Guidance on Ethics Questions From Utah Lawyers

Ethics Opinion Archive of the Utah State Bar

 

2018
OPINIONDATE ISSUED Issue(s)
2018-03June 12, 2018 Is there a conflict of interest if a member of a law firm assumes the representation
of a party on appeal in a case where another member of the firm testified as an expert witness on
behalf of the opposing party? The issue as presented assumes that the testifying attorney did not
have an attorney-client relationship with the party that engaged the attorney to testify.
2018-01June 11, 2018 May a firm name continue to include the name of a founding partner who is: (1) an
elected legislator in the part-time state legislature; and (2) engages in very little legal work but has
not formally retired?
2018-02January 8, 2018What are the Utah attorney’s duties under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct when the attorney is retained by a law firm to act as a consulting lawyer on a specific subject matter area? It is anticipated that the consulted lawyer will not have any direct contact with the consulting firm’s client, and that the consultation will be hypothetical in nature.
2017
OPINIONDATE ISSUED Issue(s)
 2017 -01 April 3, 2017 “May a lawyer contribute to an entity that engages in advocacy concerning the retention of a Utah judge? If so, must the entity comply with the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct?”
 2017 -02 April 24, 2017 Is a lawyer required to report to the Bar a fellow lawyer who orally articulates an anticipated violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct
 2017 -03 May 9, 2017 Is it ethical for a criminal defense attorney who suspects his client is not competent to allow that client to enter a guilty plea without first filing for a competency evaluation What are the defense attorney’s ethical obligations toward a client of questionable competence
 2017 -04 September 26, 2017 When a Utah attorney acts as local counsel, what are the
Utah attorney’s duties under the Utah Rules of Professional
Conduct where the lead attorney is not licensed in Utah and
is admitted pro hac vice, and the client and/or the pro hac
vice attorney want local counsel to do as little as possible so
that the client incurs the minimum amount of fees for local
counsel’s work?
 2017 -05 September 27, 2017 What are the ethical implications of a referral service with
the following features:
1. Potential clients contract with the service to receive
specific legal services at fixed rates.
2. The potential client then selects a lawyer from a list of
lawyers who have contracted with the service. The lawyer
can then review the case and decide whether to accept it.
3. If the lawyer accepts the case, the service, which has been given access to the lawyer’s operating and trust
accounts, deposits the client’s fixed fee into the lawyer’s
trust account and withdraws an agreed-upon referral fee, which varies based on the type of service the potential
client has requested, from the lawyer’s operating account
 2017 -06 September 27, 2017 This opinion request involves several issues in
the practice of consumer Chapter Seven (liquidation)
bankruptcies. These issues include: a. Is a lawyer’s advertisement of a “$99” or “Zero Down”
for a consumer Chapter Seven liquidation bankruptcy
misleading under Rule 7.1? Is it misleading to advertise that
this price is good for a limited time or that a promotion with
this price was extended?
b. What are the ethical constraints when requesting the
client to sign a post-petition attorney fee contract which will
not be discharged?
c. What disclosure must be made, if the lawyer intends to
sell the rights to collect the post-petition attorney fee
contract to a litigation financing company? Does a
relationship with the buyer of the attorney fee contract
create a conflict of interest under Rule 1.7?
d. Are the attorney fees reflected in the post-petition
contract reasonable when the attorney sells her rights to
those fees at a deep discount under Rule 1.5?
 2017 -07 September 10, 2017 May an active member of the Utah State Bar act as a
licensed real estate agent independently of the practice of
law? If so, do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct apply
to non-legal services and what issues exist if the attorney
agent is required to share fees with the non-attorney broker
with whom the real estate agent is associated?
2016
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
2016 -01 February 8, 2016 May Wife re-hire Lawyer A at Law Firm C to represent
Wife against Husband on various post-decree enforcement
issues?
2016 -02 March 24, 2016 What are the ethical constraints on lawyers settling
potential legal malpractice claims or bar complaints with
clients?
2016 -03 September 13, 2016 When a client asks a lawyer to modify a fee
arrangement, what Utah Rules of Professional Conduct
(“URPC”) apply?
 2015
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
2015 – 01-01January 13, 2015 The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole (the “Board”) and
a private attorney have jointly requested the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee issue an opinion on what
constitutes a “matter” as discussed in Utah Rules of
Professional Conduct 1.11(a)(2) and 1.12(a). Specifically,
in light of the nature of Board proceedings, do all decisions
involving an individual offender constitute the same
“matter” for purposes of Rule 1.11(a)(2) and 1.12(a)?What are the limitations on a former member of the Board or hearing officer in representing offenders before the Board?
