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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.

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Ohio Legal Ethics Narrative

VI. PUBLIC SERVICE

6.4 RULE 6.4 LAW REFORM ACTIVITIES AFFECTING CLIENT INTERESTS

IN ITS NOVEMBER 2004 REPORT, THE TASK FORCE ON ADOPTION OF SOME FORM OF THE ABA MODEL RULES RECOMMENDED THAT OHIO NOT ADOPT MR 6.4, BECAUSE "THE SUBSTANCE OF MODEL RULE 6.4 IS ADDRESSED BY OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE OHIO RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT THAT ADDRESS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST."

6.4:100 Comparative Analysis of Ohio Rule

6.4:101 Model Rule Comparison

The correlation table to the ABA Model Rules identifies the following sections of the ABA Model Code as related to MR 6.4: EC 2-33, DR 5-101(A), DR 8-101. EC 2-33 is numbered EC 2-32 in Ohio. While OH DR 5-101(A) differs from its Model Code counterpart, those differences are not relevant here. The Ohio and Model Code version of DR 8-101 is identical.

The ABA Model Rules provide the following comparison: "There [is] no counterpart to this Rule in the [OHCPR]."

6.4:102 Model Code Comparison

The correlation table to the ABA Model Rules identifies the following sections of the ABA Model Code as related to MR 6.4: EC 2-33, DR 5-101(A), DR 8-101. EC 2-33 is numbered EC 2-32 in Ohio. While OH DR 5-101(A) differs from its Model Code counterpart, that difference is not relevant here. The Ohio and Model Code version of DR 8-101 is identical.

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

  • Primary Ohio References: None
  • Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.4
  • Ohio Commentary:
  • Commentary: ABA/BNA § 91:6401, ALI-LGL § , Wolfram § 13.8

With respect to MR 6.4, there are no analogous Ohio authorities, either in the OHCPR or elsewhere, so far as we are aware.

Much like the first sentence of MR 6.3 with respect to legal services organizations, the first sentence of MR 6.4 authorizes lawyers to serve as directors, officers, or members of organizations involves in law reform, even though the reform "may affect" the interests of a client of a lawyer. In contrast to the remainder of MR 6.3, however, the only duty imposed by the second sentence of MR 6.4 is that when the lawyer knows the interests of a client may be materially benefited by a reform decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer must disclose the fact but need not identify the client. This serves to alert the organization that the lawyer's position on an issue may not solely reflect the lawyer's personal opinion, but may be colored by a client's interest as well. If the activity "may affect" a client of the lawyer adversel! y, this is not a problem, unless the conduct runs afoul of the structures of MR 1.7. See MR 6.4 cmt [1].