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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


Alabama Legal Ethics

1.2 Rule 1.2 Scope of Representation

1.2:100 Comparative Analysis of Alabama Rule

1.2:101   Model Rule Comparison

There are no differences between MRPC 1.2 and ARPC 1.2.

1.2:102   Model Code Comparison

1.2:200 Creating the Client-Lawyer Relationship

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.2
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.2, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31:101, ALI-LGL §§ 14-18, Wolfram § 9.2
  • Alabama Commentary:

1.2:210   Formation of Client-Lawyer Relationship

ARPC 1.2 follows the agency law principle that an attorney is an agent of his client for purposes of the representation.

1.2:220   Lawyer's Duties to Prospective Client

See Sections 4.1, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.

1.2:230   When Representation Must Be Declined [see 1.16:200-230]

See Sections 1.16.230 et seq.

1.2:240   Client-Lawyer Agreements

The lawyer may agree to pursue lawful objectives.

1.2:250   Lawyer's Duties to Client in General

Under ARCP 1.2, the lawyer must not waive substantial client rights without client consent.

1.2:260   Client's Duties to Lawyer

A client has a duty to reasonably cooperate with his attorney, to abide by a properly agreed to contract, and to pay as agreed for legal services.

1.2:270   Termination of Lawyer's Authority

The client may terminate his lawyer's authority to represent him, but the lawyer may have a lien for services rendered.

1.2:300 Authority to Make Decisions or Act for Client

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.2(a)
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.2(a), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31.301, ALI-LGL §§ 21-23, 25-29, Wolfram §§ 4.4, 4.6
  • Alabama Commentary:

1.2:310   Allocating Authority to Decide Between Client and Lawyer

The lawyer should make legal tactical decisions while the client should make decisions regarding expense and legal objectives to be pursued.

1.2:320   Authority Reserved to Client

Decision on offers of settlement in civil cases are reserved to the client. In criminal cases, decisions such as plea bargains and whether the client will testify on his behalf are reserved to the client. A lawyer must abide by a client's decision to enter into a confidential settlement even if that agreement has potential to harm third parties or the public. (RO-92-17).

1.2:330   Authority Reserved to Lawyer

1.2:340   Lawyer's Authority to Act for Client

1.2:350   Lawyer's Knowledge Attributed to Client

1.2:360   Lawyer's Act or Advice as Mitigating or Avoiding Client Responsibility

1.2:370   Appearance Before a Tribunal

1.2:380   Authority of Government Lawyer

1.2:400 Lawyer's Moral Autonomy

An attorney is independent from the views of his client.

1.2:500 Limiting the Scope of Representation

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.2(c)
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.2(c), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31:301, ALI-LGL § 19, Wolfram § 5.6.7
  • Alabama Commentary:

1.2:510   Waiver of Client or Lawyer Duties (Limited Representation)

A lawyer may limit the objectives of the representation if the client consents after consultation.

1.2:600 Prohibited Assistance

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.2(d)
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.2(d), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31:301, ALI-LGL § 94, Wolfram § 13.3
  • Alabama Commentary:

1.2:610   Counseling Illegal Conduct

A lawyer may not advise his client to engage in illegal or fraudulent conduct but may discuss the legal consequences of such proposed conduct. RO-90-97.

1.2:620   Assisting Client Fraud

See 1.2:610.

1.2:630   Counseling About Indeterminate or Uncertain Law

A lawyer may counsel a client that a legal requirement might be disobeyed in a good faith effort to establish or test its validity.

1.2:700 Warning Client of Limitations on Representation

1.2:800 Identifying to Whom a Lawyer Owes Duties

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.2
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.2, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31:101, ALI-LGL §§ 50, 51, 96, 156A, Wolfram § 7.2
  • Alabama Commentary:

1.2:810   Prospective Clients [see 1.2:220]

1.2:820   Persons Paying for Representation of Another [see 1.7:400]

1.2:830   Representing an Entity [see also 1.13:200]

1.2:840   Representing a Fiduciary [see also 1.13:520]

1.2:850   Class Action Clients