Recent Developments

Ethics Seminar

Lawyer Trust Accounts Seminar

Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020; 1:15–4:45 p.m.
Cost: $50 for lawyers; $25 for non-lawyers, law students, & unlicensed graduates
Location: State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St, Lansing

Participants can register online or by mail form. Advance registration is required.

Registration deadline is Friday, February 21. No "walk-in" registrations will be accepted.

View Faculty and Agenda


Formal Ethics Opinions

Issued in 2018

R-25 Participation in a for-profit online matching service is unethical.

Issued in 2016

R-24 An agreement with a client to shorten the statute of limitations for filing a legal malpractice claim is rarely ethically permissible.

R-23 Arbitration clauses included in fee agreements are not ethically permissible unless certain conditions are met.

Issued in 2015

R-22 A lawyer cannot ethically abdicate trust account management duties under MRPC 1.15 and MRPC 1.15A.

Ethics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Judicial Campaigns Ethics FAQs

Disqualified Lawyers FAQs—lawyers who are suspended, disbarred, inactive, or have resigned from membership

LinkedIn Ethics FAQs

Facebook Ethics FAQs

Twitter Ethics FAQs

Tumblr, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram Ethics FAQs

Michigan Ethics Opinions

The State Bar of Michigan is pleased to provide this service to our membership to assist Michigan lawyers in researching ethics inquiries free of charge. This service provides the full index to Michigan ethics opinions, both professional and judicial, with links to all ethics opinions released since October 1988 using the citation abbreviations at common citations.

There are four ways to search for Michigan ethics opinions using our online service. If you know the opinion number, click on Quick Find by opinion number and enter it in the "get opinion" box. If you would like to search the text of the ethics opinions, click on Search full text of ethics opinion collection and insert key word text in the search criteria box. If you would like to search for ethics opinions by subject matter click on online index to review the topic index and tables of opinions. If you would like to search for ethics opinions interpreting specific rules of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) or specific canons of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct, click on Opinions interpreting MRPC or Opinions interpreting MCJC to review the tables of opinions.

If you would like to request a written ethics opinion regarding a particular issue, click on written Ethics Opinion to obtain instructions for submitting your written request.

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.

Ethics Helpline—(877) 558-4760

Members may contact the SBM Ethics Helpline at (877) 558-4760 to receive a confidential informal, advisory opinion from a staff attorney regarding an ethics issue pertaining to the inquirer's prospective conduct. This confidential service is reserved for lawyers and judges only. Staff counsel will not advise on past conduct of the inquirer, the conduct of another attorney or judge, on questions of law, or hypotheticals. The opinions of staff counsel are non-binding and advisory only.

Ethics Rules

Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct

Ethics Resources