Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

LAW Ethics Redefined

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

LAW Ethics Redefined

Article excerpt

Although they ostensibly address ethical issues, the main practical effect of three advisory opinions being considered by The Florida Bar's Board of Governors today and tomorrow would be to expand the opportunity for lawyers to increase earnings.

The Bar may consider that necessary, but right off hand we cannot recall seeing any pinstripe suits along the interstate entrances holding signs that say, "Will litigate for food."

The ethics committee has re-interpreted existing rules to say that it would be unethical to enter into certain contracts with insurance companies.

Under this new definition of ethics, it would be unethical in certain cases for a lawyer to agree to let his client decide when to settle litigation, and stop paying legal bills, or to audit the lawyer's bill for error. Such safeguards help keep down the legal costs of insurance companies, and also insurance premiums.

This means any insurance company seeking to protect its policyholders could be unable to find representation in court -- even among lawyers who might want to represent them responsibly at a fair fee. …

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