At its meeting on October 27, 2017, the State Bar Council adopted the ethics opinions summarized below:
2017 Formal Ethics Opinion 2
Maintaining Fiduciary Account in Accordance with Rule 1.15
Opinion rules that a lawyer representing an estate must maintain the checking account for the estate in accordance with Rule 1.15 consistent with the extent to which the lawyer has control over the account.
2017 Formal Ethics Opinion 5
Agreement Not to Solicit or Hire Lawyers from Another Firm as Part of Merger Negotiations
Opinion rules that an agreement between law firms engaged in merger negotiations not to solicit or hire lawyers from the other firm for a relatively short period of time after expiration of the term of the agreement is permissible because it is a de minimis restriction on lawyer mobility that does not impair client choice and is reasonable under the circumstances.
Ethics Committee Actions
At its meeting on October 26, 2017, the Ethics Committee voted to continue to table Proposed 2016 Formal Ethics Opinion 1, Contesting Opposing Counsel’s Fee Request to Industrial Commission, pending the conclusion of appellate action in a case that is relevant to the proposed opinion. The committee also voted to return Proposed 2017 Formal Ethics Opinion 6, Participation in Platform for Finding and Employing a Lawyer, to a subcommittee for further study. No new proposed opinions were approved for publication.