2015 -01-02January 13, 2015 The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole (the “Board”) and
a private attorney have jointly requested the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee issue an opinion on what
constitutes a “matter” as discussed in Utah Rules of
Professional Conduct 1.11(a)(2) and 1.12(a). Specifically,
in light of the nature of Board proceedings, do all decisions
involving an individual offender constitute the same
“matter” for purposes of Rule 1.11(a)(2) and 1.12(a)?What are the limitations on a former member of the Board or hearing officer in representing offenders before the Board?
2015 -03February 10, 2015  Does an attorney breach a duty of confidentiality to a
“client” by sending information about the client’s actions
and their contact information to law enforcement if they
appear to be using the attorney/ client relationship to
commit a money fraud upon the attorney which could cause
substantial injury to the attorney’s financial interests?
2015 -04September 30, 2015 When may a lawyer directly contact a. former employee
who had been within the control group of an adverse party
such as a corporation?
2015 -05October 6, 2015 May an attorney pay an internet service company a nominal fee to bid on potential legal work? May an attorney
seek clients through an internet business that provides the
attorney with limited client information in order to permit
the attorney to bid to provide the needed legal services?
2014
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2014 -01January 15, 2014 Under what conditions is it appropriate for a personal
injury lawyer to “outsource the calculation, verification and
resolution of alleged health insurance liens and
subrogation/reimbursement claims” and pass the outsourced
resolution fee to the client as a “cost.” There are two
questions posed to the committee. First, can the lawyer appropriately outsource the lien resolution? Second, is the
treatment of the lien resolution fee appropriately treated a
“cost” to the client?
2014 -02January 14, 2014 Is an Agreement between a non-lawyer Marketer and a Law Firm where the Marketer conducts telephone marketing to solicit and refer clients to Law Firm in
violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct where the payment to the Marketer matches a percentage of the fees
paid to the Law Firm by the clients referred to the Law
Firm by the Marketer?
If the Agreement is in violation of the Rules of
Professional Conduct must the Attorney retained by
Marketer to enforce the Agreement inform the appropriate
professional authority pursuant to Rule 8.3(a)?
2014 -03April 22, 2014Do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit
referral agreements between two attorneys that require one of the attorneys (the l”Referring Attorney”) to refer to the
other (the “Receiving Attorney”) all clients that have a
certain specified type of products liability claim?
2014 -04November 12, 2014Under what conditions is it appropriate for a personal
injury lawyer to “outsource the calculation, verification and
resolution of alleged health insurance liens and
subrogation/reimbursement claims” and pass the outsourced
resolution fee to the client as a “cost.” There are two
questions posed to the committee. First, can the lawyer appropriately outsource the lien resolution? Second, is the
treatment of the lien resolution fee appropriately treated a
“cost” to the client?
2014 -05December 22, 2014 When an Attorney (A) is representing another Lawyer
(L) in a legal malpractice or disciplinary action, and Lawyer
L undertakes to represent a client in a matter adverse to a
client of Attorney A, what are the ethical considerations?
2013
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2013 – 01 April 9, 2013When a lawsuit or claim is filed against a government
entity, the attorney’s office of that entity sends all relevant
employees an e-mail including a litigation hold notice and
certain questions regarding the location of documents possibly relevant to the pending claim. If the claim has been
brought by an employee, such as an employment
discrimination claim, the complaining employee would also
receive the e-mail. In this situation, does the attorney’s office sending this e-mail to all relevant employees, including a represented plaintiff or complaining employee,
constitute a violation of Utah Rule of Professional Conduct
4.2?
2013 – 02 April 9, 2013 The requesting attorney seeks an opinion on several
related matters, which the Committee has combined into
three general areas of inquiry: (i) may an attorney pay a non-lawyer, directly or indirectly, for a referral; (ii) may an
attorney enter into a joint marketing and/or cross-referral
arrangement with a non-attorney; and (iii) may an attorney
acquire an ownership or equity interest in, or making a loan
to, a business, with the expectation of receiving referrals
from the business.
2013 – 03 September 11, 2013Whether a lawyer violates her duty to diligently
represent a client who wishes to appeal a juvenile court’s
order, but refuses to sign the Notice of Appeal (which will
be dismissed without appellant’s signature pursuant to
statute) due to her diminished capacity.
2013 – 04 September 30, 2013 The question before the Committee concerns federal
criminal law practice in the District of Utah. Although it
may have general application, this Opinion is confined to
that arena. The question is whether it is ethical under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct for a criminal defense
attorney (hereafter “the attorney”) to advise a
client/defendant (hereafter “the client”) to negotiate and
enter into a plea agreement whereby the client, as an
integral part of his plea of guilty, waives all post-conviction
claims the client may have, including claims of ineffective
assistance of the attorney, except for claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel based upon negotiating or entering in
to the plea or waiver.
