Formal Ethics Opinions

 

COLORADO

ETHICS HANDBOOK

FIFTH EDITION

 

 

A Joint Project of

The Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee
and
Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc.

 

[Formal Ethics Opinions are issued for advisory purposes only and are not in any way binding on the Colorado Supreme Court, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, the Attorney Regulation Committee, or the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and do not provide protection against disciplinary actions.

Notwithstanding the copyright notice appearing in this publication, formal opinions of the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee may be reproduced in single or multiple copies: (1) by libraries for traditional multiple library use, including copies for reserve room use, extra copies for faculty-student dissemination and interlibrary use; (2) by legal practitioners for their own use and the use of members and associates of the firm or office in which they practice; and (3) by individuals for classroom teaching purposes. All other copyright interests are expressly reserved, including, without limitation, the right to prohibit copying for resale purposes.

 

8     Office sharing — “associates,” 6/26/59; addendum issued 1995

9     Office sharing — “associates,” 6/26/59; addendum issued 1995

11     Law practice in combination with insurance sales, 1/11/60; addendum issued 7/24/93, Withdrawn 10/17/2015

12     Title opinion for lending institution, disclosure to customer, 3/26/60

13     Office sharing — municipal judge, 3/26/60; revised 5/18/96

14     Attorney as city councilman, 3/26/60; addendum issued 1996; addendum issued 2009

17     Preparation of legal documents in real property sale, 1/20/61; addendum issued 1995

20     Fee collection, 6/23/61; addendum issued 1995

23     Representation of guardian for minor in personal injury settlement, 7/20/62; addendum issued 1995

24     Offices on client’s property, 7/20/62; addendum issued 1995

25     Use of attorney’s signature on collection case summons, 8/25/62; addendum issued 1995

26     Real estate commission for attorney-executor, 9/28/62; addendum issued 1995, Withdrawn 10/17/2015

28     Letterhead; revised 4/28/73; revised 7/24/93

29     Representation of seller, buyer or borrower by lawyer for financial institution, 1/18/64

31      Publications, pending litigation, 6/6/64

33     Contributions, judicial campaign, 6/6/64

34     Advancement of living expenses for personal injury client, 3/27/65; addendum issued 1995

38     Referral fees, 6/4/66; addendum issued 1995

40    Accepting case handled by another lawyer, 2/3/68; addendum issued 1995

43    Duty to insured, 12/13/69; addendum issued 1995

45    Representation of client by part-time judge; revised 6/16/84; addendum issued 1996

46    Municipal attorney, representation of defendants, 2/20/71; revised 5/18/96

47    Attorney representation in dissolution of marriage, 2/26/72; addendum issued 1995

48    Representation of public body, conflict of interest, 6/3/72; revised 5/18/97

50    Definition of associates as applied to lawyers, 11/29/72; addendum issued 1995

52     Spouse-Attorneys Representing Clients, Conflicts of Interest, 12/17/75; Withdrawn 3/16/13

54    Fees charged in foreclosure or redemption, undated; addendum issued 1995

55    Partnership which includes professional corporation, undated; addendum issued 1995

56    Settlement of lawyer malpractice, withdrawal of grievance complaint, 3/22/80; addenda issued 1995 and 1998

57    Conflicts of interest, 3/21/81; addendum issued 1995: Withdrawn on 10/17/15

58    Water rights, representation of multiple clients, 3/21/81; revised 10/14/95

59    Legal services programs, 1/23/82; addendum issued 1995

60    Duty with respect to client’s incriminating physical evidence, 7/24/82

61    Legal assistants, 10/23/82; addendum issued 1995

62    Duties of public prosecutor, release of defendant’s civil claims, 11/20/82; revised 11/19/88; addendum issued 1995

63    Lawyer’s relationship with a traffic clinic, 2/19/83; addendum issued 1995

64    Duty of attorney to report an ethical violation, 4/23/83; amended 6/15/96

65    Guidelines for opposing counsel contacting witnesses, 3/17/84

66    Imposition of interest or finance charges on client accounts, 10/20/84

67    Contingent fee arrangement in child support and spousal maintenance cases, 3/16/85; addendum issued 1995

68    Conflicts of interest: propriety of multiple representation, 4/20/85; revised 12/09/11

69    Propriety of communicating with employee or former employee of an adverse party organization; 2010 revision

70    Juror communications, 9/21/85; addendum issued 1995

71    Ex parte communications with treating physicians; revised 9/21/85; addendum issued 4/18/92

72    Recovery of attorney fee by lender using in-house counsel, 4/19/86; revised 1/19/91; addendum issued 1995

73    Contact with insurance adjuster, 5/17/86

74    Lawyer newsletters, 7/26/86; addendum issued 1995

75     Spousal Conflicts, 6/20/87; addendum issued 1995; Withdrawn 3/16/13 

76    Lawyer advertising guidelines, 10/17/87; addendum issued 1995

