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Michigan Ethics Opinions Index
Page 1   2   3   4   5   6

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

Accepting credit card payments for advance legal fees RI-344
Deed in possession of lawyer, duty absent client instruction RI-156
Disbursements client has not cashed RI-222
Funds of missing clients RI-67
Retention schedule R-5, R-12, RI-178, RI-240, 70 MBJ 1018 (Oct 1991)
Retirement from law practice RI-100
Trust account handling R-7, R-21
Unclaimed client property RI-38, RI-58

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

Agreement to release counsel if future conflict arises RI-183
Ambiguous fee agreement R-11, RI-184
Appeal, duty to preserve client's right to R-11
Bankruptcy adversary proceedings, duty to represent RI-184
Client fails to follow up for further assistance RI-154
Duty to disclose limitations of, when providing unbundled legal services to pro se litigant RI-347
Failure to communicate settlement offer RI-171
Limitation by agreement with client in bankruptcy proceeding RI-348
Limited by lawyer's contract with court JI-50
Limited by payor of lawyer's fee RI-132
Limited by using subsidiary firm RI-326
Prosecutor representing government agency only until conflict arises RI-183
Settlement offers, decision of client RI-76

Screening
See also Imputed Disqualification
back to list

Abstention from participation as public officer ineffective RI-94
Adequacy R-4, RI-115, RI-284
Assistant prosecutor married to presiding judge JI-101
Clients solicited by nonlawyer agents RI-191
Conflict with current client, screening does not vitiate RI-139, RI-172
Conflict with former clients 70 MBJ 440 (May 1991)
"Directly adverse" conflict cannot be cured by screening RI-139, RI-172
Firm screened from clients brought to firm by new lawyer RI-97
Former law clerk RI-43
Imputed disqualification exception R-4, RI-97, RI-172
Lawyer screened when joining new firm R-4, RI-285
New prosecutor RI-43
Nonlawyer employees C-216, J-6, R-4, RI-115, RI-284
Paralegal for opponent hired as lawyer RI-285
Preventing firm disqualification—client adjudicated by firm member RI-288
Previous employment with opposing firm R-4, RI-115, RI-284, RI-285
Previous representation of opposing party R-4
Prosecutor who formerly served as defense counsel RI-152
Public office conflicts JI-34, RI-43, RI-94, RI-126
Timeliness R-4, RI-43, RI-139, RI-285

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

Alleged fraud on former client RI-217
Client information relating to accounts receivable pledged by law firm as collateral for bank loan RI-77
Employee home addresses RI-2
Lawyers for insureds can be housed in insurance company offices RI-338
Settlement negotiations RI-217, RI-220, RI-232

Seminars

Advertising on-site legal advice when site inhibits protection of confidences and secrets RI-141
Coercion to make legal decisions at site RI-141
Dividing registration fee with nonlawyer organizer RI-141
Free legal seminar RI-81
Independent legal advice, attendee opportunity for RI-141
Lawyer setting up booth outside seminar RI-99
Legal counseling allegedly delivered at site RI-141
Seminar to identify similar claimants RI-81

Sentencing
See also Duties of Office
back to list

"Authorized by law" JI-48, JI-55
Community service offered in exchange for contribution to judicial charity JI-48
Community service to compile statistics on judicial candidates JI-107
Defendant's choice of rehabilitation programs to attend JI-64
Judge sits on board where defendant sentenced JI-64, JI-66
Highway clean up, sponsored by advocate RI-251
Incarceration alternatives limited to service or rehabilitation JI-64
Parole hearing, lawyer disclosing client behavior RI-261
Prosecutor sits on board where defendant sentenced RI-208
Requiring payment of monies to charitable organization JI-48, JI-55, JI-64
Sentence affected by board membership of judge or prosecutor JI-64, JI-66, RI-208

Settlements
See also Alternate Dispute Resolution
See also Trial Practice
back to list

