Ethics Advisory Service and Opinions
As a Louisiana licensed lawyer, have you ever been faced with an ethical dilemma and you weren't sure what to do? The Ethics Counsel and the Advisory Service Committee might have the answer you're seeking.
Established for just that purpose, the Ethics Advisory Service Committee comprised of attorneys across the state along with Ethics Counsel provide confidential non-binding ethics opinions to Louisiana licensed attorneys.
To access this service you only need to put your question in writing and fax or email to the attention of Ethics Counsel at fax: (504)598-6753 or e-mail to Eric Barefield
. For simple inquires contact Ethics Counsel by phone at 504-619-0122 or 1-800-421-5722.
There is generally a turn-around time of approximately five to ten working days on advisory opinions, possibly a little longer or shorter depending upon the complexity and/or novelty of the issue(s) involved and number of requests from other members being handled at the time. Please note, the committee and Ethics Counsel are authorized to respond only to prospective ethical behavior of the attorney requesting the opinion and cannot respond to third party queries.
The Ethics Advisory Service is not authorized or permitted to answer questions from the general public regarding the conduct of Louisiana attorneys. It does not offer or provide legal advice or give legal opinions. The Ethics Advisory Service does not accept, investigate or prosecute complaints regarding attorney misconduct nor does it provide evaluations of whether or not a Louisiana attorney may have committed misconduct. Complaints of attorney misconduct or questions regarding the complaint process should be directed to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel at 1-800-326-8022 or ladb.org.
The Ethics Advisory Service does NOT answer HYPOTHETICAL questions, its goal is to assist Louisiana lawyers by providing non-binding confidential opinions regarding a member's own prospective conduct.
Public Ethics Advisory Opinions
Review opinions that have been prepared by the Publications Subcommittee of the Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct Committee. The issues and topics covered within these opinions originate from actual requests for ethics advisory opinions submitted to the Ethics Advisory Service by lawyer members of the Association. In selecting topics and issues for publication, the Publications Subcommittee has reviewed opinions referred to it by Ethics Counsel and/or panel members of the Ethics Advisory Service for purposes of determining whether the opinions submitted address issues of interest, importance and/or significance to the general bar and which are not highly fact-sensitive. The Publications Subcommittee has made every effort to promote and maintain confidentiality of the parties involved in the original requests.
These public opinions have been prepared by the Publications Subcommittee of the Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct Committee. The issues and topics covered within these opinions originate from actual requests for ethics advisory opinions submitted to the Ethics Advisory Service by lawyer members of the Association.
In selecting topics and issues for publication, the Publications Subcommittee has reviewed opinions referred to it by Ethics Counsel and/or panel members of the Ethics Advisory Service for purposes of determining whether the opinions submitted address issues of interest, importance and/or significance to the general bar and which are not highly fact-sensitive. The Publications Subcommittee has made every effort to promote and maintain confidentiality of the parties involved in the original requests.
Published Opinions 12-LSBA-RPCC-019 PUBLIC Opinion (11/29/2012)
Accepting Credit Cards for Payment of Fees and Costs
Rules 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and, and 1.15
12-LSBA-RPCC-018 PUBLIC Opinion (1/30/2012)
Sharing Legal Fees with Suspended or Disbarred Lawyers
Rules 1.5, 1.15(d) and (e), and 5.5(e)(1) and (e)(4)
08-LSBA-RPCC-017 PUBLIC Opinion (6/30/2008)
Sharing Office Space with Non-Lawyers
Rule 1.6, Rule 1.8(a), Rule 5.3, Rule 5.4, Rule 5.5(a), Rule 5.5(e)(3), Rule 7.2, Rule 7.3(a)
08-LSBA-RPCC-016 PUBLIC Opinion (2/29/2008)
Conflict of Interest: Simultaneous Representation of Driver and Guest-Passenger
Rule 1.7, Rule 1.9
07-LSBA-RPCC-015 PUBLIC Opinion (12/20/2007)
Gifts to Clients
Rule 7.1(c). Rule 7.2, Rule 7.3(a)
07-LSBA-RPCC-014 PUBLIC Opinion (10/12/2007)
Permissible Communications with Persons Already Represented by Counsel
07-LSBA-RPCC-013 PUBLIC Opinion (8/9/2007)
Sharing Office Space Without Sharing Liabilities and Conflicts Rule 1.10, Rule 1.5(e), Rule 7.5(d)
Rule 1.10, Rule 1.5(e), Rule 7.5(d)
07-LSBA-RPCC-012 PUBLIC Opinion (4/3/2007)
Identification of a Law Practice - Fictitious or Trade Names; Multiple Business Identities
Rule 7.1, Rule 7.4, Rule 7.5
07-LSBA-RPCC-011 PUBLIC Opinion (2/15/2007)
Conflicts of Interest and the Part-time Prosecutor
Rule 1.7(a), Rule 1.11(d)
06-LSBA-RPCC-010 PUBLIC Opinion (6/1/2006)
Lawyer’s Duty to Report Professional Misconduct of Another Lawyer
06-LSBA-RPCC-009 PUBLIC Opinion (3/1/2006)
Funds or Property of Missing Client
Rule 1.15, Rule 1.0(h), Rule 1.3
06-LSBA-RPCC-008 PUBLIC Opinion (1/4/2006)
Client File Retention
05-LSBA-RPCC-007 PUBLIC Opinion (11/21/2005)
Lawyer as a Witness
Rule 3.7, Rule 1.7, Rule 1.9, Rule 1.4(a)(5)
05-LSBA-RPCC-006 PUBLIC Opinion (10/13/2005)
Client Confidentiality vs. Subpoena/Court Order to Testify
05-LSBA-RPCC-005 PUBLIC Opinion (9/27/2005)
Lawyer Providing “Hotline” Advice in the Wake of a Natural Disaster
Rule 1.1, Rule 4.2, Rule 6.5, Rule 7.1, Rule 7.3
05-LSBA-RPCC-004 PUBLIC Opinion (4/4/2005)
Safekeeping the Property of Clients and Third Parties
Rule 1.15(d), Rule 1.15(e)
05-LSBA-RPCC-003 PUBLIC Opinion (4/4/2005)
Surrender of Client File Upon Termination of Representation
Rule 1.16(d), Rule 1.4
05-LSBA-RPCC-002 PUBLIC Opinion (4/4/2005)
Contingency Fees in Domestic Relations Cases
05-LSBA-RPCC-001 PUBLIC Opinion (4/4/2005)
Lawyer Retirement – Ethical Requirements to Client
Rule 1.16(d), Rule 1.15, Rule 1.6
The comments and opinions of the Committee—public or private—are not binding on any person or tribunal, including—but not limited to—the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board. Public opinions are those which the Committee has published—specifically designated thereon as “PUBLIC”—and may be cited. Private opinions are those that have not been published by the Committee—specifically designated thereon as “NOT FOR PUBLICATION”—and are intended to be advice for the originally-inquiring lawyer only and are not intended to be made available for public use or for citation. Neither the LSBA, the members of the Committee or its Ethics Counsel assume any legal liability or responsibility for the advice and opinions expressed in this process.
Recommended format for citation of PUBLIC opinions: e.g., “LSBA-RPCC PUBLIC Opinion 05-RPCC-001 (04/04/2005)”.
Questions, comments or suggestions regarding the opinions, the publication process or the Ethics Advisory Service may be directed to Eric Barefield
, Ethics Counsel, Louisiana State Bar Association, 601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130; direct dial: (504) 619-0122; fax: (504) 598-6753.