Legal Ethics Opinions 2-209

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Opinions 2-209 are available in the District of Columbia Code of Professional Responsibility and Opinions of the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee (1991 Edition) that is available in PDF form for free download here. Please be aware that Opinions 2-209 interpret the D.C. Code of Professional Responsibility that was in effect in the District of Columbia prior to January 1, 1991. As a very general matter, the older ethics opinions continue to provide some valid guidance, particularly to the extent that the language (interpreted in the ethics opinion) from the D.C. Code was subsequently adopted in the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, and no subsequent ethics opinions have analyzed the language of the D.C. Rules in a different light. In some instances, amendments to the D.C. Rules or other law may affect substantive changes to these older opinions.

Opinions 210 to present can be found here. They are also available in the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct which is available for download here.

The titles of Opinions 2-209 are listed below.

Opinion 209: Multiple Representation; Duty to Maintain Files for Benefit of All Clients.
Opinion 208: Calculation of Attorneys Fees in Structured Settlements
Opinion 207: Settlement Offers in Public Interest Litigation Conditional On Waiver Of Statutory Fees
Opinion 206: Lawyer's Obligation to Return Former Client's Documents to the Former Client or Dispose of Former Client Files in a Manner that Does not Prejudice the Former Client's Interests.
Opinion 205: Joint Dismissal of Cross-Appeals of an Uncontested Divorce
Opinion 204: Participation in Agency Rulemaking
Opinion 203: Employment as the Lawyer's Investigator of Union Representative who Refers Cases to the Lawyer
Opinion 202: Propriety Of A Contingent Fee In The Sale Of Literary Rights Where The Lawyer Also Provides Representation In The Underlying Matter
Opinion 201: Fee Sharing Arrangement of a Lawyer Referral Service Operated by a Non-Profit Legal Services Organization
Opinion 200: Retention of Attorneys' Fees Paid By Client From Proceeds of Embezzlement
Opinion 199: Communicating with Adverse Party
Opinion 198: Propriety of lncluding "No-Fault" Personal Injury Protection Payments as Part of the Fund Subject to a Contingent Fee Agreement With a Client
Opinion 197: Use Of The Term "Of Counsel;" Division of Fees
Opinion 196: Financial Assistance For Client
Opinion 195: Assignment of Rights to Invention to Secure Payment of Fee for Services Rendered in Prosecuting Patent Application
Opinion 194: Restricting A Lawyer's Ability To Practice Law
Opinion 193: Limiting Liability to One's Client
Opinion 192: Use Of Terms "Associated With" And "Correspondent Firm"
Opinion 191: Propriety or Lawyer Retaining Files During Fee Dispute
Opinion 190: Propriety Of Inclusion Of A Provision In A Retainer Agreement Requiring Arbitration
Opinion 189: Name of Law Firm With One Attorney; Public Representations Regarding Non-Resident Attorney
Opinion 188: Newspaper Advertisements
Opinion 187: Representation Of Client In Challenging Agency Rules For Which Attorney Was Responsible While In Government
Opinion 186: Disclosure of Client Confidences and Secrets
Opinion 185: Billing for Disbursements
Opinion 184: Assessment of a Fee for Processing of Administrative Claims Under the D.C. No-Fault Act
Opinion 183: Professional (Business) Cards
Opinion 182: Attorneys Loaned to a Law Firm by a Lay Organization
Opinion 181: Restrictions on a Lawyer's Ability to Practice Law
Opinion 180: Disclosure of Client Confidences and Secrets to Investigating Authorities
Opinion 179: Equity Interest in Client's Business in Lieu of Cash Fees for Representation in a Licensing Proceeding
Opinion 178: Attorney's Communications With One With an Adverse Interest
Opinion 177: "Revolving Door": Personal and Substantial Participation
Opinion 176: Ethical Propiety of Union Attorneys' Receiving a Market Value Fee Award
Opinion 175: Consecutive Representation of Potentially Adverse Clients and Use of Legal Theories Developed at Expense of the Former Client
Opinion 174: Application of Screening Mechanism to a Law Firm That is Disqualified Due to an Attorney's Past Private Employment
Opinion 173: Responsibility of Attorney Employed By Insurer to Insured
Opinion 172: Advertising a Joint Enterprise Between Lawyers and Non-Lawyers