2013 – 05 September 10, 2013To what extent may an attorney participate in an
“on-site” fee/ retainer funding program to obtain and
finance attorney retainer or litigation funds?
2012
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2012 -01January 10, 2012  Three related questions are before the Committee. The
attorney states that she separately represented a woman and
a man (the “wife” and “husband,” respectively), both prior
to their marriage. She subsequently represented both parties
after they were married. The parties subsequently went to
trial seeking a divorce (the “divorce”). The first question is
whether representation of the wife, prior to the marriage of
the parties, in litigation (the “separate action”) constitutes a
conflict which would preclude the attorney from
representing the husband on appeal in the divorce? Second,
does the fact that the attorney testified at the divorce trial as a percipient witness, preclude her from representing the husband on appeal. Third, does representation of the wife in
litigation involving both husband and wife against a third
party during the course of their marriage (the “joint
litigation”), wherein, notwithstanding the attorney’s vigorous but unsuccessful advocacy of the wife’s position,
the wife was dismissed from the case, preclude the attorney
from representing the husband on appeal in the divorce,
particularly where the attorney now believes the trial court
was correct in dismissing the wife from the joint litigation?
2012 -02May 1, 2012 What are the ethical and practical considerations
applicable to attorneys representing clients in the state of
Utah under flat-fee or fixed-fee agreements (hereinafter
referred to as flat-fee agreements)?
2012 -03December 13, 2012 May a community association management
company profit from legal work performed by the
company-s in-house attorney?
2011
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2011 -01August 24, 2011 Two interrelated issues are before the Committee: First, may an attorney representing a plaintiff in
a personal injury action indemnify and hold harmless a party being released from any medical expenses and/or
liens which might remain unpaid after the settlement funds are fully disbursed? Second, in a personal injury action,
may an attorney request another attorney to indemnify and
hold harmless a party being released from any medical
expenses and/or liens which might remain unpaid after the
settlement funds are fully disbursed?
2011 -02November 8, 2011If an indigent litigation client asks his attorney
for a financial gift, is the attorney permitted to provide that
charitable gift or do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct
prohibit doing so?
2011 -03November 15, 2011Is it a violation of the Utah Rules of Professional
Conduct for an attorney to ask a law student to undertake
research using the law student’s free account and in breach
of the student’s contract with Lexis and/or Westlaw?
2010
No opinions were issued in 2010
2009  
 OPINION  DATE ISSUED 
2009 -01 February 23, 2009What are the ethical limits for the use of
testimonials, dramatizations or fictionalized representations
in lawyers’ advertising on television or web sites?
2009 -02 August 11, 2009The five issues addressed in this Opinion are based upon
the following general scenario:
A lawyer represents many homeowner’s associations (both
condominium and PUD) in various matters, at various
times. Many of these associations are nonprofit
corporations and others are common law associations. They
are all operated through elected volunteer owner
representatives who are organized into boards of directors
(although they sometimes use diferent names for the
representatives such as the management committee or board
of trustees). Many of these boards hire professional
managers, as they lack the experience, skils, and time to
properly manage the associations. Some associations that
the lawyer represents were referred through managers of the
associations. Some of these managers work for management
companies that manage many associations, thus providing
an incentive for the lawyer to develop a good relationship
with the manager to hopefully facilitate future referrals of
other associations that the manager manages. It is also
important for the lawyer to maintain a reasonably good
relationship with the manager related to the lawyer’s clients
managed by that manager, because it is common in the
industry for the manager to act as the point of contact with
the attorney on legal matters involving an association. The
lawyer does not represent or work directly for the manager
or management companies.
 2008  
OPINION  DATE ISSUED
2008 -01April 8, 2008 May an attorney provide legal assistance to
litigants appearing before a tribunal pro se and prepare
written submissions for them without disclosing the nature or extent of such assistance? If so, what are the attorney’s
obligations when full representation is not undertaken?
2008 -01 DissentApril 8, 2008 Dissents from a Utah Ethics Advisory Opinion are understandably rare because of the harmonious working
relationship among Ethics Committee members and the
shared objective: to provide well-researched and analyzed
ethics opinions upon which Utah State Bar members can
hopefully rely. It is, therefore, with some trepidation that I
dissent from the main opinion. In my view, the main
opinion is logically inconsistent with a Tenth Circuit
decision that binds Utah lawyers in federal court;
incompatible with judicial and ethics opinions in other
jurisdictions; and potentially harmful to what I think should
be the overriding ideal of all ethics opinions – to ensure
justice for clients.
