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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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

1.4   Rule 1.4 Communication

1.4:100   Comparative Analysis of Arkansas Rule

1.4:101      Model Rule Comparison

The Arkansas Rule is the same as the Model Rule.

1.4:102      Model Code Comparison

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

1.4:200   Duty to Communicate with Client

The attorney has a duty to keep the client reasonably informed so that the client may properly make decisions concerning the objectives of representation and other matters as set out in AR Rule 1.2(a). The lawyer's failure to keep the client properly informed or to seek the client's informed consent before acting may establish a basis for malpractice liability. E.g., Harvison v. Charles E. Davis & Assoc., 310 Ark. 104, 835 S.W. 2d 284 (1992) (summary judgment for attorneys); Rhoades v. Sims, 286 Ark. 349, 692 S.W.2d 750 (1985) (failure to notify client of hearing). Attorneys may be professionally disciplined for failure to communicate with clients. Mays v. Neal, 327 Ark. 302, 938 S.W. 2d 830 (1997) (attorney never met or spoke to personal injury client by telephone).

The lawyer's duty to inform combines with the lawyer's right and, perhaps obligation, to counsel the client under AR Rule 2.1. However, a litigant has a similar duty to keep himself advised and informed as to the status of his case. See White v. White, 50 Ark. App. 240, 905 S.W.2d 485 (1995).

1.4:300   Duty to Consult with Client

A lawyer may have a duty to inform the client of disciplinary actions taken or pending against the attorney. See 0.2:240. Shibley v. State, 324 Ark. 212, 920 S.W. 2d 10 (1996) (attorney failed to tell client that he was appealing his suspension from the practice of law; no violation of client's right to counsel).

1.4:400   Duty to Inform the Client of Settlement Offers

Arkansas has no case law or authority on this topic.