Opinion 171: Testimony Against Former Client in Malpractice Action Versus Co-Counsel
Opinion 170: National Telephone Lawyer Referral Service
Opinion 169: Obligations of Lawyer-Employee During Pendency of Employment Dispute
Opinion 168: Obligation of Former Lawyer to Provide Client Materials to Current Lawyer
Opinion 167: Advertising Overseas and Telephone Contacts With Potential Overseas Clients; Dividing Fees With Non-Lawyer Employees
Opinion 166: Right of Attorney to Bill Pro Bono Plaintiff for Costs Incurred During Representation
Opinion 165: Joint Representation of a Tax Shelter Promoter and Investors in a Tax Proceeding During the Pendency of a Class Action on Behalf of the Investors Against the Promoter
Opinion 164: Disqualification of a Law Firm Based on an Attorney’s Past Private Employment
Opinion 163: Simultaneous Representation of Opposing Clients
Opinion 162: Distribution of Fees Generated By a Matter From Which An Attorney is Screened
Opinion 161: Contingency Fees in Child Support Cases
Opinion 160: Practice of Law in a Law Firm Where Partners Have Been Suspended
Opinion 159: Representation of Cooperative Association and Its Members
Opinion 158: Representation Against a Former Client in a Divorce Proceeding
Opinion 157: Joint Representation of a Tax Shelter Promoter and Investors in a Tax Proceeding
Opinion 156: Representation or Prospective Adoptive Parents by the Guardian of the Child
Opinion 155: Prepaid Legal Services Plan
Opinion 154: Multiple Representation
Opinion 153: Withdrawal from Employment Due to Client's Past or Ongoing Fraudulent Acts
Opinion 152: Attorneys Acting as Hearing Examiners
Opinion 151: Division of Fees Between a Law Firm and an 'Of Counsel' Attorney
Opinion 150: "Revolving Door": Substantially Related "Matters"
Opinion 149: Designation as an Attorney on Business Card or Stationery
Opinion 148: Attorney-Client Privilege Between Government Lawyer and Employee; Government Lawyers Serving As Both Witness and Advocate Against Employee; Government Lawyer's Obligation to Disclose Employee Wrongdoings
Opinion 147: Settlement Offers in Public Interest Litigation Conditional on Waiver of Statutory Fees
Opinion 146: Joint Enterprise By Lawyer and Non-Lawyer to Provide Services That Include Both Legal and Non-Legal Work
Opinion 145: Propriety of Letter of Solicitation and Division of Fees
Opinion 144: Withdrawal from CJA Case
Opinion 143: Joint Representation in Divorce Proceeding
Opinion 142: Television Advertisements
Opinion 141: Professional Organization Designation on Letterhead, Business Cards or in Advertisements
Opinion 140: Multiple Representation, Undertaking of
Opinion 139: Withdrawal Due to Client's Conduct
Opinion 138: Bank Credit to Finance Legal Fees
Opinion 137: Attorney Spouses: Conflict of Interest, Appearance of Impropriety
Opinion 136: Multiple Representation
Opinion 135: Withdrawal From Employment
Opinion 134: Advertising and Solicitation
Opinion 133: Private Practice by a District of Columbia Hearing Examiner
Opinion 132: Attorney as Witness
Opinion 131: Simultaneous Representation of Opposing Clients in Separate Proceedings.
Opinion 130: Offer of Settlement Restricting Attorney's Right to Represent Potential Clients
Opinion 129: Interviews with Employees of an Adverse Party
Opinion 128: Donation to University Archive of Papers That Could Contain Client Confidences or Secrets
Opinion 127: Withdrawal of attorney's fees from trust account established to receive proceeds of a settlements.
Opinion 126: - Appointed Attorney's Responsibilities When Client Fails To Comply With Court Order To Pay A Portion Of The Cost Of Representation
Opinion 125: Attorney Representing Another Attorney in Same Firm in Litigation Arising Out of Private Contractual Dispute Where Attorney Involved in Dispute Will be Trial Witness
Opinion 124: Disclosure of Client Identities to IRS Auditors
Opinion 123: The name of a deceased patent attorney may appear on the letterhead of a law firm, so long as the fact that he was not a member of the bar clearly appears thereon.
Opinion 122: Agreement Prohibiting Performance of Legal Services for Firm Clients Following Departure From Firm; Memorandum Agreement Requiring Departing Partner to Pay to Firm Percentage of Fees Earned From Representation of Specific Clients
Opinion 121: Description of Legal Fees in Advertising
Opinion 120: Communicating with adverse party
Opinion 119: Destruction of attorney memoranda to client which may be sought in pending or future litigation.