2008 -02March 11, 2008 Under what circumstances may an attorney who
has represented a party in conjunction with a proceeding to
appoint a guardian for an adult incapacitated person
represent the guardian that is subsequently appointed as a
result of that proceeding?
2007
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
2007 -01March 9, 2007 May a lawyer purchase the exclusive right to
referrals generated from the membership base of an
organization whose members from time to time may have
need of the legal services offered by that lawyer?
2007 -02June 10, 2007 If an attorney guardian ad litem is appointed by a
court for a person, may another attorney communicate with
the person about the subject of the representation without
the prior consent of the attorney guardian ad litem?
2006
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
2006 -01June 2, 2006
2006 -02June 2, 2006 Is an unexecuted trust or will or an unfiled
extraordinary writ prepared by a lawyer for a client part of
the “client’s file” within the meaning of Rule 1.16 which
must be delivered to the client at the termination of the
representation.
2006 -03December 8, 2006 Under what circumstances may a Utah lawyer be
personally involved in a lending transaction to finance a
client’s cause of action or obtain funds for the payment of
the lawyer’s legal fees and expenses?
2006 -04December 8, 2006 May a current or former client’s access to
information in his client file in a criminal matter be
restricted by his attorney?
2006 -05December 30, 2006 Do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct1
preclude a lawyer from participating in an ad hoc legal
advisory group to a private, nonprofit, public interest legal
organization, if the persons served by the legal services
organization have interests adverse to the interests of a
client of the lawyer or the lawyer’s law firm?
2005
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
2005 -01April 28, 2005 A former client of an attorney moved the trial
court to set aside the former client’s previous guilty plea on
the basis that the attorney’s prior advice on accepting the prosecution’s plea offer had “confused” him. May the
attorney testify concerning the previous discussions with
the former client to prevent a possible fraud upon the court
or to protect the attorney’s good name and reputation?
2005 -02April 28, 2005 What is the ethical responsibility of an attorney
serving as defense counsel in a criminal case, when
expressly requested by the court at a sentencing hearing for
information obtained from or about the defendant regarding
the defendant’s prior convictions?
2005 -03May 6, 2005 May a lawyer who serves as a domestic relations
mediator, following a successful mediation, draft the
settlement agreement and necessary court pleadings to
obtain a divorce for the parties?
2005 -04September 8, 2005 What are the responsibilities of an attorney to a person the attorney has interviewed as a prospective client
after it has been determined that the attorney will not
undertake the representation?
2004
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
2004 -01March 29, 2004What action, if any, may a lawyer for an
employer ethically undertake on behalf of a vanished
former employee who, along with the employer, has been
named as a defendant in an action arising when the person
was an employee?
2004 -01 AmendDecember 2, 2004 What action, if any, may a lawyer for an employer
ethically undertake on behalf of a vanished former employee who, along with the employer, has been named as a defendant in an action arising when the person was an
employee?
2004 -02April 19, 2004 May a plaintiff’s lawyer continue to represent the
plaintiff in a legal malpractice action when opposing
counsel has announced an intention to call plaintiff’s lawyer
as a witness?
2004 -04April 19, 2004 In litigation to enforce an oral contract allegedly
made by a corporate defendant’s former employee on behalf
of the corporation, where the former employee was not a member of the control group, may the plaintiff’s attorney
contact the ex-employee without the consent of the
corporate defendant’s attorney?
2004 -05December 2, 2004 Do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct preclude
a lawyer from forming a cooperative organization that
offers certain non-legal, but law-related, services such as
trust administration and investment management; referring
clients to that organization; and participating in the organization’s profit sharing?
2004 -06 December 2, 2004 Under what circumstances is it permissible for corporate counsel to assert that counsel concurrently
represents present and former corporate employees whose
testimony is relevant to a claim and ethically preclude opposing counsel’s access to those corporate employee witnesses?
2003
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 2003 -01 January 30, 2003 May a Utah Assistant Attorney General serve as a hearing officer or other adjudicator for a Utah government
agency on a matter for which the Office of Attorney
General, which employs the attorney, may eventually
undertake an advocacy role?
 2003 -02 April 23, 2003 What are the ethical responsibilities of a plaintiff’s lawyer who reasonably believes a health-care
provider that he deals with on a recurring basis may be
charging his clients and prospective clients for services not
actually rendered?
 2003 -03June 23, 2003 Is it ethical for a lawyer to advertise to provide
legal services in Social Security Administration hearings to
claimants who have been denied benefits, where nonlawyers are used by the lawyer in providing these
services?
