What Are Some Professional Conduct Rules for Lawyers?


Quick Answer

Some professional conduct rules for lawyers include that lawyers must maintain client confidentiality and may not charge an excessive fee. Additionally, lawyers may not demand sexual relations with a client as a condition of representation, according to the State Bar of California.

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Full Answer

Whether the lawyer's fee is considered excessive depends on the time required to perform the legal work and whether the legal work is simple or complex, explains The Pennsylvania Code. If the lawyer's work garners a particularly good result for a client, the rules of professional conduct say that a higher fee might be more reasonable for the work. Pennsylvania's rules of professional conduct require a lawyer to communicate their fees in writing to new clients.

Contingent fees are fees that a lawyer may or may not charge, depending on the outcome of the case. Lawyers may not charge contingent fees for domestic relations cases in the State of Pennsylvania, according to The Pennsylvania Code. The State of Pennsylvania's rules of professional conduct encourage lawyers to mediate fee agreements with clients by using alternative dispute resolution options such as arbitration.

The model rules of professional conduct address client confidentiality, according to the American Bar Association. A lawyer must keep their client's personal information secret unless the client gives permission to disclose the information. A lawyer may violate client trust if the violation prevents physical harm to someone else, or if the client threatens to commit a criminal act that is likely to hurt another person's property or finances, explains The Pennsylvania Code. If a lawyer wants to seek their own legal advice regarding compliance to the rules of professional conduct, they may violate client trust to explain the situation to another lawyer.

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