Opinion 118: Responsibilities of Lawyer Represented By Collective Bargaining Unit During Strike or Work Slowdown
Opinion 117: Statement as to Quality of Legal Services in Advertisement
Opinion 116: Legal Advice; Obligation to Revise Wills
Opinion 115: Propriety of Contingent Fees in Non-Litigation Matters
Opinion 114: Representation of Agency Officials Before Whom A Lawyer May Appear on Behalf of Other Clients
Opinion 113: “Fee Advances by Clients”
Opinion 112: Attorneys as Members of a Labor Union Which ls The Principal Adversary of the Agency Employing the Attorneys; Conflict of Interest
Opinion 111: Propriety of Former Government Attorney Representing a Party in Litigation Against the Government When the Attorney Had Been Nominally Involved in the Same Litigation While in Government Service
Opinion 110: Propriety of Advertisement Describing Law Firm as "The Immigration Lawyers" with "Services to Aliens Around the World"
Opinion 109: Referral from Non-prepaid Group Legal Services Plan; Referral to Partnership Without Disclosure that Referrer has a Financial Stake in the Partnership; Division of Fees with Attorney who Purports to be a Partner
Opinion 108: Attorney's Responsibilities to Client Who Has Disappeared
Opinion 107: Propriety of Asserting Retaining Lien Applicable to Ultimate Client's Papers Where D.C. Attorney Retained as Co-counsel by Other Attorneys Previously Retained by the Client
Opinion 106: Applicability to Rulemaking of Restrictions on Employment of Former Government Attorneys
Opinion 105: Propriety of Multijurisdictional Newspaper Advertisements and Letters of Solicitation By Attorneys
Opinion 104: Obligation Of Lawyers To Accept Pro Bono Appointments; Excessive Appointments To Pro Bono Cases; Duty Of Lawyer To Advance Litigation Expenses For Indigent Clients; Duty To Decline Appointments That Cannot Be Competently And Zealously Performed
Opinion 103: Retainer Agreements; Authority To Make Litigation Decisions; Withdrawal From Representation; Attorney’s Lien; Finance Charges; Assignment Of Recovery; Excessive Fees
Opinion 102: Deposit of Client's Funds in Separate Accounts; Use of Interest-Bearing Accounts; Disposition of Interest
Opinion 101: Lawyer Appearing Before Judges of a Board of Contract Appeals Whom the Lawyer Is Representing Personally In An Unrelated Matter
Opinion 100: Propriety of Retaining Lien of Attorney As To Money Held in Escrow Account Where The Client and Attorney Have Mutually Agreed To The Termination of Representation; Propriety of Satisfaction of Attorney's Retaining Lien From Client's Assets In The Attorney's Possession
Opinion 99: Preserving Confidences When Existence of Attorney /Client Relationship Is Uncertain
Opinion 98: Former Staff Attorney for Public Defender Service Acting as Private Counsel for Person Previously Represented as Assigned Defense Counsel
Opinion 97: Propriety of Employment Agreement Restricting Lawyer's Right, Upon Termination of Employment, to Solicit Employer's Client
Opinion 96: Switching Sides; Use of Confidences and Secrets Against Former Client; Continuation of Obligation To Preserve Confidences and Secrets Even When Acting In Capacity Other Than As Attorney
Opinion 95: Propriety of Advertisement by Attorneys Holding Themselves Out as the "Accident Legal Assistance Center," "Specializing in Serious Injury and Death Claims Caused by Auto-mobile Accidents, Etc."