2004 -04October 14, 2003 May a lawyer threaten to present criminal
charges against an opposing party or witness during
negotiations in a private civil matter?
2002
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2002 -01February 11, 2002 Do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct
preclude a Utah lawyer from financing litigation costs
through a loan from a third-party lending institution, if (a)
the lawyer is obligated to repay the loan and (b) the client,
by separate agreement with the lawyer, is obligated to
reimburse the lawyer for such costs?
2002 -02February 11, 2002 To what extent does the recent amendment to Utah Rules of Professional Conduct 7.3(c) affect a lawyer’s or law firm’s newsletters and “alerts” to clients and
prospective clients, brochures provided at public seminars,
promotional items provided at seminars and other events,
and web-site information?
2002 -03February 27, 2002 What are the ethical obligations of an insurance
defense lawyer with respect to insurance company
guidelines and flat-fee arrangements?
2002 -04March 15, 2002 May a lawyer, who is also a certified public
accountant employed by an accounting firm, contemporaneously conduct from an office at the
accounting firm public accounting services as an employee
of the accounting firm and a law practice independent from
the accounting firm without violating the Utah Rules of
Professional Conduct?
2002 -05March 18, 2002What are the ethical considerations for a governmental lawyer who participates in a lawful covert
governmental operation, such as a law enforcement
investigation of suspected illegal activity or an intelligence
gathering activity, when the covert operation entails conduct employing dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation or deceit?
2002 -06June 12, 2002 May an attorney represent a client in a criminal
matter where the attorney will have to cross-examine as an
adverse witness a former client whom the attorney
previously represented in an unrelated matter?
2002 -07September 13, 2002 Under Rule 5.4 of the Utah Rules of Professional
Responsibility, may a Utah lawyer (a) hire a paralegal, not
otherwise associated with the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm, as an independent contractor, or (b) compensate an employee
paralegal or other firm employee based on a percentage of
the lawyer’s fees.
2002 -08September 18, 2002 An attorney filed a complaint with the Judicial
Conduct Commission against a judge. The complaint was eventually dismissed for insufficient evidence with no
finding of misconduct. May the attorney accept new cases as counsel and appear before that judge without advising
the clients of the complaint and without giving them the option of the attorney filing a motion for recusal?
2002 -09September 24, 2002 Is it ethical for an attorney to enter into a
contingency-fee agreement, under which all fees, expenses
and costs of litigation are unconditionally assumed by the
attorney?
2002 -10December 18, 2002 May a lawyer review pleadings prepared by a non-lawyer mediator for simple, uncontested divorces and
advise the mediator on how to modify the pleadings for
filing in court?
2001
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2001-01January 26, 2001 Under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct,
may an attorney representing a client in a divorce case
assert a statutory attorney’s lien under Utah Code Ann. §
78-54-41 against property awarded to the client in the divorce settlement?
2001-02February 21, 2001 Does a lawyer violate the Utah Rules of
Professional Conduct if he agrees to discount his fees to a
client until a referral fee initially charged to the client by a
lawyer-referral service is reimbursed to the client?
2001-03March 21, 2001 What are the ethical considerations where a
lawyer seeks to disqualify a judge from a case by
associating a lawyer from the judge’s prior private law firm
and intentionally creating a circumstance in which the judge
may conclude that he must recuse himself from the case?
2001-04May 10, 2001 Is it ethical for lawyers to charge clients an
annual fee for estate planning and asset-protection legal
services based on a percentage of the value of the assets
involved?
2001-05July 13, 2001 What are the ethical implications for a real estate
broker who includes in his promotional material that he is also a lawyer?
2001-06 AMENDIssued June 12, 2002 May a private practitioner who serves as a part-time county attorney represent private clients in
connection with protective-order hearings?
2001-07August 29, 2001
2000
OPINION DATE ISSUED
2000 -01March 9, 2000What are the ethical obligations of a lawyer to
protect client confidentiality in the use of Internet e-mail
communications?
2000 -02March 9, 2000May a Utah lawyer ethically state on her letterhead
that she is “also admitted” in another state when she is on
inactive status in that state?
2000 -03March 9, 2000May a Utah lawyer who is also a real estate title
officer ethically enter into a partnership with or form a
small business corporation with a nonlawyer for the purpose of assisting clients in challenging their real estate
taxes?
2000 -04June 2, 2000What are a lawyer’s ethical duties to a third person
who claims an interest in proceeds of a personal injury
settlement or award received by the lawyer?
