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The obligation to represent the client with undivided Adelity and not to divulge his secrets or confidences forbids also the subsequent acceptance of retainers or employment from others in matters adversely affecting any interests of the client with respect to which confidence has been reported.
7. Professional Colleagues and Conflicts of Opinion.-A client's proffer of assistance of additional counsel should not be regarded as evidence of want of confidence, but the matter should be left to the determination of the client. A lawyer should decline associa. tion as colleague if it is objectionable to the original counsel, but if the lawyer first retained is relieved, another may come into the case.
When lawyers jointly associated in a cause cannot agree as to any matter vital to the interest of the client, the conflict of opinion should be frankly stated to him for his final determination. His decision should be accepted unless the nature of the difference makes it impracticable for the lawyer whose judgment has been overruled to cooperate effectively. In this event it is his duty to ask the client to relieve him.
Efforts, direct or indirect, in any way to encroach upon the business of another lawyer, are unworthy of those who should be brethren at the Bar; but nevertheless, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper advice to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel, generally after communication with the lawyer of whom the complaint is made.
8. Advising upon the Merits of a Client's Cause.—A lawyer should endeavor to obtain full knowledge of his client's cause before advising thereon, and he is bound to give a candid opinion of the merits and probable result of pending or contemplated litigation, The miscarriages to which justice is subject, by reason of surprises and disappointments in evidence and witnesses, and through mistakes of juries and errors of Courts, even thougó only occasional, ad. monish lawyers to beware of bold and confident assurances to clients, especially where the employment may depend upon such
Whenever the controversy will admit of fair adjustment, the client should be advised to avoid or to end the litigation.
9. Negotiations with Opposite Party.- A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by counsel; much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but should deal only with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not represented by counsel, and he should not undertake to advise him as to the law.
10. Acquiring Interest in Litigation.-The lawyer should not purchase any interest in the subject matter of the litigation which he is conducting.
11. Dealing with Trust Property-Money of the client or other trust property coming into the possession of the lawyer should be reported promptly, and except with the client's knowledge and congent should not be commingled with his private property or be used by him.
12. Fixing the Amount of the Fee.-In ixing fees, lawyers should avoid charges which overestimate their advice and services, as well as those which undervalue them. A client's ability to pay cannot justify a charge in excess of the value of the service, though his poverty may require a less charge, or even none at all. The reasonable requests of brother lawyers, and of their widows and orphans without ample means, should receive special and kindly consideration.
In determining the amount of the fee, it is proper to consider: (1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill requisite properly to conduct the cause; (2) whether the acceptance of employment in the particular case will preclude the lawyer's appearance for others in cases likely to arise out of the transaction, and in which there is a reasonable expectation that otherwise he would be employed, or will involve the loss of other business while employed in the particular case or antagonisms with other clients; (3) the customary charges of the Bar for similar services; (4) the amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the services; (5) the contingency or the certainty of the compensation; and (6) the character of the employment, whether casual or for an established and constant client. No one of these considerations in itself is controlling. They are mere guides in ascertaining the real value of the service.
In fixing fees it should never be forgotten that the profession is a branch of the administration of justice and not a mere moneygetting trade.
13. Contingent Fees.-Contingent fees, where sanctioned by law, should be under the supervision of the Court, in order that clients may be protected from unjust charges.
14. Suing a Client for a Fee.-Controversies with clients concerning compensation are to be avoided by the lawyer so far as shall be compatible with his self-respect and with his right to receive reasonable recompense for his services; and lawsuits with clients should be resorted to only to prevent injustice, imposition or fraud.
15. How Far a Lawyer May Go In Supporting a Client's Cause.Nothing operates more certainly to create or to foster popular prejudice against lawyers as a class, and to deprive the profession of that full measure of public esteem and confidence which belongs to the proper discharge of its duties, than does the false claim, often set up by the unscrupulous in defense of questionable transactions, that it is the duty of the lawyer to do whatever may enable him to succeed in winning his client's cause.
It is improper for a lawyer to assert in argument his personal belief in his client's innocence or in the justice of his cause.
The lawyer owes "entire devotion to the interest of the client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability," to the end that nothing be taken or be withheld from him, save by the rules of law, legally applied. No fear of judicial disfavor or public unpopularity should restrain him from the full discharge of his duty. In the judicial forum the client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land, and he may expect his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. But it is steadfastly to be borne in mind that the great trust of the lawyer is to be performed within and not without the bounds of the law. The office of attorney does not permit, much less does it de mand of him for any client, violation of law or any manner of fraud or chicane. He must obey his own conscience and not that of his client.
16. Restraining Clients from Improprieties.—A lawyer should use his best efforts to restrain and to prevent his clients from doing those things which the lawyer himself ought not to do, particularly with reference to their conduct towards Courts, judicial officers, jurors, witnesses and suitors. If a client persists in such wrongdoing the lawyer should terminate their relation.
17. IIl-Feeling and Personalities Between Advocates.-Clients, not lawyers, are the litigants. Whatever may be the ill-feeling existing between clients, it should not be allowed to influence counsel in their conduct and demeanor toward each other or toward suitors in the case. All personalities between counsel should be scrupulously avoided. In the trial of a cause it is indecent to allude to the personal history or the personal peculiarities and Idiosyncrasies of counsel on the other side. Personal colloquies between counsel which cause delay and promote unseemly wrangling should also be carefully avoided.