Opinion 94: Propriety of In-House Counsel Performing Legal Services for Related Organization; Conflict of Interest; Preservation of Client Confidences and Secrets; Unauthorized Practice of Law
Opinion 93: Law Firms Offering The Services Of Professionals Other Than Lawyers
Opinion 92: Propriety of Private Attorneys Handling Municipal Cases on a Pro Bono Basis; Conflict of Interest; Preservation of Client Confidences and Secrets; Appearance of lmpropriety
Opinion 91: Preparation and Advertising of a Prepaid Legal Services Plan settlements
Opinion 90: Assertion of Retaining Lien After Change of Counsel; Determination of Financial Inability of a Client to Pay Fees as an Exception to Retaining Lien
Opinion 89: Propriety of Law Firm Withdrawing From Representation When Client Fails to Pay Fees
Opinion 88: Lawyers Serving as Both Witnesses and Counsel in the Same Proceeding—Propriety of Issuance of an Opinion on the Merits
Opinion 87: Multi-Jurisdictional Corporate Law Firm Using The Name "Legal Clinic," Offering Credit
Opinion 86: Continued Participation in Litigation By Attorney Sued For Conduct in Course of Litigation
Opinion 85: Withdrawal From Representation of Uncooperative Client
Opinion 84: Potential Disqualification of Lawyer Who Formerly Served in Government in Nonlawyer Position; Conflict of Interest; Confidences and Secrets of Government Client; When Representation of Private Client in Different Proceedings Constitutes Same "Matter"; Imputed Disqualification
Opinion 83: Duty to Protect Confidences of Former Client In Face of Potential Court Order to Compel Testimony or Production of Documents
Opinion 82: Advertising by Former Government Attorney Detailing Nature of Prior Government Experience and Announcing Willingness to Handle Claims and Litigation Against Government
Opinion 81: Legal Advertising and Referral Service Subscribed to by Unaffiliated Private Practitioners to Advertise Under the Name "'Legal Counsellors"
Opinion 80: Communication by Lawyer Representing A Client With Government Officials
Opinion 79: Limitations on a Lawyer's Participation in the Preparation of a Witness's Testimony
Opinion 78: Participation of Lawyers Entering Government In Proceedings Involving Former Clients
Opinion 77: Employment Contract Requiring Payment of Liquidated Damages If a Departing Attorney Solicits a Law Firm's Clients
Opinion 76: Advertising No Fee for Initial Consultation Where Minimum Charge is Made and Forwarded To Lawyer Referral Service
Opinion 75: The Use of Credit Cards and Finance Charges
Opinion 74: Advertising of Free Consultation With Respect to Whether Apartment Landlords May Be Entitled to a Rent Increase Under Applicable Law
Opinion 73: Ex Parte Communications in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and District of Columbia Office of Human Rights Proceedings
Opinion 72: Attorney's Disclosure to Realty Title Insurance Company, for Purposes of Audit, of Information Which May Constitute “Confidences” or “Secrets” of his Client
Opinion 71: Newly-Employed Government Lawyer's Participation in Rulemaking Involving Former Client and Law Firm
Opinion 70A: Propriety of Lawyer Participation in Private Advertising and Referral Service Where No Mechanism for Bar Approval of Such Service Has Been Established; Application of Opinion No. 70 in Such Circumstances
Opinion 70: Propriety of Lawyer Participation in Private Advertising and Referral Service
Opinion 69: Designation of Area of Specialization or Concentration in Directory of Law School Graduates
Opinion 68: Legal Advice Concerning Labor Relations Given By A Staff Attorney Who Is A Union Member—Conflict of Interest
Opinion 67: Use of the term "General Counsel"
Opinion 66: Advertising By Attorney; Sponsorship of Sports Team
Opinion 65: Employment Contract Between an Attorney Withdrawing From His Former Law Firm, Requiring Payment to Former Firm for Post-Withdrawal Fees Derived by Withdrawn Attorney from Client of Former Firm
Opinion 64: Law Students in Court Program; Use of Information Desk in Courthouse
Opinion 63: Representation of Client in Administrative Proceeding Where Former Client in Unrelated Criminal Case May Be Hostile Witness
Opinion 62: Propriety of Participation by Fedcrally-Employed Attorneys in Volunteer Program to Represent Interests of Abused and Neglected Children in Proceedings Before the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Opinion 60: Re: Imposition of Interest Charge on Client's Delinquent Account Without Advance Agreement of Client; Referral of Delinquent Account to Collection Agency; Suit to Collect Fee
Opinion 59: Assertion of Retaining Lien after Discharge of Attorney; Relevance of Duty to Avoid Foreseeable Prejudice to Client's Interests
Opinion 58: Preservation of Confidences and Secrets of a Client by Attorney Accused of Misconduct
Opinion 57: Contributions by Lawyers and Law Firms Practicing Before a Regulatory Agency to a Public Interest Law Firm Also Practicing Before That Agency
Opinion 56: Agreement to Reimburse an Expert Witness from Proceeds of Judgment or Settlement
Opinion 55: Contingent Fee to Organization Obtaining and Paying Fees of Expert Witnesses
Opinion 54: Propriety of Multiple Representation
Opinion 53: Newspaper Advertisement For Divorces; Name of Lawyer Not Disclosed; "Fees from $150."