2000 -05December 1, 2000Where a defendant is being represented by a
lawyer appointed by defendant’s insurance carrier prior to
the entry of any judgment against the defendant, would it be
ethical for plaintiff’s lawyer to convey a settlement offer proposing that plaintiff take an assignment of any bad-faith
claim that the defendant might have against the insurance
carrier in exchange for plaintiff’s agreement not to execute
against defendant for amounts exceeding the insurance policy limits?
2000 -06September 29, 2000What are the ethical obligations of an attorney
who, unaware his client will lie, hears the client commit
perjury or otherwise materially mislead a tribunal?
2000 -07June 2, 2000Do the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit a lawyer licensed to practice in Utah from participating in
an association of lawyers that would use joint letterhead,
with a disclaimer that the association “is an affiliation of
independent attorneys-not a partnership?”
1999
OPINION DATE ISSUED
1999-01January 29, 1999What are an attorney’s ethical obligations when
the attorney or his client has lawfully obtained an
attorney-client communication between an opposing party
and opposing counsel under conditions where the opposing
party may not have intended to waive the attorney-client
privilege?
1999-02April 30, 1999Does a lawyer who negotiates or communicates with
an opposing party’s legal assistant, secretary or other non-lawyer representative about substantive matters assist
in the unauthorized practice of law under Utah Rule of
Professional Conduct 5.5(b)?
1999-03 May 28, 1999 May a defense lawyer make ex parte contact with
plaintiff’s treating physician?
 1999-03R October 29, 1999 On May 28, 1999, the Utah State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners (the Commission) approved Utah Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 99-03, (fn1) which held that nothing
in the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits a defense lawyer from making an ex parte contact with
plaintiff’s treating physician in a personal-injury or medical-malpractice matter.
 1999-04 June 30, 1999 What are the ethical considerations that
govern a lawyer who wishes to conduct legal seminars;
provide legal information to groups of retirement-home
residents; host open houses; set up information booths at
trade shows; participate in Bar-sponsored
question-and-answer programs; or make in-person contacts
with prospective clients at the request of their friends or
relatives?
 1999-05 July 30, 1999 What are the ethical implications of the Office of the
Attorney General’s proposed investigation to determine whether any Utah criminal laws were violated by the Salt
Lake City Bid Committee for the Olympic Winter Games in
view of the Attorney General’s prior association with the Bid Committee?
 1999-06 August 27, 1999As a part of a criminal plea bargain agreement in a DUI case, may either the prosecuting attorney or the defense lawyer seek the concurrence of the investigating
police officer not to respond to a subpoena lawfully issued
by the Utah Driver License Division in connection with the
related driver-license revocation hearing, a state
administrative proceeding?
 1999-07 December 3, 1999May a lawyer refer a client to an investment advisor
for investment and financial planning and take a referral fee
from the commission paid by the client to the investment
advisor?
 1998
 OPINION  DATE ISSUED
 1998-01 January 23, 1998 May an elected county attorney or other prosecutor
who is allowed to engage in private practice continue to act as attorney in a civil matter in which the opposing party in
the civil matter commits a crime or otherwise comes under
suspicion as a potential criminal defendant in that county?
Is it enough that the prosecutor refers any criminal matter
involving the opposing litigant to another prosecutor, or must the attorney withdraw from both matters?
 1998-02 April 17, 1998 May an attorney represent both a county and a city
that lies within the jurisdiction of the county as to civil
matters?
 1998-03 April 17, 1998May a lawyer hired by an insurance company to
defend an insured in a lawsuit submit billing statements to
an outside audit service?
 1998-04 April 17, 1998May a private practitioner who has been appointed as
special deputy county attorney to investigate and prosecute
a single matter continue to represent criminal defendants in
any jurisdiction in Utah?
 1998-05 April 17, 1998 Is it unethical for a defense attorney to offer a “full
satisfaction” settlement, conditioned upon plaintiff’s waiving a claim for attorneys’ fees against a defendant?
1998-06 October 30, 1998 Members of a county attorney’s office have
requested an advisory opinion concerning conflicts between
(1) attorney-client relationships between a county attorney
and county officers and (2) statutory duties of a county
attorney under Utah Code Ann. § 17-5-206 to institute suits
to recover or restrain unlawful payments of county funds.
1998-07 August 7, 1998 May the lawyer for the plaintiff in a personal-injury
case directly contact the adjuster for defendant’s insurer
without first obtaining the consent of the defendant’s attorney?
1998-08 September 11, 1998 May a law firm wholly own an
accounting-practice subsidiary that is staffed by employees
other than the firm’s lawyers and would perform services
for the lawyer’s clients and others?
