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Archive Letter Abstracts, 1996-2006

Chronological Index of CBA Ethics Committee Abstracts of
Informal Letter Responses 96/97-01 through 05/06-01

Release of files to and copying of files by/for one of two or more former joint clients

Lawyer may not pay a fee to a marketing service for the privilege of writing newsletter articles, addressing business groups, and receiving referrals

GAL filing a therapist's report with the court not a violation of the rule against ex parte communications with the court

Lawyer's duty to report to court misappropriation by parents of settlement proceeds paid to juvenile client in personal injury case

Lawyer-employee of corporation representing clients of corporation

In-house insurance company counsel designating as arbitrator lawyer with past relationship with company

Rights/duties of a lawyer to seek the appointment of a guardian or take other protective actions with respect to a client of diminished competence

Counseling attorney in lawyer assistance program not required to report ethical violations of client attorney disclosed during counseling

Lawyer may advise a client how to proceed with a matter in traffic or small claims court

Recommendation of lawyer and guarantee of lawyer's fees by broker; duties of lawyer

Lawyer may not withhold from client notes of interviews conducted by lawyer under promise of confidentiality

Duties of lawyer regarding pleadings prepared by non-lawyer staff of collection agency client

Lawyer may not accept a fee from investment adviser for referral of clients to investment adviser

Duty of lawyer to report unethical conduct of another lawyer, knowledge of which was gained while serving as a private hearing officer for a private organization with internal rules of strict confidentiality

No requirement for written disclosure/client consent to firm's use of contract attorney

Mixed hourly and contingent fee agreement in case of reinstatement in an employment discrimination case

Lawyer's duties where personal injury client wishes to sell a portion of proceeds to third party in order to obtain living expenses

Lawyer may notify another lawyer that his/her conduct may violate Colo. RPC

Attorney may collect a reasonable fee from opposing parties, even though she is charging no fee to her client. In re Marriage of Swink, 807 P.2d 1245 (Colo. App. 1991)

If the contingent fee agreement doesn't say you can assert a charging lien when the client discharges you, then you can't.

If partner A is a municipal judge, associate B may prosecute in County Court.

Trust and estate attorneys' ancillary business of acting as a fiduciary for estates is probably not permissible because it is too closely related to the practice of law.

Attorneys may not provide anything of value to a for-profit organization in exchange for referrals. R.P.C. 7.2.

An attorney purchasing a law practice may pay the prior owner future fees from existing clients.

A lawyer may provide legal services through a legal services organization that also provides non-legal services within parameters of Formal Opinion 106 (June 19, 1999)

An attorney-client relationship is established between the city public defender and in-custody defendants during the brief arraignment meetings the public defender conducts with each such defendant

A lawyer or law firm may pay bonuses or similar profit-sharing compensation to non-lawyer/employees based upon earnings in excess of predetermined levels of income or net profits, and the employees' respective compensation or length of service, but not based solely upon a percentage of the fees, income or revenues of the lawyer or law firm

An attorney may charge clients a flat percentage of the attorney's total hourly billings to compensate for the client's expenses provided the attorney and each client agree in advance to such a billing arrangement

A lawyer serving as in-house counsel for Company A and its subsidiary may provide separate legal services for a vendor of Company A's subsidiary, provided the lawyer complies with rules pertaining to multiple client representations and fee arrangements

A law firm does not have to change its name when an attorney, whose maiden name is part of the firm's name, changes because that attorney begins using a married name

Prior to shredding the contents of inactive client files, a lawyer must make reasonable efforts to contact former clients regarding the potential destruction of their files, and give the clients opportunity to obtain their respective file or files

It is unethical for a lawyer to join a for-profit organization to obtain legal work. It is, however, ethical for a lawyer to pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or a legal service organization

A lawyer must maintain client confidences but also shall not counsel or assist a client in criminal or fraudulent conduct, here in the context of representation in a worker's compensation case and in connection with a child support matter

A lawyer is prohibited from advancing or guaranteeing financial assistance to a client (here, in a personal injury matter) however a lawyer may advance or guarantee expenses of litigation

It may be ethically permissible for an attorney hired by an insurance company to prepare the petition to appoint a conservator and the petition to approve the settlement with a minor