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Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct

Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct

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Published by Sam Han

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Published by: Sam Han on Jan 08, 2009
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10/16/2011

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Transactions with Persons Other Than Clients 
Law Firms and Associations 
Public Service 
Information About Legal Services 
Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession 
Note:
Except for Latin terms, words and phrases that appear in italicized type in eachrule denote terms that are defined in Rule 1.0.
 
PREAMBLE: A LAWYER’S RESPONSIBILITIES
[1] As an officer of the court, a lawyer not only represents clients but has aspecial responsibility for the quality of justice.[2] In representing clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As advisor, alawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights andobligations and explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer asserts theclient’s position under the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeksa result advantageous to the client and consistent with requirements of honest dealingswith others. As an evaluator, a lawyer examines a client’s legal affairs and reportsabout them to the client or to others.[3] In addition to these representational functions, a lawyer may serve as athird-party neutral, a nonrepresentational role helping the parties to resolve a dispute orother matter. See,
e.g.,
 Rules 1.12and2.4. In addition, there are rules that apply to lawyers who are not active in the practice of law or to practicing lawyers even when theyare acting in a nonprofessional capacity. For example, a lawyer who commits fraud inthe conduct of a business is subject to discipline for engaging in conduct involvingdishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. SeeRule 8.4.[4] In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt,diligent, and loyal. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerningthe representation. A lawyer should keep in confidence information relating torepresentation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by theOhio Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.[5] Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. A lawyer’s conductshould conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clientsand in the lawyer’s business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law’sprocedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyershould demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers, and public officials. Adjudicatory officials, not being wholly free todefend themselves, are entitled to receive the support of the bar against unjustifiedcriticism. Although a lawyer, as a citizen, has a right to criticize such officials, thelawyer should do so with restraint and avoid intemperate statements that tend to lessenpublic confidence in the legal system. While it is a lawyer’s duty, when necessary, tochallenge the rectitude of official action, it is also a lawyer’s duty to uphold legalprocess.[6] A lawyer should seek improvement of the law, ensure access to the legalsystem, advance the administration of justice, and exemplify the quality of servicerendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a lawyershould cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledgein reform of the law, and work to strengthen legal education. In addition, a lawyershould further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the1

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