Legal ethics are an important part of the profession. The Rules of Professional Conduct have been adopted by the American Bar Association. All states except for California follow these rules. Interestingly, California adopted its own set of rules instead, where attorneys follow similar rules with a different format.
The important thing to know about the Rules of Professional Conduct is that an attorney who violates them can be held accountable. For example, if your attorney divulges information to a third party, he or she violated your right to confidentiality and could be held responsible for misconduct.
Some common violations of legal ethics include a lack of communication, commingling funds, legal malpractice and solicitation. Any violation of these or other legal ethic rules could result in a lawsuit against the attorney.
What can you do if you believe your attorney is violating the law?
If you believe your attorney is violating the above ethics or doing other things that may be hurting your case, it’s your right to speak up. Talking to the attorney about your concerns may help initially, but if you don’t see a way to resolve the problem, it may be time to turn to another attorney for help.
There are attorneys who focus their practices on stopping legal malpractice; after all, one bad attorney can make every attorney look like a danger to clients. It’s important to take note of the reasons you believe your attorney is violating a code of ethics, like failing to return your calls, so you can give this information to someone who can help.
Source: FindLaw, “What are Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility?,” accessed May 10, 2018