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Professional Resp.
Bar Study

Additional Law Flashcards




Actions that are subject to discipline

1. Violates or attempts to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC), or knowingly assists or induces another to do so.


2. Commits a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law.


3. Engage in conduct involving dishonesty,fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.


4. Engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.


5. State or imply ability to improperly influence a government agency or official.


6. Knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer to violate the code of Judicial Conduct or other law.


7. File a notice of Change of judge under AZ's Rules of Crim Pro for an improper purpose.

Types of Discipline

1. Disbarment

2. Suspension for no more than 5 years

3. Centure

4. Informal reprimand

5. Probation for no more than 2 years subject to additional 2 year renewal

6. Restitution

7. Assessment of costs and expenses of proceedings


an alternative to sanctions, the completion of which results in dismissal of underlying proceedings. Used in cases of:


1. Misconduct occurs as part of non-willful incapacitation.

2. Cause of the misconduct can be remedied through an alternative program like counseling.

3. Neither public nor clients are harmed by the diversion alternative.

Mental illness

Not a per se bar to sanctions but can be a complete defense if the attorney cannot perceive reality at all.

Your duty when applying and applicants you know once you've been admitted.

1. Duties when applying

A. Truth and full disclosure

B. Duty to Cooperate

2. Requirements regarding lawyers who know applicants.

A. Should give input to good applicants, duty to squeal for bad.

Duty to Report

You must report what you know about a violation and you can't do it anonymously.

Exception: Not required of info protected as confidential or gained through participating in an approved lawyer's drug or alcohol assistance program.

*Cannot negotiate away duty to report

Lawyers licensed in more than one state

Discipline in one state does not mean there will be discipline in another. Other states make an independent determination of whether the conduct complained of violates the state's ethical rules.  


A lawyer admitted to practice in AZ is subject to AZ's disciplinary authority even though conduct occurred in another state.


1. Permissable temporary multi-jx practice

a. associate with an active local lawyer

b. special permission pro hac vice

c. clientes involved in multi-state businesses

d. Anything reasonably related to lawyers home state practice

You need a license in order to....

Represent clients in hearings, take depos, draft legal docs and negotiate for clients.


1. Arizona exceptions

a. Representing a party in a small claims procedures in AZ tax court

b. representing employer claiming benefits in proceedings before an Appeal Tribunal or Appeals board of the Dept. of Economic Security provided there is supervision.

c. representing before any board hearing for quasi-hearing dealing with personnel matters.

d. Proceedings involving water rights by an officer or employee of a corp. or unincorp. association, but requires specific authorization of the rep., the rep is not the person's primary duty to the corp, and no additional compensation other than reimbursment.

e. rep. a corp. before dept. of environmental quality in admin proceeding " ."

f. Representing before office of administration hearings " ."

g. Representing in admin appeal proceeding related to AZ health care cost Containment system.

h. Representing in admin. proceedings related to AZ dept. of revenue

i. Representing when the amount of a single dispute before State Board of Tax appeals is less than $25,000.

j. Landlord-Tenant dispute before AZ dept. of fire, building and life safety, provided the agent is not charging a fee other than reimbursment.

What decisions can a client make? Lawyer?

Client: Those that impact merits of the case, such as settlement, appeals, plea bargains, etc.


1. Client's inability to make a clear decision

a. Get a guardian appointed. In an emergency, lawyer can take action if there was a previous relationship between L-C or unless she reasonably believes the impaired person has no other representative available  and only to the extent reasonably necessary to avoid imminent and irreparable harm.


Attorney: Except for costs, atty has control over procedure, tactic, and strategy. 



Duty of Competence

To take only the cases you can handle

a. Physically or mentally

b. Legal knowledge

c. Time


If you are not competent, tell client:

a. get another lawyer

b. let me hire co-counsel

c. Give me time to learn it.

Assisting in unauthorized practice of law

Don't do it. only lawyers may engage in practice of law.


1. Exception: you can give pro se person advise


Hindering a lawyer's future right to practice


A lawyer may not enter into a non-compete agreement or provision with his current partners or associates, unless:


1. Retirement

2. In resolving a lawsuit between the firm.


Sale of a law practice


A lawyer may sell or purchase a law practice in AZ (or area of practice where a conflict of interest prevents sale of the complete practice), including goodwill, so long as:


1. Seller ceases to engage in practice of law that is sold.

2. Entire practice must be sold

3. Fees charged to clients cannot increase

4. Written notice is given to each client specifying the clients right to retain other counsel or take possession of the file.

5. Client consent is presumed if client takes no action or does not object within 90 days. Where client cannot be found, notice may be published.

