigate RI-39, RI-44, 71 MBJ 425 (May 1992)
Contact with organization employees to resolve dispute RI-39
Defense counsel in class action communicating with prospective opt-out class plaintiffs RI-219
FIA worker contacted in probate court matter RI-316
Indemnitor RI-113
Inside counsel contacted by client of outside counsel RI-267
Lawyer/party proceeding pro se 70 MBJ 571 (Jun 1991)
Prior to litigation RI-39
Pursuant to court order RI-42
Resolving claim prior to litigation RI-39

Contact with Witnesses
See Advice to Third Person
See Discovery
See Witnesses
back to list

Contingent Fee
See also Division of Fees
See also Fees
back to list

—Calculation

Adjusted by court RI-162
Apportioning trust account interest among successive lawyers RI-64
Charging client basic administrative services as case costs RI-363
Client pays greater of two calculations RI-6
Court awarded sanctions RI-303
Court awarded fees Bennett, et al v. Weitz et al (Dec 1996), 73 MBJ 1085 (Oct 1994)
Criminal case fee adjusted by results, prohibited RI-286
Disputed fees—court awarded sanctions RI-303
Divorce case, "results obtained" or "value added" provision RI-346
Hourly or percentage rate, whichever greater RI-6
Installment recovery, calculating fee from RI-162
Limitation on total lawyer fees under R-11, RI-175, RI-363
Mediation sanctions Bennett, et al v. Weitz et al (Dec 1996), 73 MBJ 1085 (Oct 1994)
Mixed hourly/percentage rate RI-6, RI-114
Percentage fee for partial representation RI-175
Percentage more than one-third of recovery RI-175
"Quantum meruit" calculation of fee R-11, RI-30, 68 MBJ 856 (Sep 1989)
"Recovery" for calculation of fee RI-162, RI-175
Sanctions ordered by court—division with client RI-303
Surcharges, adding to client's bill over lawyer's actual cost RI-241
Suspended lawyer, calculation of division of fee RI-19, RI-30, RI-270
Written fee agreement—court awarded sanctions RI-303

—Counseling

Advising of other fee arrangements RI-17
As only fee arrangement available RI-17
Duty to take appeal when agreement silent R-11
Out-of-state attorney, dividing fee with RI-122
Written agreement necessary R-11, RI-162

—Nonlaw services

Financial counseling RI-73
Independent marketing firm, terms of payment RI-104
Marketing arrangement requiring RI-17
Referral service, portion of fee to pay RI-32

—Terms

Ambiguous about payment of fee from installment recovery RI-162
Ambiguous about scope of representation R-11
Court awarded sanctions RI-303
Burden on lawyer to prove terms R-11, RI-162
Contingent fee—sharing with health care provider RI-304, RI-342, RI-350
Disputed fees—court awarded sanctions RI-303
Divorce case, "results obtained" or "value added" provision RI-346
Insurance benefits of client shared with others RI-304
Out-of-state attorney, dividing fee with RI-122
Re-negotiating contingency fee agreement RI-308
Reviewable by court RI-162
Sanction ordered by court—division with client RI-303
Sharing contingent fee with health care provider RI-304
Written agreement necessary R-11, RI-162, RI-241
Written fee agreement—court awarded sanctions RI-303

—Types of legal representation

Alimony, collection of past due RI-28
Appeal, agreement silent concerning fee R-11
Appeal, charging additional fee for R-11
Assault and battery between spouses RI-181
Civil forfeiture RI-269
Criminal cases, prohibited RI-286
Domestic relations matters RI-28, RI-127, RI-181, RI-198, RI-204, RI-221, RI-346
Escheated funds RI-193, RI-359
Forfeiture actions RI-269
Percentage fee for partial representation RI-175
Probate and wrongful death action representation RI-114
Renegotiated settlement, percentage fee available RI-175
Scope of representation affects fee R-11, RI-175
Set aside divorce judgment for fraud RI-127
Unavailable for escheated funds RI-193
Unavailable if no "contingency" RI-193

Cooperation with Discipline Authorities
See also Discipline
See also Misconduct
See also Reporting Duties
back to list

Arbitration as substitution for grievance RI-196
Disciplined lawyer, duty to report misconduct RI-101
Duty to report misconduct C-229, JI-26, RI-29, RI-88, RI-101, RI-145, RI-149, RI-220, RI-232
Judge's duty to report lawyer misconduct RI-88
Law student misconduct, duty to report RI-29
Lawyer misconduct, duty to report C-229, RI-88, RI-101, RI-220, A/O 44
Misconduct information obtained from client representation RI-232
Reporting law student activity RI-29
Reporting unethical conduct C-229, JI-26, RI-29, RI-88, RI-220, RI-101, RI-145, RI-149
Respondent's Check List 74 MBJ 692 (Jul 1995)
Unauthorized practice of law, duty to report JI-26, RI-101

Corporate Representation
See also Business Representation
See also Commercial Law
See also Contact with Represented Persons
See also Public Corporation Law
back to list

Class members contacting defendant's inside counsel RI-219
Contact with former corporate employees by opposing counsel R-2, RI-120, 71 MBJ 425 (May 1992)
Corporate counsel, licensed in another state but based in Michigan 71 MBJ 555 (Jun 1992)
Corporate entity as "client" RI-95, RI-111
Corporate officers representing corporation 69 MBJ 1007 (Oct 1990)
Corporation and corporate employees with conflicting interests RI-111
Employee conduct imputed to lawyer RI-153
Fixed legal fees RI-50
Inside counsel communicating with prospective opt-out class plaintiffs RI-219
Instructions to employees R-2
Lawyer board member serving as witness RI-136
Lawyer representing organization has duty to communicate about acts or intentions RI-345
Representing shareholder against former client corporations RI-95
Waiving conflicts RI-267
Wrongful discharge suit, lawyer employee 74 MBJ 54 (Jan 1995)

