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January 3, 2017 — Columbus, OH  |  Download PDF  |  Media Contact: Antionette Goff

Four new opinions from the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct were announced on December 20, 2016. Opinion 2016-10 discusses that under Ohio Rule of Professional Conduct 1.18, a lawyer owes a duty of confidentiality to a prospective client regarding information learned in a preliminary conference and a lawyer may not reveal information learned in a consultation unless the prospective client gives informed consent.  Click to read Opinion 2016-10.

Opinion 2016-11 indicates that lawyers who practice in association with each other, but not in a partnership, of counsel, or other permissible legal arrangement are not considered lawyers “in the same firm” for the division of fees under Ohio Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(e).  Read Opinion 2016-11.

Opinion 2016-12 considers conflicts of interest when a lawyer seeking to represent a criminal defendant is married to an officer employed by the arresting or investigating agency and outlines how the conflict may be addressed. Click to read Opinion 2016- 12.

The Board also issued Opinion 2016-9 which says that an out-of-state lawyer who is admitted and in good standing in another United States jurisdiction, and also admitted or authorized by law to  appear before a federal court or agency in Ohio, may maintain an office in Ohio.  Further, the letterhead of a lawyer not licensed to practice in Ohio, engaged in federal practice, who maintains an office or other systematic and continuous presence in Ohio, may indicate “Attorney at Law” on her/his letterhead, but must identify the federal courts or agencies where the lawyer is admitted or permitted to appear and include an appropriate disclaimer regarding her/his jurisdictional limitations.  Read Opinion 2016-9.