Client/lawyer disputes limited to alternate dispute resolution RI-257
Conditioned on reduction of attorney fee C-235
Decision of client to accept RI-76
Delays in finalizing settlements, duty to report lawyer RI-149, RI-171
Duty to convey offer to resolve through ADR RI-255
Failure to communicate to client RI-171
Fraud alleged perpetrated against former client, disclosure RI-217
Limiting liability of lawyer RI-2, RI-196
Malpractice claims limited to arbitration RI-196
Medical provider creditor in bill dispute with client inhibits settlement of case RI-215
Negotiating directly with represented party RI-145, RI-171
Negotiating without presence of opposing counsel RI-145, RI-171
Obligations upon receipt R-21
Promise not to file grievance RI-220, RI-232
Secret litigation settlement 77 MBJ 950 (Sep 1998)
Stipulation not to file grievance RI-88, RI-196, RI-220, RI-232, RI-257
Threat to file criminal charge RI-78
Threat to file grievance RI-88, RI-220
Withdrawal when clients dispute acceptance of mediation award RI-134

Small Claims

Court assistance to parties A/O 92
Record of proceedings, judge's duty to make A/O 88
Televising proceedings A/O 30
Unauthorized practice of law A/O 92, 70 MBJ 442 (May 1991)

Solicitation

—Funds

By judge for charitable/civic purpose J-1, JI-33, JI-48, Matter of Merritt, 431 Mich 1211 (1988)
By judge from other judges A/O 61
By judge on behalf of third parties J-1, JI-3, JI-49
By judges' organization JI-33, JI-49, A/O 43
By judicial candidate prohibited JI-1, A/O 24, Matter of Hotchkiss, 415 Mich 1101 (1982)
Cash donations to support judicial softball players JI-54
Covering expenses only, not for profit JI-49
$100 solicitation limit per election JI-1
$100 solicitation limit per PAC JI-2
$100 solicitation limit per lawyer JI-1
Nonjudge for organization of judges JI-33, JI-49, A/O 43
Sentences involving charitable contributions JI-48, JI-55, JI-64
Testimonial dinner JI-49, A/O 95

—Legal Services

After telephone consultation RI-9
Agents used to identify and contact clients RI-191, Matter of Jaques, 401 Mich 516 (1977), on remand 407 Mich 26 (1979)
Announcements sent to former firm's clients RI-49
Booth outside seminar RI-99
By president of legal insurance corporation RI-18
By third party for judge participation J-1
Changing firms RI-86, RI-245, 76 MBJ 84 (Jan 1997), 69 MBJ 154 (Feb 1990)
Clients of former firm 76 MBJ 84 (Jan 1997), 69 MBJ 154 (Feb 1990)
Communications about physical location as law office without dedicated office space RI-355
Court order authorizing RI-42
Customers of lawyer's nonlaw business RI-135, RI-198
Departing lawyer RI-86, RI-245, 76 MBJ 84 (Jan 1997), 69 MBJ 154 (Feb 1990)
Direct mail C-218, C-236, RI-18, RI-74, RI-193, RI-244
Door-to door salespeople of trust kits RI-325
Group advertising plan RI-9
Improper follow up with prospective client RI-9
In-person RI-99, RI-135
Internet use RI-276
Insurance customers RI-135
Letter regarding lawyer's services in "newcomer" packets RI-169
Letter to beneficiaries of escheated funds RI-193
Mail C-218, C-236, RI-18, RI-74, RI-193, RI-244
Misleading information from referring lawyer to referred clients RI-224
Nonlawyers soliciting for lawyer RI-147
Physician asked to refer patients to lawyer RI-205
Referral service participation 70 MBJ 146 (Feb 1991)
Referring lawyer recontacting referred clients RI-224
Runners In re Woll, 387 Mich 154 (1972)
Selling insurance to lawyer's law customers RI-135
Seminar to identify similar claimants RI-81
Seminar information booth RI-99
Targeted letters RI-74
Trust kit salespeople RI-325
Using intermediary to meet with clients RI-325