Opinion 52: Lay Offering of Lawyers' Services to Clients or Customers—Referral
Opinion 51: Rendering Legal Services For a Client or Customer or an Employee
Opinion 50: Participation by Agency General Counsel in Matters Involving Parties Represented by Law Firm with Which Spouse is Associated—Conflict of Interest; Appearance of Impropriety
Opinion 49: Dual Representation—Drafting of Agreements Between Two Clients
Opinion 48: Continuation of Legal Practice After Assuming Quasi-Judicial Office; Conflicts of Interest; Appearance of Impropriety
Opinion 47: Letterheads, Cards and Announcements of Law Firms with Single Office in the District of Columbia—No Need to Negate Admission of Firm Lawyers in Other Jurisdictions
Opinion 45: Partnership with Non-Lawyer—Letterhead Listing Non-Lawyers
Opinion 44: Lawyers Serving as Both Witnesses and Advocates In The Same Proceedings—Right to Self-Representation
Opinion 42: Written Retainer Agreement Based on Combination of Contingent Fee Plus Time Charges
Opinion 41: Cooperation in Magazine Article about Lawyers
Opinion 39: Lay Employment Agency Referring Lawyers to Other Lawyers and Firms for Hourly Work and for Permanent Employment; Manner of Payment of Referral Fees
Opinion 38: Designation of Patent Agent on Letterhead
Opinion 37: Provisions of Contingent Fee Retainer Agreements With Respect to Payment of a Fee in the Event of Discharge or Withdrawal of the Attorney
Opinion 36: Practices of Law Firm Handling Client's Funds During Real Estate Transactions
Opinion 35: Restriction of the Right to Practice Law—Settlement Agreement
Opinion 34: Multi-Jurisdiction Law Firms with Offices in the District of Columbia; Permissible Firm Names When Not All Named Partners Are Admitted to Practice in the District of Columbia
Opinion 33: Inclusion of Firm Name in Lawyer's Listing as Member of Advisory Board of Civic Organizations
Opinion 32: Use by Prosecutor's Office of a "Notice of Witness Conference" as a Means of Inviting Third Party Witness Not Under Compulsory Process to Conferences in Preparation for Trial
Opinion 31: Lawyer for Congressional Committee—Summoning Witness Who It ls Known Will Decline To Answer Any Questions on a Claim of Privilege
Opinion 30: Legal Services to Union Members Prepaid Legal Plan—Submission of Fee Schedule
Opinion 29: Change in Contingent Fee Arrangement in the Course of Representation
Opinion 27: Representation of or Consultation with a Person Who Has Counsel; Giving Advice to a Person on the Adequacy of His Present Representation by Counsel
Opinion 26: Former Public Employees—Contract as “Mattcr" for Purpose of Disqualification Rule of DR 9-101(8) —Extent of Participation Required for "Substantial Responsibility" Within the Meaning of DR 9-101(B)
Opinion 25: Fee Arrangements—Lawyer's Responsibility to Make Clear to Client—Necessity for Writing
Opinion 24: Participation of Law Faculty in "Ask the Lawyer" Radio Program
Opinion 23: Use of Credit Cards for Paying for Legal Services
Opinion 21: Advancing Costs of Litigation—Dismissal of Suit Without Client's Consent
Opinion 20: Contingent Fee for Expert Witnesses—Constitutionality—Constitutional Questions Beyond the Scope of the Committee
Opinion 19: Designation of Paralegal Employee as ''Legal Assistant'' on Business Card
Opinion 16: Limitations on Private Employment of Lawyer Formerly in Government Service
Opinion 14: Duty Attorney Owes to Former Client Whom Attorney Represented in Connection with Civil Investigation by Government Regulatory Agency—Attorney's File on Former Client Subpoenaed by Grand Jury.
Opinion 11: Imposition of Finance Charge or Interest on Unpaid Fees for Legal Services.
Opinion 10: Competitive Bidding by Lawyer for Contract for Legal Services.
Opinion 9: Duties of Court-Appointed Counsel Who Has Knowledge of Client's Fugitive Status
Opinion 8: Disclosure of Information to Newspaper Reporter by Lawyer During Arbitration Proceedings
Opinion 5: Lawyer Publishing in Legal Journal Discussion of Issues in Case Pending Before Appellate Court in Which Lawyer is Counsel
Opinion 4: Propriety of Charging Fee for Preliminary Investigation of Client's Case in Absence of Agreement Between Attorney and Client
Opinion 3: Solicitation of Factual Information Necessary for Litigation from Yet Unnamed Plaintiffs.
Opinion 2: Television Lectures by Attorney on General Legal Subjects for Education of Lay Public
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