Formal Ethics Opinion 98-410 (downloadable pdf)

    Formal Ethics Opinion 98-410 (downloadable pdf)

    Formal Ethics Opinion 98-410 (downloadable pdf)

    Lawyer Serving as Director of Client Corporation The Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not prohibit a lawyer from serving as a director of a corporation while simultaneously serving as its legal counsel, but there are ethical concerns that a lawyer occupying the dual role of director and legal counsel should consider.

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    The lawyer should reasonably assure at the outset of the dual relationship that management and the other board members understand the different responsibilities of legal counsel and director; understand that in some circumstances matters discussed at board meetings with the lawyer in her role as director will not receive the protection of the attorney-client privilege; and understand that conflicts of interest could arise requiring the lawyer to recuse herself as a director or to decline representation of the corporation in a matter. During the dual relationship, the lawyer should exercise reasonable care to protect the corporation's confidential information and to confront and resolve conflicts of interest that arise. From the discussion of these ethical concerns, the Committee derives general guidelines that a lawyer should follow.

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    Center For Professional Responsibility

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    5611100410

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