CAL 1998-152 to CAL 2008-175

Opinion # Summary
CAL 1998-152 When a member of the California State Bar undertakes representation of a new client in a matter which is adverse to a former client of the member's law firm, must the member obtain the former client's informed written consent before accepting the new representation?
CAL 1999-153 1. May a lawyer, who is not currently and has not previously represented a close corporation as to the subject of a dispute, be retained to represent the corporation and Shareholder A, who is authorized to retain and oversee counsel for the corporation, in a lawsuit brought by Shareholder B, the only other shareholder of the corporation, against both the corporation and Shareholder A?
2. To the extent such a representation is permitted, to what extent is informed written consent required from the corporation and Shareholder A and who provides the consent for the corporation?
CAL 1999-154 1. To what extent do the California Rules of Professional Conduct apply to a member who is performing, or represents and markets herself as able to perform, both legal and non-legal professional services for a client at the same time?
2. Does rule 1-400 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct apply to a member's use of her qualifications as a lawyer in marketing a purely non-legal service?
3. What rules apply when, as part of a member's investment advisory services involving both legal and non-legal advice, the member refers clients to a portfolio manager, who then pays the member a percentage of the compensation received for managing the portfolio?
CAL 2001-155 What aspects of professional responsibility and conduct must an attorney consider when providing an Internet web site containing information for the public about her availability for professional employment?
CAL 2001-156 Under rule 3-310(C) of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, does a conflict of interest arise when constituent sub-entities or officials of a city (e.g., the city council and the mayor) seek legal advice on the same matter and the constituents' positions on the matter are antagonistic?
CAL 2001-157 What ethical duties does an attorney have regarding the retention of former clients' files? Is the attorney ethically required to retain the files for any specific length of time following the completion of representation?
CAL 2002-158 Does the creation of a physically separate "firm" within a public office charged with indigent criminal defense avoid ethical issues arising out of the representation of multiple criminal defendants?
CAL 2002-159 Is it ethically permissible for a lawyer to: (1) to tell a potential client of the possibility of financing the legal representation by taking out a mortgage loan on the client's real property and (2) to refer the client to an independent broker who might arrange the financing, where the resulting loan funds are placed in an escrow account which is not controlled by the lawyer and from which the funds are disbursed to the lawyer for fees and costs for work performed on behalf of the client?
CAL 2002-160 1. What ethical constraints govern an attorney whose client has conferred upon her authority to settle, without instituting litigation, claims of the client for specific percentages of the amounts claimed, when the client has disappeared?
2. What ethical constraints govern the attorney's right to collect legal fees from settlement proceeds when communication with the client is not possible?
CAL 2003-161 Under what circumstances may a communication in a non-office setting by a person seeking legal services or advice from an attorney be entitled to protection as confidential client information when the attorney accepts no engagement, expresses no agreement as to confidentiality, and assumes no responsibility over any matter?
CAL 2003-162 What ethical issues are raised when a California attorney publicly advocates civil disobedience, including violations of law, in furtherance of her person ally-held political, moral, or religious beliefs, and simultaneously practices law?
CAL 2003-163 What are the duties of a lawyer who represents a corporation as its outside counsel, and who also simultaneously represents an officer of that corporation individually, when the lawyer receives information that creates a conflict between the lawyer's duties to the two clients?
CAL 2003-164 May an attorney-client relationship be formed with an attorney who answers specific legal questions posed by persons with whom the attorney has not previously established an attorney client relationship on a radio call-in show or other similar form at?
CAL 2004-165 What are the ethical responsibilities of a member of the California State Bar who uses outside contract lawyers to make appearances on behalf of the member's clients? What are the ethical responsibilities of the outside contract lawyer who makes the appearances?
CAL 2004-166 Does an attorney's communication with a prospective fee-paying client in a mass disaster victims Internet chat room violate California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400?
CAL 2004-167 Is it professional misconduct for an attorney to use a firm trade name or other professional designation which may be mistaken for a governmental entity or to use a current or former governmental title in promoting the attorney's law practice?
CAL 2005-168 Does a lawyer who provides electronic means on his website for visitors to submit legal questions owe a duty of confidentiality to visitors who accept that offer but whom the lawyer elects not to accept as clients, if the attorney disclaims formation of an attorney-client relationship and a "confidential relationship?"
CAL 2005-169 1. Does an attorney commit an ethical violation merely by obtaining or using overdraft protection on a Client Trust Account?
2. What are an attorney's ethical obligations when a check is issued against a Client Trust Account with insufficient funds to cover the amount of the check?
3. Must an attorney immediately withdraw earned fees once funds deposited into a Client Trust Account have become fixed in order to comply with the attorney's ethical obligations?
CAL 2006-170 Must an attorney comply with rule 3-300 when entering into a contingency fee agreement that contains a provision for a charging lien?
CAL 2006-171 Is an attorney who has withdrawn a fee from a client trust account in compliance with rule 4-100(A)(2), ethically obligated to return any of the withdrawn funds to the client trust account when the client later disputes the fee?
CAL 2007-172 1. May an attorney ethically accept payment of earned fees from a client by credit card?
2. May an attorney ethically accept payment of fees not yet earned from a client by credit card?
3. May an attorney ethically accept payment of advances for costs and expenses from a client by credit card?
CAL 2007-173 1. May an attorney, consistent with ethical obligations, deposit a client’s will or other testamentary documents with a private will depository, without the client’s consent?
2. May an attorney, consistent with ethical obligations, register a client’s will or other testamentary documents with a private will registry, without the client’s consent?
CAL 2007-174 Is an attorney ethically obligated, upon termination of employment, promptly to release to a client, at the client’s request, (1) an electronic version of e-mail correspondence, (2) an electronic version of the pleadings, (3) an electronic version of discovery requests and responses, (4) an electronic deposition and exhibit database, and/or (5) an electronic version of transactional documents?
CAL 2008-175 What are a successor attorney's ethical obligations when her client in a contingency fee matter instructs her not to notify prior counsel, who has a valid lien against the recovery, of the fact or the amount of a settlement?