Corporation Counsel
See Inside Counsel
back to list

Corporations

Disclosure of employee home addresses R-2
Employees discussing litigation R-2
Former employees as "party" R-2
Instructing lawyer not to report employee misconduct RI-29
Judge prohibited from rendering opinions to A/O 6
Lower level employees as "party" R-2
Objecting to former inside counsel representing party RI-35
Privileged communications with inside counsel R-2
Representing officer against corporation RI-95
Scope of corporation "party" R-2

Costs and Expenses of Litigation
See also Indigent Persons
back to list

Advancing costs through venture capital company RI-321
Advancing court-imposed fines and costs RI-333
Advancing litigation expenses to indigent client RI-14
By lawyers employed in legal service organizations RI-14
Client responsible for costs and expenses C-238, RI-14
Consulting arrangement with nonlawyer tax appeals expert is not "cost" RI-104
Copying costs RI-203
Costs advanced by venture capital company RI-321
Court awarded sanctions RI-303
Disputed fees—court awarded sanctions RI-303
Financing costs via loan RI-336
Fines and costs advanced by law RI-333
Indigent client RI-14
Lawyer may finance through lender litigation costs with client consent RI-336
Living and medical expenses to indigent client RI-14
Loan from third-party vendor RI-336
Paying security for court costs for indigent client RI-91
Repayment as condition when lawyer departs firm RI-86, RI-245
Security for costs paid by lawyer for client RI-91
Sanctions ordered by court—division with client RI-303
Successor counsel not responsible for reimbursing predecessor counsel RI-203
Suspended lawyer right to RI-19
Tailoring testimony in exchange for compensation RI-138
Witness fees and other costs, client responsible RI-104
Written fee agreement—court awarded sanctions RI-303

Counsel Cooperation
See also Contact with Adjudicator
back to list

Disclosing address of former client to opposing counsel for service of process RI-207
Disclosing judge's request to draft judge's opinion in case RI-195
Release of client file may not be conditioned upon payment of costs by successor counsel RI-203
Reminding opposing counsel of filings required RI-165

Court Appointed Representation
See Appointments
back to list

Covenants not to Compete

Employment departure agreement RI-245
Former firm assesses portion of fees from transferred files against departing lawyer RI-245
Settlement agreements Vol 72 MBJ 824 (Aug 1993)

Criminal Representation
See also Government Lawyer
See also Prosecutors
See also Trial Practice
back to list

Arson, testimony by insurance adjuster RI-280
Assistant prosecutor married to presiding judge JI-101
By former city attorney RI-4
By law firm of former city attorney RI-4
By law firm of special prosecutor RI-177
By police commissioner RI-180
Civil forfeiture arising from RI-269
Client behavior disclosed for parole matter RI-261
Client is fugitive RI-160
Commissioner/lawyer representing indigent defendants R-15
Community sentence highway sponsored by defense counsel RI-251
Complaining witness in criminal case contacted by defense attorney RI-302
Contact with presiding judge off the record RI-243
Contingent fee prohibited RI-286
Contract defense provided by former prosecutor RI-253
Contract defense services, privileged data RI-266
County establishing two public defender offices RI-334
Defense attorney contacting complaining witness RI-302
Defense lawyer elected prosecutor RI-152
Defense lawyer renting space to local prosecutor RI-82
Defense lawyer sponsors highway designated for client's community sentence RI-251
Defense lawyer's spouse testifying on behalf of prosecution RI-242
Defense provided by former prosecutor RI-253
Failing to grant jury trials on request In re Heideman, 387 Mich 630 (1972)
"Fee based on results" prohibited RI-286
Fee charged in related civil forfeiture proceeding RI-269
Former defense counsel as prosecutor RI-152
Former prosecutor as defense counsel RI-253
Indigent representation by former prosecutor RI-253
Ineffective assistance of counsel after nonpayment of dues People v. Pubrat, 451 Mich 589 (1996)
Insurance adjuster, bias from prosecutor RI-280
Insurance adjuster handling prosecutor's personal claim RI-280
Investment fraud, identifying injured persons RI-81
Imputed disqualification of police commissioner's firm RI-180
Lawyer now employed by prosecutor's office RI-295
Misdemeanor conviction of lawyer, duty to report A/O 44
Parole, disclosing lawyer's observations on client behavior RI-261
Plea bargain, defense counsel duty to remind prosecutor RI-165
Prosecutor's spouse as defense lawyer RI-228
Prosecutor not allowing complaining witness to talk with defense attorney RI-302
Pretrial services information copying presiding judge RI-243
Public defender-county establishing two groups RI-334
Rejecting court appointment to represent client C-210
Removal pending appeal is proper Matter of Callanan, 419 Mich 376 (1984)
Representing client on unrelated matter when client is fugitive RI-160
Representing defendants while city attorney C-212, R-13
Screening RI-43
Sentence determining lawyer fee RI-286
Sentence involving charitable service in exchange for fine or time JI-48, JI-55, JI-64
Sentence involving highway clean up RI-251
Sentence involving judicial campaigns JI-107
Spouse handling opposing side C-213, R-3
Substantial participation as former city attorney RI-4
Substantial participation as former defense lawyer RI-152
Substantive contact with presiding judge outside of record RI-243
Withdrawal from court-appointed case C-210
Witness is employee in prosecutor's office RI-233

Cross-Examination
See Trial Practice

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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.

     

 

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