Following is the fourth in a series of posts from Parker Law Group Attorneys, APC reflecting on recent changes to the California Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC), under the category of “Lawyer-Client Relationship,” focusing on “compensation from one other than client.” The Rule of Professional Conduct, as revised, is as follows:
Rule 1.8.6 Compensation from One Other than Client
A lawyer shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:
(a) there is no interference with the lawyer’s independent professional judgment or with the lawyer-client relationship;
(b) information is protected as required by Business and Professions Code section 6068, subdivision (e)(1) and rule 1.6; and
(c) the lawyer obtains the client’s informed written consent at or before the time the lawyer has entered into the agreement for, charged, or accepted the compensation, or as soon thereafter as reasonably practicable, provided that no disclosure or consent is required if:
(1) nondisclosure or the compensation is otherwise authorized by law or a court order; or
(2) the lawyer is rendering legal services on behalf of any public agency or nonprofit organization that provides legal services to other public agencies or the public.
As set forth above, CBA’s new RPC Rule 1.8.6 is similar to the former version (Rule 3-310[F]), except for subsection (a), which switched the previous “client-lawyer relationship” to “lawyer-client relationship.” And subsection (b) says that, in addition to the protection provided by Business and Professions Code section 6068, information is also protected by Rule 1.6 (“Confidential Information of a Client”) of the new RPC. Subsection (c) expands on the previous rule’s wording about when a lawyer shall obtain a client’s informed written consent. Rule 1.8.6 says the consent should occur “at or before the time the lawyer has entered into the agreement for, charged, or accepted the compensation, or as soon thereafter as reasonably practicable… .”
The CBA’s addition of protection of information as required by Rule 1.6 now matches the American Bar Association’s wording in RPC Rule 1.8(f)(3).
Potential Benefit: Generally speaking, the changes clarify the requirements intended to protect clients and their confidential information when someone else is responsible for payment of their legal services.
The information provided herein is informational only and should not be construed as legal advice or as an agreement for representation. This is not an advertisement. If you have an issue or dispute with your attorney, or are seeking advice with respect to your obligations, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Parker Law Group Attorneys, APC is a full-service litigation and transactional law firm. Mr. Parker has represented clients in professional malfeasance disputes for over 22 years. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with Mr. Parker or his team, you can reach them at 916/996-0400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. (An email to the law firm requesting a consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship or any agreement for representation by the firm.)