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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


Maryland Legal Ethics

VI. PUBLIC SERVICE

6.1   Rule 6.1 Pro Bono Public Service

6.1:100   Comparative Analysis of Maryland Rule

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.1
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.1, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.1:101      Model Rule Comparison

Although Maryland Rule 6.1 is substantially shorter than MR 6.1, Maryland Rule 6.1 is essentially a condensed version of the Model Rule. MR 6.1 is entitled," Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service." The Maryland rule drops the word "Voluntary," from its title. However, the language of Maryland Rule 6.1 makes clear that pro bono service is voluntary, not mandatory. There is only one significant difference between the two rules: MR 6.1 states that "[a] lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty (50) hours of pro bono" service. Currently, Maryland Rule 6.1 does not recommend the number of hours a lawyer should dedicate annually to pro bono service. The comment sections to both Maryland Rule 6.1 and MR 6.1 (MD Rule 6.1, cmt.,MR 6.1, cmt.) are substantially similar; however, the comment to MR 6.1 is longer and provides significantly greater detail, concerning how a lawyer may satisfy MR 6.1.

(There have been periodic discussions by the Maryland Rules Committee and the Maryland State Bar Association regarding mandatory pro bono service, mandatory reporting requirements, aspirational hours goals, and "checkbook pro bono"; these topics have been tabled, without action, for future discussion.

6.1:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no counterpart to this Maryland Rule 6.1 the Disciplinary Rules of the Model Code. EC 2-25 states that the "basic responsibility for providing legal services for those unable to pay ultimately rests upon the individual lawyer. . . . Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional work load, should find time to participate in serving the disadvantaged." EC 8-9 states that "[t]he advancement of our legal system is of vital importance in maintaining the rule of law . . . [and] lawyers should encourage, and should aid in making, needed changes and improvements." EC 8-3 states that "[t]hose persons unable to pay for legal services should be provided needed services."

6.1:200   Lawyer's Moral Obligation to Engage in Public Interest Legal Service

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.1
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.1, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 91:6001, ALI-LGL , Wolfram 16.9

This section has not yet been completed.

6.2   Rule 6.2 Accepting Appointments

6.2:100   Comparative Analysis of Maryland Rule

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.2
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.2, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.2:101      Model Rule Comparison

Maryland Rule 6.2 and the comment to it are substantively identical to MR 6.2 and its accompanying comment.

6.2:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no counterpart to Maryland Rule 6.2 in the Disciplinary Rules of the Model Code. EC 2-29 states that when a lawyer is

appointed by a court or requested by bar association to undertake representation of a person unable to obtain counsel, whether for financial or other reasons, he should not seek to be excused from undertaking the representation except for compelling reasons. Compelling reasons do not include such factors as the repugnance of the subject matter of the proceeding, the identity or position of a person involved in the case, the belief of the lawyer that the defendant in a criminal proceeding is guilty, or the belief of the lawyer regarding the merits of the civil case.

EC 2-30 states that "a lawyer should decline employment if the intensity of his personal feelings as distinguished from a community attitude, may impair his effective representation of a prospective client."

6.2:200   Duty to Accept Court Appointments Except for Good Cause

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.2
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.2, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 91:6201, ALI-LGL 26, Wolfram 16.9

This section has not yet been completed.

6.3   Rule 6.3 Membership in Legal Services Organization

6.3:100   Comparative Analysis of Maryland Rule

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.3
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.3, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.3:101      Model Rule Comparison

Maryland Rule 6.3 and MR 6.3 are substantively identical. The comment sections to each rule (MD Rule 6.3, cmt., MR 6.3, cmt.) are also substantively identical.

6.3:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no counterpart to this Rule in the Model Code.

6.3:200   Conflicts of Interest of Lawyers Participating in a Legal Services Organization

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.3
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.3, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 91:6401, ALI-LGL 216, Wolfram 16.7.4

This section has not yet been completed.

6.4   Rule 6.4 Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests

6.4:100   Comparative Analysis of Maryland Rule

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.4
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.4, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.4:101      Model Rule Comparison

Maryland Rule 6.4 and MR 6.4 are substantively identical. The comment sections to each of these rules (MD Rule 6.4, cmt., MR 6.4, cmt.) are also substantively identical.

6.4:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no counterpart to this Rule in the Model Code.

6.4:200   Conflicts of Interest of Lawyers Participating in Law Reform Organizations

Primary Maryland References: MD Rule 6.4
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.4, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA 91:6401, ALI-LGL , Wolfram 13.8

This section has not yet been completed.

6.5   Rule 6.5 Nonprofit and Court-Annexed Limited Legal Service Programs

6.5:100   Comparative Analysis of Maryland Rule

Primary Maryland References:
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.5, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

MR 6.5 was added in February 2002. The Reporter's explanation of the change reads as follows:

Rule 6.5 is a new Rule in response to the Commission's concern that a strict application of the conflict-of-interest rules may be deterring lawyers from serving as volunteers in programs in which clients are provided short-term limited legal services under the auspices of a nonprofit organization or a court-annexed program. The paradigm is the legal-advice hotline or pro se clinic, the purpose of which is to provide short-term limited legal assistance to persons of limited means who otherwise would go unrepresented.

6.5:101      Model Rule Comparison

Maryland has not adopted the new model rule.

6.5:200   Scope of Rule

Primary Maryland References:
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.5, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

Maryland has not adopted the new model rule.

6.5:300   Special Conflict of Interest Rule

Primary Maryland References:
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.5, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

Maryland has not adopted the new model rule.

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