—Membership

Bar association solicitation to lawyers from judge A/O 79
By third party for judge participation J-1
Charitable/civic organizations J-1, A/O 83

—Support

Educational foundation activities A/O 83
Sports event with judicial participants funded by lawyers JI-54

Spouses
See Personal Relationships
back to list

Statements of Position [Judges]

—Endorsement

Endorsement of judicial candidate by judge JI-95
Endorsement of judicial candidate JI-81, JI-95, A/O 13, A/O 24, A/O 52, A/O 53, A/O 55, A/O 57, A/O 108
Endorsement of nonjudicial candidate JI-30, A/O 60, A/O 103
Endorsement of pro-business or pro-union interests JI-52, JI-65
Public statements by judge on behalf of judicial candidate A/O 13

—Judges

Authoring publications JI-76, A/O 97
Character reference from judge JI-41, A/O 67
Divorce pamphlet for nonlawyers JI-76
Editing political journal JI-99
Newspaper column C-217

—Judicial Candidates

Ballot proposals, judicial candidate stating opinion on C-219, C-222, C-237, JI-27
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)
Discussing positions on political issues C-219, C-222, C-237, JI-27
Misleading ad placing decision-making blame on incumbent judges JI-4
Opinions on ballot proposals C-219, C-222, C-237, JI-27
Partisan political activity JI-10, JI-30, Matter of Bennett, 403 Mich 178 (1978)
Pledges of performance in office C-219, JI-4
Public debates JI-27
Slogans A/O 104
Statements on philosophy C-219, C-222, C-227, JI-27
Surveys C-222, C-237, JI-82, 69 MBJ 820 (Aug 1990)

—Public Issues

AIDS awareness ribbon worn on judicial robes JI-68
Ballot proposals C-237, A/O 14
Eliminating adult education JI-108
Millage campaign participation JI-46
Scholarship to seminar for women leaders JI-75
Surveys C-222, C-237, JI-82, 69 MBJ 820 (Aug 1990)
Union resolution concerning plant closings, endorsed by judicial officers JI-52

—Sentencing Practices

Sentencing practices favoring certain charities JI-48, JI-55, JI-64

Statutes of Limitation

Effect on duty to file R-9
Running before investigation complete R-9

Subpoena
See Discovery
back to list

"Substantially Related" Representation
See Conflicts of Interest
See Former Client
back to list

Supervisory Duties
State Bar Membership Services offers a compilation of materials on this subject.
See also Employees
See also Legal Assistant
See also Nonlawyers
back to list

Allowing magistrate to exceed authority In re Somers, 384 Mich 320 (1971)
Attorney license, duty to verify JI-26, 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)
Campaign workers JI-17
Conflict screening R-4
Confidentiality R-4, RI-43, RI-123
Court officials verifying attorney licenses JI-26
Criminal matters In re Somers, 384 Mich 320 (1971)
Disciplined lawyers as employees 71 MBJ 1188 (Nov 1992)
Failure to confirm facts of employee's interview with client RI-128
Failure to review documents drafted by employees RI-128
Intake information obtained by nonlawyer employee RI-123, RI-128
Law firm "leasing" lawyer employees RI-310
Law graduates as employees 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)
Lawyer as court employee handling juvenile matters JI-50
Lawyer named as deed preparer RI-298
"Leased" lawyers working for law firm RI-310
Legal assistant acting as intermediary between lawyer and client RI-128
Legal assistant handling administrative agency matter RI-125
Nonlawyer employees R-1, RI-107, RI-125, RI-128
Nonlawyer intermediary to client prohibited 74 MBJ 438 (May 1995)
Partner's liability for lawyer employee's ethics In the Matter of Crane, 400 Mich 484 (1977)
Preventing unauthorized practice of law JI-26
Record retention plan R-5
Signatories on trust account RI-107
Subordinate lawyers RI-149
Temporary lawyers working for law firm RI-310
Trust account handling R-7, RI-92, RI-107
Verifying attorney licenses JI-26, 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)

