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Legal Opinion for Nonclient

Adopted: October 18, 1991

Opinion rules that a borrower's lawyer may render a legal opinion to the lender.

Inquiry:

Lawyer A represents a borrower in negotiating a loan from a bank. The bank has a policy of requiring that counsel for its borrower render to it (the bank) a legal opinion that the loan in question and the terms of the loan do not violate any laws, including, without limitation, any usury laws or similar laws relating to the charging of interest.

May Lawyer A ethically render such an opinion to the bank?

Opinion:

Yes, Lawyer A may ethically render an opinion to the bank with the borrower's consent. The rendering of an opinion to the bank does not give rise to an attorney/client relationship between Lawyer A and the bank. Lawyer A is still representing the borrower only. Rule 5.1(a).

This opinion supersedes RPC 101.