77    Participation with medical-legal consulting firm: contingent fee, 3/19/88

78    Disqualification of the advocate/witness, 6/18/88; revised 6/18/94, 5/10/97, and 10/20/12

79    Use of legal assistants in client representation, 2/18/89; addendum issued 1995

80    Lawyer’s duty to disclose mistakes in commercial closing, 2/18/89; addendum issued 1995

81    Lawyer’s participation in prepaid legal service plans, 3/18/89

82    Assertion of attorney’s retaining lien on client’s papers, 4/15/89; addendum issued 1995

83    Lawyer advertising, solicitation and publicity, 11/18/89; addendum issued 7/24/93 Withdrawn 09/21/13

84    Listing of support personnel names on letterhead and business cards, 2/26/90; addendum issued 1995

85    Release and settlement of legal malpractice claims, 5/19/90; addenda issued 1995 and 1998

86     Use of subpoenas in civil actions and proceedings, 1/17/98; Withdrawn 3/16/13

87    Collaboration with non-lawyers in preparation and marketing of estate planning documents, 7/14/90; revised 12/14/91; addendum issued 1995

88    Use and misuse of “confidentiality walls,” 5/18/91; amended 4/18/92; WIthdrawn 7/2008

89    Office sharing — conflicts, confidentiality, letterheads and names, 9/21/91

90    Preservation of client confidences in view of modern communications technology, 11/14/92

91    Ethical duties of attorney selected by insurer to represent its insured, 1/16/93; addendum issued 2013

92    Practice restrictions in settlement agreements, 6/19/93

93    Ex parte contacts with government officials, 10/16/93, amended 02/16

94    Ethical duties relating to a client’s property held by a lawyer in which a third party has an interest, 11/20/93; addendum issued 2006

95    Funds of missing clients, 11/20/93; Withdrawn 5/21/2016

96    Ex parte communications with represented persons during criminal and civil regulatory/investigations and proceedings, 7/15/94; Revised 3/17/12

97    Ethical considerations where an attorney or the attorney’s partner serves on the board of a public entity, 6/17/95

98    Ethical Responsibilities of Lawyers who Engage in other Businesses, adopted 01/17/15, superseding opinion 98 12/14/96

99     Use of credit cards to pay for legal services, 5/10/97 

100   Use of conversion clauses in contingent fee agreements, 6/21/97 

101   Unbundled legal services, new opinion approved 05/2016

102    Use of subpoenas in criminal proceedings, 3/21/98 

103   Propriety of compensating a non-expert witness in a civil action, 12/19/98 

104   Surrender of papers to the client upon termination of the representation, 4/17/99 

105   Opinion on temporary lawyers, 5/22/99 

106   Referral fees and networking organizations, 6/19/99; revised 10/21/2013

107   Third-party auditors, 9/18/99

108   Inadvertent disclosure of privileged or confidential documents, 5/20/00

109   Acquiring an ownership interest in a client, 5/19/01; annotated 6/20/09 and 08/06/15 

110   Assertion of attorney’s charging lien/security interest in property, 1/19/02; amended 5/02 

111   Communicating with represented person for the purpose of providing a “second opinion,” 1/19/02 

112   Surreptitious recording of conversations or statements, 7/19/03 

113   Ethical duty of attorney to disclose errors to client, 11/19/05, Modified 07/18/2015 solely to reflect 01/01/2008 changes in the Rules of Professional Conduct. 

114   Responsibilities of respondent parents’ attorneys in dependency and neglect proceedings, 10/14/06, revised 06/19/2010 

115   Ethical considerations in the collaborative and cooperative law contexts, 2/24/07 

116   Ethical considerations in the dissolution of a law firm or a lawyer’s departure from a law firm, 3/17/07 

117   Ethical responsibilities of attorneys in legal services and pro bono programs concerning prospective clients, 6/16/07 

118   Handling of funds disputed after proper withdrawal from trust account, 2/12/08 

119   Disclosure, review, and use of metadata, 5/17/08 

120   Representing an organization as a party in a dispute, 5/17/08 

121   Use of temporary lawyers and other professionals not admitted to practice in Colorado (“outsourcing”), 6/2009 

122   The applicability of Colo. RPC 7.2 to internet-based lawyer marketing programs, 10/16/2010 

123   Candor to the Tribunal and Remedial Measures in Civil Proceedings, 06/18/2011 

124   A Lawyer’s Medical Use of Marijuana, 4/23/12 

125 The Extent to Which Lawyers May Represent Clients Regarding Marijuana-Related Activities, 10/21/13; addendum issued 10/21/2013  [Withdrawn 5/17/14] 

126 Representing the Adult Client With Diminished Capacity, 5/06/2015

127 Use of Social Media for Investigative Purposes, 09/2015

128 Ethical Duties of Lawyer Who Cannot Contact Client, 10/17/2015

129 Ethical Duties of Lawyer Paid by One Other than the Client 03/18/2017

130 Online Posting and Sharing of Materials Related to the Representation of a Client 04/03/2017

131 Representing Clients With Diminished Capacity Where the Subject of the Representation Is the Client’s Diminished Capacity 09/13/2017

132 Duties of Confidentiality of Will Drafter Upon Death of Testator 09/26/2017

133 Ethical Duties of a Lawyer who is Party to a Matter Speaking with a Represented Party 10/27/2017