Suspension
See Discipline
See Misconduct
back to list

Taxation Matters

Audit where former client will testify adversely RI-138
Consulting arrangement with nonlawyer tax appeals expert RI-104
Failure to file income tax Grievance Adm'r v. Hatchett, 440 Mich 1210 (1992)
Fraud by parties before judge, reporting duty A/O 89
Judge prohibited from preparing tax returns A/O 5
Nonlawyer consultant for property tax appeals associating with firm RI-104
Reporting cash transactions over $10,000 to IRS RI-54
Reporting fraud A/O 89

Termination of Law Practice
See also Winding Up Law Practice
back to list

"Assignment" of law practice in anticipation of judgeship JI-89
Judge's name used by successor firm JI-89
Recommending successor counsel JI-89, RI-100
Record retention RI-100
Retirement RI-100
Safekeeping client property RI-100
Successful judicial candidate J-2, JI-89
New judge selling practice JI-118

Termination of Lawyer-Client Relationship
See also Decision-Making Authority of Client
See also Discharge of Lawyer by Client
See also Disqualification
See also Withdrawal
back to list

Agreement for withdrawal when future conflict arises RI-183
Charging fees for withdrawal RI-296
Choice of counsel when lawyer changes firms RI-86, RI-245
Cross-examination of client in unrelated matter RI-239
Discretion of tribunal RI-86, RI-98
No duty to counsel former client after termination RI-202
Timeliness of withdrawal when conflict discovered RI-139
Withdrawal from remaining clients when discharged by some in multiple representation RI-98
Withdrawal when settlement reached without presence of counsel RI-145

Testimony
See also Discovery
See also Trial Practice
See also Witnesses
back to list

By lawyer advocate RI-226, RI-264
Client testimony RI-13, RI-33, RI-148, RI-272, RI-273
Client perjury, duty to reveal RI-148, RI-273
"Contested facts" from lawyer witness RI-226, RI-233
Counseling client to avoid perjury RI-148
County attorney testifying as to incident when another county attorney is advocate RI-96
Cross-examination of client for unrelated matter RI-218, RI-239
Deposition of judicial officer JI-57
Disclosing client perjury RI-148, RI-273
Employee of lawyer testifying in will contest RI-21
Former client testifying adverse to current client RI-138
Inaccurate, truthful testimony of client RI-272
Inconsistent testimony of client RI-13, RI-33
Judge as witness JI-57, A/O 99
Lawyer/director testifying for corporate client RI-136
Lawyer testifying on privileged matters 69 MBJ 551 (Jun 1990)
Lawyer testifying regarding fees; disqualification of firm RI-299
Lawyer's furtherance of client's untruthful testimony RI-273
Materiality of client's untruthful testimony RI-273
Member of organization where judge sits on board JI-66
Multiple clients testifying on opposing sides RI-138
"Necessary" lawyer witness RI-226, RI-233
Parole officer of judge testifying as police officer JI-61
Perjury, duty to reveal RI-148
Spouse's employer testifying before judge JI-62
Subpoena to nonparty 74 MBJ 564 (Jun 1995)
Tailoring testimony in exchange for compensation RI-138
Witness from opponent's firm RI-233

Threats

CEO’s threats to destroy documents triggers duty to communicate RI-345
Criminal prosecution RI-78
Grievance RI-88, RI-220
Opposing counsel threats to call lawyer as witness RI-297

Trade Name
See also Advertising
See also Firm Name
back to list

Advertising by RI-16, RI-221
Franchise arrangement RI-130
Inferring more than one lawyer is misleading RI-221
Name of lawyer in advertisement C-231, RI-221

Trial Practice
See also Class Actions
See also Discovery
See also Testimony
See also Witnesses
back to list

