Search Ethics Opinions
Search below by keyword, phrase or year for Formal Ethics Opinions issued from 1985 to the present. Most opinions older than 1995 are available as Adobe Acrobat .pdf Files. Reading these files requires the Adobe Reader. Refer to Adobe PDF file viewing help for more information.
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Summaries of Recent Opinions
13-02: Client Files; Withholding Documents
In the extreme circumstances in which a lawyer is reasonably concerned that by providing a tangible copy of certain documents to an incarcerated client, the safety of the client or a third person may be jeopardized, the lawyer may ethically retain the documents and refuse to allow the incarcerated client to possess the documents during the representation. The lawyer must still fully inform the client as to the contents of the documents, discuss information contained in the documents with the client, and explain the lawyer’s rationale for wanting to retain possession of the documents. If the client cannot be persuaded to allow the lawyer to retain physical possession of the documents, the lawyer may ethically retain possession of the documents to protect the client’s safety or the safety of a third person, over the client’s objection.
13-01: Internet Marketing Vouchers or Coupons
Whether an Internet marketing voucher or coupon sold by a lawyer for legal representation is consistent with the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct will depend on the terms and conditions of the voucher or coupon sold as well as the other facts and circumstances. Absent specific terms and conditions, however, it is unlikely that an Arizona lawyer can ethically use Internet marketing voucher- or coupon-based legal services due to a panoply of ethical concerns arising under Ethical Rules (ERs) 1.1, 1.2, 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 1.15, 1.16, 1.18, 5.4, 7.1, and 7.2.
12-01: Of Counsel Letterhead
A law firm may list, on firm letterhead and in other communications, lawyers who are not employed by the firm but are “of counsel” to the firm. To avoid being misleading, however, the firm letterhead and other communications must conspicuously identify the “of counsel” lawyers’ status as well as any other limitations on their relationship with the law firm.