6. Purchaser cannot buy with the intent to re-sell.

Firm Name

1. No Trade names or other misleading names

2. Can have dead lawyers in the name, but has to be real.

3. Name has to be removed if an action is permanent or during a substantial period of time during which that person is not engaged actively in practice of law (i.e. ambassadorship, disbarment), but can stay if temporary (suspension).


A lawyer may state that she does or does not practice in particular fields of law, but may not claim to be a specialist except:


1. Specialization is recognized in patent/admiralty practices.

2. A lawyer certified by the AZ board of legal specialization or by a national entity that has been recognized by the board as having standards for certification substantially similar as those established by the board may state all areas of specialization in which he or she is certified.



1. Must be true and not misleading, and cannot make or knowingly permit to be made a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or lawyer's services.


2. cannot create unjustified expectations, promise or guarantee a specific outcome, or make unverified comparisons unless verifiable.


3. Every ad must include one lawyer responsible for content. Must contain name and office addresss. A clear and conspicuous disclaimer may preclude a finding that the statement is false or misleading.


4. Be careful about reference to Clout or connection.


4. Can contain:

a. Info concerning name of lawyer or firm, address and telephone

b. Kinds of services a lawyer provides, including fee and price info.

1. Contingency fees must clearly state the terms and basis of fee.

c. foreign language ability

d. names of references w/ client's consent.

5. Ensuring people know when it's advertising

a. a written copy must be filed with the clerk of the SC and the state bar of AZ

b. must be sent by regular US mail.

c. If a contract is included, must be marked "sample" in red ink and must state "do not sign"

d. BOP is on lawyer regarding factual truthfulness, and upon request, must disclose how she discovered Id and specific legal needs of recipient and how the matter was verified.

e. Can send mail to groups of people likely to need legal services (DUIs). The words "Advertising material" must appear in twice font size of body of communication on outside envelope and appear at the beginning and end of any recorded or electronic communication. Written copy must be sent to State bar.

1. Except: not necessary when recipient is another lawyer or family member, close friend, prior client

6. Must keep a copy or recording of all ads and accurate record of when and where ad was used for 2 years from last dissemination.


Lawyers must not seek employment by means of direct personal contact (including live in-person, telephone, or real-time electronic) OR, employ/compensate another to do so, when a significant motive is lawyer's pecuniary gain.


1. No solicitation can occur when prospective client makes it known that they do not wish to be solicited, or the solicitation involves coercion/harassment.


2. Exceptions

a. Lawyers, Family, Friends

b. Prior Clients

c. Pro bono

3. Federal law prohibits communication with victims of an airplane accident or their families for 45 days.


4. Burden of proof is on the lawyer to show factual truthfulness of communication and must disclose how she discovered identity and need of recipient upon request.


5. If you give in-person, unsolicted advice, do not accept employment resulting from such advice.

Duty of Confidentiality

Cannot disclose anything coming to you from former, current, or prospective client that is hurtful to client from any source.


1. Exceptions

a. may reveal as required by law, final court order, or ethics rules

b. MUST to prevent future crime that may result in death or substantial bodily harm and MAY reveal a client's intention to commit crime and the information necessary to prevent it.  When the mandatory duty to disclose does not apply, a lawyer MAY disclose information related to representation which the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.

d. May disclose info necessary to prevent client from committing a crime or fraud likely to cause substantial financial loss of client is using or has used lawyer's services to commit the crime of fraud, or if necessary to recticy or mitigate the financial loss.

e. May get legal ethics advise to insure lawyer is complying.

Conflicts of Interest


A. In the event of a concurrent conflict (representation will be directly adverse to interests of another client or significant risk that the rep. will be materially limited by lawyers interests or by his responsibilities to another client, former client, or third person), you can only accept the case if 

1. Reasonably believe that you can competently and diligently represent each affected client

2. Not prohibited by law

3. does not involve assertion of a claim by one client against another client in same lawsuit.

4. Each affected client gives informed, written consent


*Must ask if a reasonable and prudent lawyer would accept the case


B. In a lawsuit between current client and former client, you may represent current client in an action against former client if 1) matter is not the same or substantially related matter and that person's interests aren't materially adverse to those of the former client Unless 2) former client gives informed, written consent.

1. Cannot use any confidential information from representation with former client to former client's disadvantage


D. Lawyers cannot represent adverse interests of client or prospective client Unless:

1. Lawyer fully explains risks and alternatives

2. Client agrees in writing.


* Sexual relationships with clients that are not pre-existing the representation is a conflict of interest.

*Can't acquire an interest in subject matter of litigation, can only do so when case is over.

*Cannot lend money to clients other than advancing legal fees and costs.

*Payment of fees or costs by third party does not change obligation to client.

*Can limit the scope of representation but not the scope of malpractice liability unless client has independent legal representation.

