Unit 4 Assignment
ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
LS102: Introduction to Law
Professor Stephen Renick
May 21, 2013
The American Bar Association developed the Model Rules of Professional Conduct so that American lawyers can know the basic standards of legal ethics and professional responsibility. There are certain rules that would be most important to lawyers, and also for law firms. Rule 1.6 of the model rules involves confidentiality of information, and it is a vital rule to follow when dealing with a client that may-be guilty. Rule 1.9 of the model rules deals with the duties to former clients. Then…show more content… The next three rules will involve what is most important for law firms. Rule 5.4 involves the professional independence of a lawyer. According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a non-lawyer, except if an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons. (ABA, n.d.) A lawyer or law firm may include non-lawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement. In other words, there are limitations on permitting a third party to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering legal services to another. This rule is important for law firms, because it deals with the third party consisting of non-lawyers having either a say in the lawyer judgment, which is prohibited, or have a partnership with the lawyer. When it comes to the partnership of the lawyer and non-lawyer, as long as the activities of the partnership do not consist of the practice of law, the partnership can be valid.
Rule 5.6 includes restrictions on rights to practice law, and this rule is important to law firms because the firms have a certain duty to uphold when a lawyer leaves the firm. According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer shall not