1998-09 October 30, 1998 Is the Office of the Guardian ad Litem sufficiently
similar to the Attorney General’s Office to render it a
“government agency” within the meaning of the Utah Rules
of Professional Conduct, and if so, does Rule 1.10
concerning imputed disqualifications, apply to the Office of
the Guardian ad Litem? Does Rule 1.11, “Successive Government and Private Employment,” apply to the Office
of the Guardian ad Litem?
1998-10 October 2, 1998 Is it ethical for an attorney to serve as member of the
board of directors of a client corporation?
1998-11 October 30, 1998 In a lawsuit against a Utah county, brought by the
heirs of a decedent whose medical bills were paid (in part)
by the State of Utah’s Medicaid program after the decedent
had been in the county’s jail facility, what are the ethical
considerations that govern a medical cost-recovery retainer
agreement among the heirs, their attorney and the State’s
Office of Recovery Services (ORS)?
1998-12 December 4, 1998 When a lawyer becomes aware that another
lawyer has illegally used or possessed controlled
substances, under what circumstances must the first lawyer
report such conduct to the Utah State Bar?
1998-13 December 4, 1998 What are the ethical obligations and considerations
that govern a law firm’s acceptance of a financial interest
such as stock in a client company in return for performing
legal services for that company?
1998-14 December 4, 1998 Is it unethical for a lawyer in a divorce case to advise
a client that she may obtain a protective order pro se or to
allow the client to appear pro se in the protective-order
case, while the lawyer continues to represent the client in
the divorce proceeding?
1998-15 January 29, 1999 May a lawyer, who identifies himself as a lawyer,
write an article or letter to the editor for a non-legal
publication on (a) a legal subject or (b) a non-legal subject?
1997
OPINION   DATE ISSUED
1997-01 January 24, 1997 What is the ethical obligation of an attorney to a
client or former client, when the attorney is unable to locate
the client, and the attorney is holding trust funds on behalf
of that client?
1997-02 January 24, 1997Is information provided by an accused to his attorney
in an initial telephone conference confidential as against a
request from law enforcement authorities for such
information?
1997-03 April 25, 1997May an attorney engage in a direct solicitation, by
mail and for pecuniary gain, that advertises mediation and
arbitration services?
1997-04 April 25, 1997 May a law firm furnish lists of clients’ names, addresses and telephone numbers to securities brokers, financial planners, insurance salesmen and other professionals, without receiving prior permission from the
clients?
1997-05 April 25, 1997Is it ethical for an attorney to receive payment
for legal services other than in money?
1997-06 May 30, 1997Under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, what are the ethical limitations that govern attorneys’ acceptance
of clients’ credit cards to pay fees and costs?
1997-07 May 30, 1997Is a lawyer, acting as a trustee under the United
States Bankruptcy Code, required to maintain bankruptcy
estate trust funds in a financial institution that complies
with check-overdraft reporting requirements described in Rule 1.15?
1997-08 November 1, 1996May an attorney represent a person who seeks to
obtain payment under the terms of a client-solicitation
agreement entered into with another attorney, where the
agreement involved the payment of a “finder’s fee” to the
person?
1997-09 July 28, 1997The Opinion is the result of a specific inquiry from a Utah
attorney who has proposed to provide legal services as outlined in the Facts section in the body of the Opinion. The
Opinion addresses the ethical considerations of a lawyer who plans to perform certain estate-planning legal services
in conjunction with a non-lawyer estate-planning
professional who is not employed or retained by the lawyer.
In general, we find that the lawyer must perform an
independent role as legal advisor to the client, assuring that
the estate plan and associated documents are legally
appropriate to accomplishing the client’s objectives
1997-10 October 24, 1997May a Utah attorney advertise services on a web
page or engage in other electronic advertising on the
Internet?
1997-11 December 5, 1997May an attorney finance the expected costs of a case by borrowing money from a non-lawyer pursuant to a non-recourse promissory note, where the note is secured by
the attorney’s interest in his contingent fee in the case?
1997-12 January 23, 1998Utah Code Ann. § 62A-4a-403 obligates any person
who suspects a child has been subjected to abuse to report
such conduct to the nearest law enforcement officer. Is it a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if the
attorney does not report a client’s conduct that falls under
this provision when the attorney learns of such conduct
from the client and the client refuses to consent to such
disclosure?