*A lawyer is generally prohibited from doing business with clients, unless it is ordinary and fair to client

1. Does not apply to standard commercial transactions for products and services that client generally markets to others.

Representing a corporation or partnership

You represent an entity, not any of the individuals or director's involved.


1. Can be Director of company, but no atty-client privilege in board meetings

2. Duty to report illegal activity up the chain of command to CEO, then board of directors, then may report to outside authority.

Conflict created by other lawyers in the office.

When a lawyer becomes associated with the firm, the firm may not knowingly represent a person in the same or substantially related matter in which that lawyer, or the previous firm, had previously represented a client whose interests are materially adverse to that person and about whom the lawyer had acquired confidential info. and where the info would be used to the former client's disadvantage that is material to the matter. This rule also applies to non lawyers who move firms and have material confidential information.


No lawyer may knowingly represent a client when any of them acting alone would be prohibited from doing so because of conflict of interest

1. In personal interest and non-litigation conflicts, the conflicted lawyer can be screened off and their conflict will not be imputed to the firm.

Inadvertently Sent Document

Must promptly notify sender.

Attorney's Fees

Must be reasonable, but can consider everything in determining whether fee is reasonable. However, upon application by a client, fee contract may be subject to review by court and fee may be established by court.



Contingency fees

Cannot be used in criminal, quasi-criminal, domestic disputes, or where precluded by statute. Must be in writing and state means of calculation. Must deduct expenses from recovery before the contingent fee is calculated. Must advise client of right to have the fee reviewed by the court.

Division of fees amongst non-lawyers /Referral fees/Retainer fees

Fees cannot be divided amongst non-lawyers, except:

a. salaries, retirement plans, bonuses, profit-sharing.

b. Spouses of deceased partners to pay fees earned by deceased parnter

c. Sharing court-awarded fees with a non-profit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment that lawyer in the matter.


Referral fees are permissible if:

a. Total fee is reasonable

b. Client is advised

c. Client doesn't object

Two types of retainer fees

a. Advance on fees (client trust account)

b. Availability retainer (earned immediatly)

Accounts (Separation of Funds)

Every lawyer must have an operating account and a client trust account. The only operating money that can go into a client trust is bank fees.


General rule for trust accounts: Have one, use it, keep records of its use, and don't mix it with other accounts.

a. put in same state as where office is

b. Bank fees can be spent with operating account.

c. Records preserved for 5 years

d. Trust account must be interest bearing, as interest goes to AZ bar foundation.

*Should be transferring client's trust funds regularly when retainers are earned. otherwise this can result in commingling

*If there is a dispute, give undisputed amount to client and undisputed amount earned to operating account, leaving the disputed amount in the trust until it is resolved.

Duty to supervise

Subordinate lawyers are required to follow the rules, but can defend their actions by arguing that they were following instructions from superior that he thought was ok to do.


Supervising lawyers are required to follow the rules and those that report to them. Responsible for actions of subordinate if ordered or ratified conduct, or didn't do anyting when they knew.

Ex Parte Communications/disclosure of adverse authority.


Judge: De minimis or Emergency.

Talking directly to adverse party: NEVER

Adverse authority: A lawyer has a duty to disclose contrary or adverse authority from controlling Jx.


WHen information learned as part of L-C privilege comes into conflict with duty to the tribunal. MUST withdrawal when:


1. Rep. will result in violation of RPC or other law

2. If Physical/Mental ability impairs ability

3. Fired.


May withdraw if:


1. Client has used lawyer's services to perpetuate crime or fraud.

2. Client persists in a course of action that lawyer believes is criminal or fraudulent.

2. Client's objective is repugnant to lawyer

3. Client fails to substantially fulfill an obligation to lawyer.

4. Representation results in an unreasonable financial burden.

5. Other good cause.


Once relationship is terminated, do so in a manner that does not prejudice client (give time to seek new counsel, give file back, unused $).

Special Duties of Prosecutor

1. Proceed only on probable cause

2. Protect D's right to counsel

3. No seeking advantage from unrepresented

4. Must disclose evidence tending to negate guilt

5. Limiting extrajudicial statements of others under prosecutor's control.

Duty to communicate

A lawyer has a duty to communicate a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make an informed decision regarding representation. Lawyer must promptly inform the client of any decision or situation that requires the client to give informed consent, consult with client regarding legal strategies used to bring about client's objectives, keep client informed of status and promptly respond to client's request for information.

Duty of promptness and due diligence

overall duty.

Duty of candor to the court and third parties

A lawyer must not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person. Oppress third parties. Must not engage in conduct involving fraud, dishonesty, deceit, or misrepresentation.


A lawyer is an officer of the court and therefore cannot act in any way that will obstruct justice

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