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    Formal Ethics Opinion 06-444 (downloadable pdf)

    Formal Ethics Opinion 06-444 (downloadable pdf)

    Formal Ethics Opinion 06-444 (downloadable pdf)

    Permissibility of Restrictive Covenants in Lawyer Agreements Concerning Benefits Upon Retirement (September 13, 2006)
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    Under ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6(a), a lawyer may participate in offering or making a partnership, shareholder, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship only if the agreement concerns benefits upon retirement. To be considered an agreement concerning retirement benefits under the Rule, however, the provision must affect benefits that are available only to a lawyer who is in fact retiring from the practice of law, and cannot impose a forfeiture of income already earned by the lawyer. Beyond that, law firms and employers have significant latitude in shaping the nature and scope of the restrictions on practice and the penalties for noncompliance.

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    9/1/2006 12:00:00 AM

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