Application of Michigan ethics rules in multistate matter RI-122
Assault and battery between spouses on contingent fee RI-181
Consolidation of conflicting cases on appeal RI-108
Cross-examination of client for unrelated matter RI-218, RI-239
Disclosing client's fraudulent acts to successor counsel at retrial RI-209
Disqualification motions as tactics RI-287
Division of fee with out-of-state lawyer RI-122
Evidence tampered, duty to disclose RI-56
Filing deadlines repeatedly missed, duty to report lawyer RI-149
Judicial officer as witness JI-57
Lawyer-witness RI-21, RI-226
Multiple representation, discharge by some clients RI-98
Off the record contact with presiding judge RI-243
Out of state lawyers providing legal assistance concerning Michigan laws 70 MBJ 1318 (Dec 1991), 70 MBJ 1074 (Oct 1991), 71 MBJ 687 (Jul 1992)
Perjury, duty to disclose RI-148
Pretrial services information copied to presiding judge RI-243
Prosecutor's appearance as public official in pro bono case RI-283
Pursuing claim of minor child when parent wishes to drop suit RI-140
Rejecting court appointment to represent client C-210
Sanctions 73 MBJ 1085 (Oct 1994)
Subpoena to nonparty 74 MBJ 564 (Jun 1995)
Substitute counsel when lawyer is witness RI-281
Supervisory lawyer duties RI-149
Withdrawal after discharge 74 MBJ 822 (Aug 1995)
Withdrawal required when impermissible conflict discovered RI-139
Witness from opponent's firm RI-233

Trust Accounts
See A Discussion of Trust Accounts for Michigan Attorneys
See TAON: A Positive Opportunity to Protect Client Funds, 89 MBJ 16 (Jun 2010)

—Deposit

Accepting credit card payments for advance legal fees RI-344
Advances of costs and expenses R-7, R-21
Application of trust account overdraft notification rule R-21
Commingling law firm and client funds R-7, R-21
Disciplinary sanctions R-7, In the Matter of Haynes, 406 Mich 634 (1979)
Duty to promptly deposit checks in lawyer's possession RI-92
Funds of ancillary services of law firm RI-187
Handling earned fees R-21
Nonrefundable retainer RI-69
Notice of receipt R-7, R-21
Obligation to determine whether to deposit in IOLTA or non-IOLTA account R-21
Outside business funds R-7
Outside firm working with prosecutors office RI-329
Personal use of trust account prohibited R-7, R-21
Prosecutor using outside firm to collect restitution RI-329
Restitution collection by prosecutor RI-329
Retainer R-7
Safekeeping property R-7, RI-92
Selecting financial institution RI-186, R-21
Supervisory responsibility R-7, RI-92

—Disbursement

Advancing from operating account to avoid trust account RI-189
Apportioning trust account interest RI-64
Calculation of trust account interest RI-64
Contested referral fee RI-224
Disbursement R-7, RI-61, In the Matter of Haynes, 406 Mich 634 (1979)
Disbursement client has not cashed RI-222
Disciplinary sanctions R-7, In the Matter of Haynes, 406 Mich 634 (1979)
"Earned" fees R-7, R-21
Misappropriation R-7
Missing clients RI-38, RI-58, RI-67
Notice to client of disbursement R-7
Notice to referring lawyer of disbursement RI-224
Payment of fees after performance R-7
Periodic billings R-7
Supervisory responsibility R-7, RI-92

—Disputes

Accounting to client R-7
Accounting to referring lawyer RI-224
Contested referral fee RI-224
Duty to explain fund use to client In the Matter of Silverman, 408 Mich 100 (1980)
Duty to third parties R-7
Fiduciary duties R-7
Third party claim, improper payment In the Matter of Haynes, 406 Mich 634 (1979)

—Establishing

Applicable rules when practicing in more than one state RI-70
Bond posting RI-65
Circumvention of rule RI-93, RI-189
Depositing lawyer funds into IOLTA account  
Dues affidavit required 73 MBJ 952 (Sep 1994)
Duty to establish R-7, RI-93, 73 MBJ 952 (Sep 1994)
Fiduciary duties R-7
Insured by federal government RI-71
Interest-bearing account required R-7, 73 MBJ 952 (Sep 1994)
IOLTA, multistate practice RI-70
IOLTA or non-IOLTA account R-21
Multistate practice RI-70
Pooled IOLTA account R-7, RI-107, 73 MBJ 952 (Sep 1994)
Requirement to have R-7, RI-189, 73 MBJ 952 (Sep 1994)
Selecting financial institution RI-186, 73 MBJ 952 (Sep 1994)
Signatories for R-7, RI-107

