Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline Releases Two Opinions

OPINION 2005-9
Issued December 2, 2005

SYLLABUS: A lawyer may not advertise legal services with coupons for free consultation or dollars off the cost of legal services. Advertising legal services with fee coupons is a characterization of the fees as “discount” or “special” and does not comply with DR 2-101(A)(5). Although a lawyer may not use fee coupons, a lawyer may advertise information regarding fees and charges as set forth in DR 2-101(E)(1), if presented in compliance with DR 2-101(B). Because DR 2-101(E)(1)(a) permits advertisement of fee information regarding an initial consultation, a lawyer may state in an advertisement whether an initial consultation is free. Prohibiting the use of fee coupons in lawyer advertising does not interfere with a lawyer’s exercise of independent professional judgment in setting fees for legal services at a rate that is reasonable and not excessive under the factors set forth in DR 2-106(B).

OPINION 2005-10
Issued December 2, 2005

SYLLABUS: An attorney does not violate the ethical duty to preserve a client’s funds under DR 9-102(A) and the ethical duty to promptly deliver funds to a client under DR 9-102(B)(4) by reporting “unclaimed funds” pursuant to R.C. Chapter 169, so long as the attorney has diligently tried to contact the client at the last known address and the client’s whereabouts are unknown.



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