Informal Opinion Number: 20010039
Reporting Professional Misconduct
QUESTION: Attorney has been retained to represent a client in a legal malpractice action against defendant attorney. The client retained the defendant attorney for representation in an employment discrimination suit. The defendant attorney drafted a complaint for the client to file pro se. The defendant attorney entered into an agreement with the client limiting defendant attorney’s liability to the client for malpractice and the client was not independently represented. The defendant attorney also failed to advise the client that the client should obtain independent representation. Does Attorney have an obligation under Rule 4-8.3(a) to report the defendant attorney’s violation of Rule 4-1.8(h)?
ANSWER: Attorney should report this information, if Attorney’s client consents. This opinion does not indicate a conclusion about whether the defendant attorney committed a violation of the rules. However, the information Attorney has described is information that should be provided to OCDC so a determination regarding whether a violation has occurred can be made.
Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.
To request an Informal Opinion, please visit: https://mo-legal-ethics.org/for lawyers/requesting-an-informal-advisory-opinion/.
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