—Recordkeeping

Accounting to client R-7, RI-189
Calculation of trust account interest RI-64
Disciplinary sanctions R-7, In the Matter of Haynes, 406 Mich 634 (1979)
Duty to reconcile bank statements R-7
Duty to supervise account handlers R-7
Funds never coming into lawyer's possession RI-93
Interest subaccounting R-7
Periodic billings R-7
Pooled IOLTA account R-7, RI-107
Recordkeeping guidelines R-7

Trusts
See Probate and Estate Practice
back to list

Unauthorized Practice of Law

—Adjudicator's Duties

Administrative court procedures to prevent JI-26
Administrative hearing officer's duties regarding C-239
Contempt remedies JI-26
Duty to supervise judicial staff JI-26
Judge's duties to prevent JI-26, 69 MBJ 821 (Aug 1990)
Private cause of action 72 MBJ 930 (Sep 1993)
Remedies JI-26
Verification of law licenses JI-26

—Lawyer Duties

Collections Bay County Bar Ass'n v. Finance System, Inc., 345 Mich 434 (1956)
Corporate counsel, licensed in another state but based in Michigan 71 MBJ 555 (June 1992)
Duty to prevent C-239, JI-26, RI-349
Duty to report JI-26, RI-10
Employee supervision R-1, RI-103, RI-125, RI-128, RI-191, RI-349
Graduates not yet licensed 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)
Inside counsel, licensed in another state but based in Michigan 71 MBJ 555 (June 1992)
Lawyer listed on deed as preparer RI-298
Lawyer overseeing deed preparation RI-298
Lawyers from other states MRPC 5.5
Nonpayment of dues, ineffective assistance of counsel People v. Pubrat, 451 Mich 589 (1996)
Out-of-state lawyers providing legal assistance concerning Michigan laws MRPC 5.5
Pro hac vice admission for a particular matter MCR 8.126
Supervision of employees R-1, RI-103, RI-125, RI-128, RI-191, RI-349, 71 MBJ 1188 (Nov 1992)
Title offices preparing deeds RI-298
Unlicensed law graduates 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)
Verification of law licenses JI-26

