March 07, 2019 Top Story

ABA Provides Ethics Advice for Disaster Preparedness

Without planning, lawyers may violate ethical rules when a disaster strikes

By Geoff A. Gannaway

A new resource helps lawyers satisfy their ethical obligation to prepare for the impacts of natural disasters on their law practice.

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The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility’s Formal Opinion 482 clarifies the application of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct to an attorney’s actions both before and after events like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. ABA Section of Litigation leaders say that the opinion for the first time provides attorneys a checklist of practical steps they can take to avoid running afoul of their professional responsibilities when catastrophe strikes.

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