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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.

Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct

Comment - 5.6

[1] An agreement restricting the right of lawyers to practice after leaving a firm not only limits their professional autonomy but also limits the freedom of clients to choose a lawyer. Division (a) prohibits such agreements except for restrictions incident to provisions concerning retirement benefits for service with the firm.

[2] Division (b) prohibits a lawyer from agreeing not to represent other persons in connection with settling a claim or controversy.

[3] This rule does not apply to prohibit restrictions that may be included in the terms of the sale of a law practice pursuant to Rule 1.17.

Comparison to former Ohio Code of Professional Responsibility

Rule 5.6 is analogous to DR 2-108.

Rule 5.6(a) tracks DR 2-108(A) by prohibiting restrictive agreements, except in conjunction with payment of retirement benefits. Unlike DR 2-108(A), however, Rule 5.6(a) does not reference an exception in conjunction with a sale of a law practice, as that situation is addressed separately in Rule 1.17.

Rule 5.6(b) is substantially similar to DR 2-108(B), except that Rule 5.6(b) prohibits restrictive agreements in connection with settling “a claim or controversy.” DR 2-108(B) uses the phrase “controversy or suit.”

Comparison to ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

Rule 5.6(b) is modified to track current Ohio prohibitions relative to restrictive agreements. Specifically, Model Rule 5.6(b) prohibits restrictive agreements only in conjunction with the settlement of a “client controversy.” The Ohio version of Rule 5.6(b) does not limit the prohibition in conjunction with settling a claim on behalf of a client but, instead, prohibits restrictive agreements in conjunction with any “claim or controversy.”