Monday, February 25, 2013

New ISBA opinions

In its January meeting, the Illinois State Bar Association's Board of Governors approved three ethics opinions addressing probate fees, conflicts of interest in representing partnerships, and Unauthorized practice of law.

Opinion No. 13-01: Fees and Expenses; Court Obligations
It is not ethically permissible for a lawyer for a representative of a decedent's estate to enter into a fee agreement, or to collect a fee, for an amount in excess of the amount of fees allowed by a probate court as reasonable.

Opinion No. 13-02: Arbitration and Mediation; Conflict of Interest; and Multiple Representation
A lawyer ordinarily represents a partnership as an entity for conflicts of interest purposes. Where a lawyer has represented a partnership and all individual partners in various matters in a common representation, and one partner subsequently files an arbitration matter against another partner, whether the lawyer may represent the defending partner with informed consent will depend on the circumstances. Similarly, whether the lawyer can continue to represent the partnership or any of the partners in other matters with informed consent will depend on the circumstances.

Opinion No. 13-03: Arbitration and Mediation; and Unauthorized Practice of Law
A nonlawyer’s representation of parties to a FINRA arbitration generally constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

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