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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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

1.3 Rule 1.3 Diligence

1.3:100 Comparative Analysis of Alabama Rule

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.3
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.3, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:
  • Alabama Commentary:

1.3:101   Model Rule Comparison

ARPC 1.3 differs significantly from MRPC Rule 1.3 in that the Alabama rule provides a "willful neglect" standard as opposed to the "reasonable" standard promulgated by the MRPC. Willful neglect does not require an evil motive or bad purpose, yet it means more than simple neglect, mere inadvertence or a technical breach. Nelson v. State, 182 Ala. 449 (1913); State v. Martin, 180 Ala. 458 (1913). Misrepresentation of the status of a matter can constitute willful neglect. Hunt v. Ala. State Bar, 381 So.2d 52, 54 (Ala. 1980). Failure to prepare or file pleadings after agreement to do so can constitute willful neglect. Haynes v. Ala. State Bar, 447 So.2d 675, 677 (Ala. 1984).

1.3:102   Model Code Comparison

Inapplicable

1.3:200 Diligence and "Zeal"

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.3
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.3, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31:401, ALI-LGL § 16, Wolfram § 10.3
  • Alabama Commentary:

Lack of diligence frequently includes failure to communicate, procrastination, poor office management, no case tracking system, no conflicts checking system, no follow up, and an overly heavy workload.

1.3:300 Promptness

  • Primary Alabama References: AL Rule 1.3
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.3, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 31:401, ALI-LGL § 16, Wolfram § 10.3
  • Alabama Commentary:

See Section 1.3:200.