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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


New Mexico Legal Ethics

VI. PUBLIC SERVICE

6.1 Rule 6.1 Pro Bono Public Service

6.1:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“The legal profession has a responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay.  In fulfilling this responsibility, a lawyer should aspire to:

A.        provide legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:

            (1)        persons of limited means; or

            (2)        charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and education organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; or

B.        provide legal services at:

            (1)        a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or

            (2)        no fee or a substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate; or

C.        participate in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession; or

D.        contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means or promote improvement of the law, the legal system or the legal profession.”

 

6.1:101   Model Rule Comparison

While MR 6.1 states “every lawyer” has a professional responsibility to provide legal services for those unable to pay, NMR 16-601 places the duty on “the legal profession.”  Also, MR 6.1 states “a lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.”  In New Mexico a similar aspiration is stated in Rule 24-108 NMRA, which sets forth minimum pro bono goals and reporting requirements.  Also, the New Mexico Rule contains the provision found in the Model Rule that a lawyer should voluntarily “contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means,” but New Mexico adds “or promote improvement of the law, the legal system or the legal profession.”  Similarly, the Commentary in New Mexico adds that “the aspirational standard of Rule 16-601 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct can be met in a variety of other ways as set forth in Paragraphs B, C, and D of the Rule.”

The New Mexico Commentary omits the statement in the ABA Comment that “because the provision of pro bono services is a professional responsibility, it is the individual ethical commitment of each lawyer.”

6.1:102   Model Code Comparison

 

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

 

6.2 Rule 6.2 Accepting Appointments

6.2:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:

A.        representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;

B.        representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or

C.        the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer’s ability to represent the client.”

 

6.2:101   Model Rule Comparison

NMR 16-602 tracks MR 6.2; there are no material differences.  The same is true of the corresponding Commentary.

6.2:102   Model Code Comparison

 

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

 

6.3 Rule 6.3 Membership in Legal Services Organization

6.3:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, notwithstanding that the organization serves persons having interests adverse to a client of the lawyer.  The lawyer shall not knowingly participate in a decision or action of the organization:

A.        if participating in the decision or action would be incompatible with the lawyer’s obligations to a client under Rule 16-107 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct; or

B.        where the decision or action could have a material adverse effect on the representation of a client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.”

 

6.3:101   Model Rule Comparison

 

6.3:102   Model Code Comparison

 

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

 

6.4 Rule 6.4 Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests

6.4:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer.  When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefitted by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the client.”

6.4:101   Model Rule Comparison

NMR 16-604 is identical to MR 6.4.  The Comments are substantially the same as well.

6.4:102   Model Code Comparison

 

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

 

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

6.5:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A.      A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:

            (1)        is subject to Rule 16-107 NMRA and Paragraph A of Rule 16-109 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; or

            (2)        is subject to Rule 16-110 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 16-107 NMRA or Paragraph A of Rule 16-109 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to the matter.

B.        Except as provided in Subparagraph (2) of Paragraph A, Rule 16-110 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule.”

 

6.5:101   Model Rule Comparison

No material differences exist between NMR 16-605 and Comment and MR 6.5 and Comment.  NMR 16-605 is new pursuant to the 2008 amendments.

6.5:200 Scope of Rule

6.5:300 Special Conflict of Interest Rule