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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


Arkansas Legal Ethics

1.3   Rule 1.3 Diligence

1.3:100   Comparative Analysis of Arkansas Rule

1.3:101      Model Rule Comparison

The Arkansas Rule is the same as the Model Rule.

1.3:102      Model Code Comparison

The comparison accepted by the Arkansas Supreme Court is identical to the comparison in the Model Rules.

1.3:200   Diligence and "Zeal"

Canon 7 of the Model Code required an attorney to represent a client "zealously within the bounds of the law." The requirement of zeal has been down-played in the Model Rules. The only reference is Comment [1] to Rule 1.3 requiring zeal in advocacy. But even then a lawyer is not obligated to press for every advantage for the client.

An attorney not only must act with reasonable diligence in representing a client, but in litigation must expedite matters out of fairness to the court and the adversary process. See AR Rule 3.2.

1.3:300   Promptness

Attorneys may be disciplined for failure to exercise reasonable diligence and promptness. See Colvin v. Comm. on Professional Conduct, 309 Ark. 592, 832 S.W.2d 246 (1992) (attorney suspended for making a conscious decision to ignore a civil lawsuit in order to concentrate on a criminal case). Likewise, an attorney may be professionally disciplined for a single neglectful act or omission. See Clark v. Sup. Ct. Comm. on Professional Conduct, 320 Ark. 597, 898 S.W. 2d 446 (1995) (attorney suspended for six months for ignoring clients' case for two years after motion to dismiss was filed); Walker v. Sup. Ct. Comm. on Prof. Conduct, 275 Ark. 158, 628 S.W.2d 552 (1982) (attorney failed to commence action before the running of the statute of limitations).