—Nonlawyers

Administrative agency practice C-239, RI-55, State Bar of MI v. Galloway, 422 Mich 188 (1985)
Agents of other persons Cobb v. Judge Superior Court of Grand Rapids, 43 Mich 289 (1880), Marquette Prison Warden v. Meadows, 114 Mich App 121 (1982), Bay County Bar Ass'n v. Finance System, Inc., 345 Mich 434 (1956)
Appearances in court by nonlawyer representatives C-239, 70 MBJ 442 (May 1991)
Bankruptcy Ginger v. Cohn, 426 F2d 1385 (1970)
Collections Bay County Bar Ass'n v. Finance System, Inc., 345 Mich 434 (1956)
Communicating on behalf of party RI-101, RI-349
Consequences of 69 MBJ 821 (Aug 1990)
Contempt remedies JI-26
Corporate officers representing corporation 69 MBJ 1007 (Oct 1990), Peters Prod., Inc. v. Desnick Broad. Co. , 171 Mich App 283 (1988)
Court appearances by nonlawyers C-239, 70 MBJ 442 (May 1991)
Court personnel assisting parties A/O 92
Deposition participation RI-101
Determining when legal services are needed RI-186
Disciplined lawyers, scope of permitted activity 68 MBJ 1108 (Nov 1989), 71 MBJ 1188 (Nov 1992)
Divorce "kit" services 68 MBJ 469 (June 1989), State Bar v. Cramer, 399 Mich 116 (1976)
Document preparation RI-186, RI-349, 70 MBJ 577 (June 1991)
Fees for unlicensed work Birbrower, Montalbano, Condon & Frank v. Superior Court, 12 Law Man 341 (1996)
Graduates not yet licensed 71 MBJ 1061 (Oct 1992)
Intermediary for trust kit sales RI-325, 79 MBJ 522 (May 2000)
Landlord & tenant cases 78 MBJ 964 (Sep 1999)
Nonlawyers preparing legal documents RI-191, RI-349, 70 MBJ 577 (June 1991)
Nonlawyers appearing in court on behalf of others 70 MBJ 442 (May 1991)
Outside presence of court JI-26
Patent agents, association with RI-144
Real estate transactions conducted by nonlawyers Ingham County Bar Ass'n v. Neller Co., 342 Mich 214 (1955), State Bar of MI v. Kupris, 366 Mich 688 (1962)
Self-help legal services 70 MBJ 577 (June 1991)
Title insurance companies 71 MBJ 428 (May 1992), 70 MBJ 1198 (Nov 1991)
Trust kit salespeople RI-325, 79 MBJ 522 (May 2000)
Trust services by nonlawyers RI-191, 71 MBJ 212 (Feb 1992), Detroit Bar Ass'n v. Union Guardian Trust Co., 282 Mich 707 (1938), 78 MBJ 844 (Aug 1999)
Will services by nonlawyer Grand Rapids Bar Ass'n v. Denkema, 290 Mich 56 (1939), Detroit Bar Ass'n v. Union Guardian Trust Co., 282 Mich 707 (1938)

Winding Up Law Practice
See also Discharge of Lawyer by Client
See also Termination of Lawyer-Client Relationship
See also Withdrawal
back to list

Client's choice of counsel JI-89
Closing a law office 71 MBJ 1056 (Oct 1992)
Death or disability of lawyer 78 MBJ 1158 (Oct 1999)
Divestiture of outside activities by new judge 75 MBJ 1071 (Oct 1996)
Duty when becoming a judge J-2, JI-89, A/O 3, 75 MBJ 1071 (Oct 1996), In the Matter of Ryman, 394 Mich 637 (1975)
Fees for legal work prior to judgeship A/O 48
File disposition RI-100
Library sharing JI-89
Successful judicial candidate J-2, JI-89
New judge selling practice JI-118

Withdrawal
See also Discharge of Lawyer by Client
See also Termination of Lawyer-Client Relationship
See also Winding Up Law Practice
back to list

Advance agreement to withdrawal in event of future conflict RI-183
Charging fees for withdrawal RI-296
Client files grievance RI-84
Conflict of interest with current client RI-139
Consolidation of conflicting cases on appeal RI-108
Continued representation despite good cause for withdrawal RI-98
Court appointed client C-210
Discharge 74 MBJ 822 (Aug 1995)
Discretion of tribunal RI-98
Discovery of impermissible conflict RI-139
Dispute among clients on acceptance of mediation award RI-134
Fixed fees RI-69
Grievance filed by current client RI-84, 70 MBJ 698 (Jul 1991)
Medical provider creditor in billing dispute with client inhibits settlement RI-215
Multiple clients with opposing interests RI-89, RI-108, RI-111
Multiple clients, withdrawal from all clients when conflict arises RI-89, RI-98, RI-108, RI-111, RI-134, RI-138
Next friend, when sued by ward RI-170
Nonrefundable retainers RI-10
Payment of costs as condition of withdrawal RI-203
Refusal to sign settlement reached between parties RI-145
Representing client against spouse of former client, conflict RI-161
Request of client RI-51
Screening does not cure conflict with current client RI-139
Stipulation when client does not pay fee RI-20
Timing of withdrawal when conflict discovered RI-139

Witnesses
See also Adverse Parties
See also Contact with Unrepresented Persons
See also Testimony
back to list

