Missouri Supreme Court Rules
Frequently Asked Question
Requesting an Informal Advisory Opinion
Missouri Supreme Court Rules:
Link to Rule 4
- Rule 4-1.6, Confidentiality of Information
- Rule 4-1.8, Conflict of Interest: Prohibited Transactions, and Comment 
- Rule 4-1.15, Trust Accounts and Property of Others
- Rule 4-8.4, Misconduct
Link to Formal Opinions
- Formal Opinion 119, Advancing Funds
- Formal Opinion 125, Agreeing to Indemnify Opposing Party as a Term of Settlement
Informal Opinions: (This list may be non-exhaustive):
Link to Informal Advisory Opinions (You will be redirected to the website of The Missouri Bar where Informal Advisory Opinions are published as issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel. You may search by key word, opinion number, or topical index (rule number)).
- Informal Opinion 20050062 (champerty)
- Informal Opinion 20030022 (loan to attorney to fund litigation expenses)
- Informal Opinion 20000229 (attorney’s duties when client proposes use of litigation loan)
Frequently Asked Question:
- QUESTION: What factors should a lawyer consider when a client is considering securing a loan against the proceeds of litigation?
- ANSWER: A lawyer should not assist a client in an arrangement or transaction involving champerty. A lawyer’s participation in a champertous transaction, including a lawyer’s agreement to disburse settlement or judgment proceeds to the lender, violates Rule 4-8.4(d) as conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. See Informal Opinion 20050062; Informal Opinion 20030022; and 20000229. Rule 4-1.8(e) prohibits a lawyer from providing financial assistance to a client in connection with litigation except under certain circumstances. See Formal Opinion 119 and Formal Opinion 125. In advising a client about the client’s securing of a litigation loan, a lawyer’s duties of competence (Rule 4-1.1) and diligence (Rule 4-1.3) may require the lawyer to advise the client about issues including, but not limited to, the impact of any requirement by the lender that the client disclose confidential information; any need for a confidentiality agreement with the lender; and the lawyer’s obligation pursuant to Rule 4-1.15(e) if lender and client both claim an interest in settlement funds or other proceeds of the litigation. See Informal Opinion 2020-16.
Requesting an Informal Advisory Opinion:
Missouri attorneys may request an informal advisory opinion from the Legal Ethics Counsel. Guidelines for requesting an informal advisory opinion, in writing or by telephone, are at http://molegalethics.org/requesting-an-informal-advisory-opinion/. The Office of Legal Ethics Counsel may be reached by telephone at 573-638-2263.
Updated October 8, 2020