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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


Michigan Legal Ethics

1.14   Rule 1.14 Client Under a Disability

1.14:100   Comparative Analysis of MI Rule

¥ Primary Michigan References: MI Rule 1.14
¥ Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14, Other Jurisdictions
¥ Commentary:

1.14:101      Model Rule Comparison

This Michigan Rule is substantially identical to the Model Rule.

1.14:102      Model Code Comparison

[The discussion of this topic has not yet been written.]

1.14:200   Problems in Representing a Partially or Severely Disabled Client

¥ Primary Michigan References: MI Rule 1.14
¥ Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14, Other Jurisdictions
¥ Commentary: ABA/BNA ¤ 31:601, ALI-LGL ¤ 24, Wolfram ¤ 4.4
¥ MI Commentary: Dubin and Schwartz MRPC 1.14

According to the Comment to this rule, the fact that a client suffers disability does not diminish the lawyerÕs obligation to treat the client with attention and respect. If the person has no guardian or legal representative, the lawyer often must act de facto as guardian. Even if the person does have a legal representative, the lawyer should, as far as possible, accord the represented person the status of client, particularly in maintaining communication.

1.14:300   Maintaining Client-Lawyer Relationship with Disabled Client

¥ Primary Michigan References: MI Rule 1.14(a)
¥ Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14(a), Other Jurisdictions
¥ Commentary: ABA/BNA ¤ 31:601, ALI-LGL ¤ 24, Wolfram ¤ 4.4
¥ MI Commentary: Dubin and Schwartz MRPC 1.14

See discussion under 1.14:200 above.

1.14:400   Appointment of Guardian or Other Protective Action

¥ Primary Michigan References: MI Rule 1.14(b)
¥ Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.14(b), Other Jurisdictions
¥ Commentary: ABA/BNA ¤ 31:601, ALI-LGL ¤ 24, Wolfram ¤ 4.4
¥ MI Commentary: Dubin and Schwartz MRPC 1.14

In RI-140, the Ethics Committee was faced with a situation where the natural mother of a minor child had instructed the lawyer not to pursue the childÕs malpractice claim even though the lawyer believed it to be in the childÕs best interest. The opinion holds that a lawyer representing a child in such circumstances should seek a guardian ad litem for the child.

If a lawyer believes that the client is unable to make decisions regarding representation or is incompetent, the lawyer should seek corroborating reports from professionals or procure the appointment of a guardian or conservator. RI-51. See, also, RI-76 where the Ethics Committee held that a lawyer could petition the probate court to become the representative of a person whom the lawyer believed was irrationally refusing a settlement offer.