—Clients

Cross-examination of client for unrelated matter RI-218, RI-239
Perjured testimony of client RI-148
Representing client who was witness in former client's proceeding RI-41

—Conflicts

Client's financial arrangement with witness RI-117
Compensation for testimony RI-117
County attorney advising sheriff, testifying as to incident when another county attorney is advocate RI-96
Cross-examination of client for unrelated matter RI-218, RI-239
Employee of lawyer testifying in will contest RI-21
Insurance adjuster, bias from prosecutor because of spouse's insurance claim RI-280
Lawyer as member of client board RI-136
Member of organization on which judge sits JI-66
Perjured testimony of client RI-148
Police officers as adverse witnesses, supervisory control over R-15
Police officers as adverse witnesses, counsel for union C-215
Payment for testimony RI-3, RI-117
Private arrangement for compensation RI-117
Prosecutor's employee as witness in criminal case RI-233
Probation officer testifying as police officer JI-61
Representing bargaining unit in salary negotiations when members are adverse witnesses in unrelated case C-215
Representing client who was witness in former client's proceeding RI-41
Sheriff testifying before judge with shared business interest JI-86
Spouse's employer testifying before judge JI-62
Tailoring testimony in exchange for compensation RI-138

—Contacting

Clerical employees of potential party RI-44
Former corporate employees R-2, RI-42, RI-120, RI-360
Investigating validity of claim RI-44
Nonmanagerial corporate employees R-2
Organizational employees R-2, RI-39, RI-44
Subpoena to nonparty 74 MBJ 564 (Jun 1995)

—Employees and Colleagues

Employee of lawyer testifying in will contest RI-21
Lawyer as member of client board RI-136
Police officers as adverse witnesses, supervisory control over R-15
Member of prosecutor's office called in criminal case RI-233

-Experts

Lawyer-witness adverse to firm client RI-21
Medical expert paid on percentage basis C-240

—Judicial Officers

Character reference for criminal defendant JI-41
Disqualification when judicial colleague is witness JI-57
Present in courtroom as moral support for party JI-15
Propriety of calling incumbent judge as witness before colleague JI-57
Privileged information concerning former client JI-32
Subpoena for client information JI-32
Subpoena for judicial witness JI-57
Testimony from judge JI-57, A/O 99

—Lawyers

Adverse to firm's client RI-21
Advocate at alternate dispute resolution proceeding RI-264
Advocate at trial RI-226, RI-281
Agreement for substitute counsel if lawyer is witness RI-281
Complaining witness in criminal case contacted by defense attorney RI-302
Consistent with interests of client RI-136
Compensation for testimony RI-3, RI-211
County attorney testifying regarding conduct of sheriff's office when another county attorney serves as advocate RI-96
Defense attorney contacting complaining witness RI-302
Discharge suit where lawyer served on board of defendant organization RI-136
Disqualification of advocate 68 MBJ 118 (Feb 1989)
Disqualification of firm RI-21, RI-87
Fee charged for lawyer to submit to deposition RI-3
Lawyer as member of client board RI-136
Lawyer threatened to be called as witness RI-297
"Necessary" testimony by advocate RI-226
Post-nuptial agreement dispute, lawyer as witness RI-281
Pretrial participation when lawyer is witness RI-226, RI-281
Privileged information 69 MBJ 551 (Jun 1990)
Prosecutor as advisory deputy sheriff RI-96
Prosecutor as character witness in criminal case RI-233
Prosecutor not allowing complaining witness to talk with defense attorney RI-302
Referral fee when lawyer is witness RI-211
Referring lawyer is witness for client RI-211
Substitute counsel when lawyer is witness RI-291
Testifying regarding fees; disqualification of firm RI-299
Will contest where lawyer drafted will RI-26, RI-87

—Relatives

Guardian ad litem related to employee of youth home RI-250
Guardian ad litem related to prosecutor's investigator RI-250
Judge present in courtroom as moral support for party relative JI-15
Spouse's employer testifying before judge JI-62
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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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