Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1993-94/18
Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest: Use of LAWCARD to Finance Legal Fees
November 17, 1994
An attorney may not participate in a credit program to finance legal fees where the attorney must represent and warrant to the lender that the attorney knows of no facts about the client/borrower that would render the debt unenforceable or uncollectable. (Rule 1.6).
An attorney may not encourage a client/borrower to apply for a specific credit program to finance legal fees; but if the client/borrower chooses to seek such financing through that program, the attorney may participate with the client/borrower in the application process. (Rule 1.7(b), Rule 1.8(a)).
An attorney may assist a lender who has financed a client’s legal fees in collect; those fees provided the lawyer complies with the requests of Rule 1.6.
May an attorney participate in the “LAWCARD” program, a legal fees financing mechanism, under the existing terms and conditions of the program as described below?