18. Treatment of Witnesses and Litigants.-A lawyer should always treat adverse witnesses and suitors with fairness and due consideration, and he should never minister to the malevolence or prejudices of a client in the trial or conduct of a cause. The client cannot be made the keeper of the lawyer's conscience in professional matters. He has no right to demand that his counsel shall abuse the opposite party or indulge in offensive personalities. Improper speech is not excusable on the ground that it is what the client would say it speaking in his own behalf.
19. Appearance of Lawyer as Witness for His Client.-When a lawyer is witness for his client, except as to merely formal matters, such as the attestation or custody of an instrument and the
like, he should leave the trial of the case to other counsel. Except when essential to the ends of justice, a lawyer should avoid testify. ing in Court in behalf of his client.
20. Newspaper Discussion of Pending Litigation Newspaper publications by a lawyer as to pending or anticipated litigation may interfere with a fair trial in the Courts and otherwise prejudice the due administration of justice. Generally they are to be condemned. If the extreme circumstances of a particular case justify a statement to the public, it is unprofessional to make it anony. mously. An ex parte reference to the facts should not go beyond quotation from the records and papers on file in the Court; but even in extreme cases it is better to avoid any ex parte statement.
21. Punctuality and Expedition. It is the duty of the lawyer not only to his client, but also to the courts and to the public, to be punctual in attendance, and to be concise and direct in the trial and disposition of causes.
22. Candor and Fairness.-The conduct of the lawyer before the Court and with other lawyers should be characterized by candor and fairness.
It is not candid or fair for the lawyer knowingly to misquote the contents of a paper, the testimony of a witness, the language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the language of a decision or a text-book; or with knowledge of its invalidity, to cite as authority a decision that has been overruled, or a statute that has been repealed; or in argument to assert as a fact that which has not been proved, or in those jurisdictions where a side has the opening and closing arguments to mislead his opponent by concealing or with: holding positions in his opening argument upon which his side then intends to rely.
It is unprofessional and dishonorable to deal other than candidly with the facts in taking the statements of witnesses, in drawing affidavits and other documents, and in the presentation of causes.
A lawyer should not offer evidence, which he knows the Court should reject, in order to get the same before the jury by argument for its admissibility, nor should he address to the Judge arguments upon any point not properly calling for determination by him. Neither should he introduce into an argument, addressed to the Court, remarks or statements intended to influence the jury or bystanders.
These and all kindred practices are un professional and unworthy of an officer of the law charged, as is the lawyer, with the duty of aiding in the administration of justice.
23. Attitude Toward Jury.--All attempts to curry favor with juries by fawning, flattery or pretended solicitude for their personal comfort are unprofessional. Suggestions of counsel, looking to the comfort or convenience of jurors, and propositions to dispense with argument, should be made to the Court out of the jury's hearing.
A lawyer must never converse privately with jurors about the case; and both before and during the trial he should avoid communicating with them, even as to matters foreign to the cause.
24. Right of Lawyer to Control the Incidents of the Trial.-As to incidental matters pending the trial, not affecting the merits of the cause, or working substantial prejudice to the rights of the client, such as forcing the opposite lawyer to trial when he is under afiliction or bereavement; forcing the trial on a particular day to the injury of the opposite lawyer when no harm will result from a trial at a different time; agreeing to an extension of time for signIng a bill of exceptions, cross interrogatories and the like, the lawyer must be allowed to judge. In such matters no client has a right to demand that his counsel shall be illiberal, or that he do anything therein repugnant to his own sense of honor and propriety.
25. Taking Technical Advantage of Opposite Counsel; Agreements with Him.-A lawyer should not ignore known customs or practice of the Bar or of a particular Court, even when the law permits, without giving timely notice to the opposing counsel. As far as possible, important agreements, affecting the rights of clients, should be reduced to writing; but it is dishonorable to avoid performance of an agreement fairly made because it is not reduced to writing, as required by rules of Court.
26. Professional Advocacy Other Than Before Courts.-A lawyer openly, and in his true character may render professional services before legislative or other bodies, regarding proposed legislation and in advocacy of claims before departments of government, upon the same principles of ethics which justify his appearance before the Courts; but it is unprofessional for a lawyer so engaged to conceal his attorneyship, or to employ secret personal solicitations, or to use means other than those addressed to the reason and understanding to influence action.
27. Advertising, Direct or Indirect.—The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with his brother lawyers, is the establishment of a well
merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced, but must be the outcome of character and conduct. The publication or circulation of ordinary simple business cards, being a matter of personal taste or local custom, and sometimes of convenience, is not per se improper. But solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements, or by personal communications or interviews, not warranted by personal relations, is unpro fessional. It is equally unprofessional to procure business by indlrection through touters of any kind, whether allied real estate firms or trust companies advertising to secure the drawing of deeds or wills or offering retainers in exchange for executorships or trusteeships to be influenced by the lawyer. Indirect advertise ment for business by furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments concerning causes in which the lawyer has been or is engaged, or