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What are the ethical duties of an attorney?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2020 | Business Law |

If you hire an attorney in Ohio, then that person must have a professional license from the state bar association.

The Ohio State Bar Association explains that ethical duties are part of the agreement an attorney makes when getting a professional license. The OSBA outlines these duties in the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.

Duties pertaining to fees

An attorney cannot charge you excessive fees or accept any type of illegal payment. Reasonable fees depend on factors such as the average charges in your geographic location, the experience of the attorney and the difficulty of your case. Illegal payment is something such as stolen goods.

Your attorney also must keep any fund he or she holds for you in a separate bank account. He or she must also keep detailed records of the transaction and release them to you when the law requires.

Duties pertaining to representation

Your attorney must maintain confidentiality at all times, including after your death. An attorney must provide you with competent representation, which means working to his or her best abilities without violating any rules or laws. He or she must get assistance with your case when needed and cannot accept your case if it is an area in which he or she is not familiar. Attorneys also cannot accept cases that involve or impact their own interests.

Ethical rules also forbid attorneys from conduct that involves moral turpitude, fraud, deceit, dishonesty and misrepresentation. Not only does this include criminal activity but also his or her actions while working on your case and outside of professional situations.