1996
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1996-01 April 26, 1996
1996-02 April 26, 1996
1996-03 April 26, 1996
1996-04 July 3, 1996
1996-05 July 3, 1996
1996-06 July 3, 1996
1996-07 August 30, 1996
1996-08 November 1, 1996
1996-09  November 1, 1996
1996-10 December 6, 1996
1996-11January 24, 1997
1996-12January 24, 1997
1996-14January 24, 1997
1996-15 April 26, 1996
1995
OPINION DATE ISSUED
1995-01January 27, 1995
1995-02April 28, 1995
1995-02AJanuary 26, 1996
1995-03April 28, 1995
1995-04April 28, 1995
1995-05January 26, 1996
1995-06July 28, 1995
1995-07September 22, 1995
1995-08April 26, 1996
1994
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1994-115RJuly 29, 1994
1994-125October 28, 1994
1994-126January 27, 1994
1994-127April 28, 1994
1994-138January 27, 1994
1994-139January 27, 1994
1994-142March 10, 1994
1994-145April 28, 1994
1994-151October 28, 1994
1993
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1993-110February 25, 1993
1993-111July 29, 1993
1993-115May 20, 1993
1993-121August 26, 1993
1993-129March 11, 1993
1993-131May 20, 1993
1993-132August 26, 1993
1993-135September 23, 1993
1993-136July 29, 1993
 
1992
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1992-107February 15, 1992
1992-114February 20, 1992
1992-116June 25, 1992
1992-118August 20, 1992
 
1991
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1991-113March 14, 1991
 
1991
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1990-100July 27, 1990
 
1990
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1989-91May 17, 1989
1989-95October 27, 1989
1989-98October 27, 1989
1989-99October 27, 1989
1987
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1987-43March 10, 1978
1987-78October 2, 1987
1987-81February 20, 1987
1987-90May 1, 1987
 
1986
OPINIONDATE ISSUED
1986-75February 21, 1986
1986-77January 20, 1986
 
1985
 OPINIONDATE ISSUED
 1985-76 April 11, 1985
 1981
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1981-74 February 13, 1981
 1980
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1980-73 February 11, 1980
 1979
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1979-52 April 12, 1979
 1979-53 April 12, 1979
 1979-54 April 12, 1979
 1979-55 April 12, 1979
 1979-56 April 12, 1979
 1979-57 April 12, 1979
 1979-58 April 12, 1979
 1979-59 April 12, 1979
 1979-60 April 12, 1979
 1979-61 April 12, 1979
 1979-62 April 12, 1979
 1979-63 September 21, 1979
 1979-64 September 21, 1979
 1979-65 September 21, 1979
 1979-66 September 21, 1979
 1979-67 September 21, 1979
 1979-68 November 16, 1979
 1979-69 November 16, 1979
 1979-70 November 16, 1979
 1979-71 November 16, 1979
 1979-72 November 16, 1979
 1978
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1978-42 January 12, 1978
 1978-43 March 10, 1978
 1978-44 March 10, 1978
 1978-45 July 28, 1978
 1978-46 July 28, 1978
 1978-47 July 28, 1978
 1978-48 July 28, 1978
 1978-49 August 25, 1978
 1978-50 August 25, 1978
 1978-51 December 8, 1978
1977
OPINION  DATE ISSUED
1977-35 January 27, 1977
 1977-36 August 29, 1977
 1977-37 May 3, 1977
 1977-38 August 29, 1977
 1977-39 December 12, 1977
 1977-40 December 22, 1977
 1977-41 December 22, 1977
 1976
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1976-24 March 15, 1976
 1976-25 May 11, 1976
 1976-26 May 11, 1976
 1976-27 August 16, 1976
 1976-28 October 24, 1976
 1976-29 October 24, 1976
 1976-30 October 14, 1976
 1976-31 December 10, 1976
 1976-32 December 10, 1976
1976-33 December 30, 1976
 1976-34 December 30, 1976
 1975
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1975-21 February 19, 1975
 1975-22 June 18, 1975
 1975-23 August 22, 1975
 1974
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1974-18 February 23, 1974
 1974-19 April 12, 1974
 1974-20 April 12, 1974
 1973
 OPINION  DATE ISSUED
 1973-11 February 3, 1973
 1973-12 August 15, 1973
 1973-13 August 15, 1973
 1973-14 October 12, 1973
 1973-15 October 12, 1973
 1973-16 October 12, 1973
 1973-17 November 28, 1973
 1972
 OPINION   DATE ISSUED
 1972-5 January 13, 1972
 1972-6 January 13, 1972
1972-7 March 31, 1972
 1972-8 April 21, 1972
 1972-9 June 7, 1972
 1972-10 July 7, 1972
 1971
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1971-3 December 1, 1971
 1971-4 December 1, 1971
  1970
 OPINION DATE ISSUED
 1970-2  October 23, 1970
1965
 OPINION  DATE ISSUED
 1965-1 October 23, 1970