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    Formal Ethics Opinion 96-403

    Formal Ethics Opinion 96-403

    Formal Ethics Opinion 96-403

    A lawyer hired by an insurer to represent an insured may represent the insured alone or, with appropriate disclosure and consultation, he may represent both the insurer and the insured with respect to all or some aspects of the matter. So long as the insured is a client, however, the Rules of Professional Conduct -- and not the insurance contract -- govern the lawyer's obligations to the insured.

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    Obligations of a Lawyer Representing an Insured Who Objects to a Proposed Settlement within Policy Limits August 2, 1996 A lawyer hired to defend an insured pursuant to an insurance policy that authorizes the insurer to control the defense and to settle within policy limits in its sole discretion must communicate the limitations on his representation of the insured to the insured, preferably early in the representation. After the lawyer has communicated the necessary information to the insured, the lawyer may settle at the direction of the insurer. If a lawyer for an insured knows that the insured objects to a settlement, the lawyer may not settle the claim against the insured at the direction of the insurer, without giving the insured an opportunity to reject the defense offered by the insurer and to assume responsibility for his own defense at his own expense.

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    Publication Date

    8/1/1996 12:00:00 AM

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