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.