Verdict - Fall 2015 - (Page 22)

> FeatUre story Ethical and Practical Considerations of Co-Coun By GeorGe MclauGhlin h andling a case with federal district courts have adopted the rules co-counsel from another of Professional Conduct applicable in the law firm may give you the state where that federal district lies. [e.g., see opportunity to serve a Nd GA Lr 83.1 C. Standards of Professional client in a matter that you Conduct.] many federal courts require that in otherwise may not have your application for admission you attest to accepted. it may give you the opportunity the fact that you have read the local rules of to handle a case that you could not, should that court. Some federal districts require as a not, or would not have done on your own. it term of admission that you acknowledge that may give you the opportunity to finance the you have read and will abide by the applicable expenses of a case that you otherwise could rules of Professional Conduct. not afford to try, or at lease spread the financial burden and risk of an expensive case. the Georgia rules of Professional Conduct, which are based upon the model handling a case with co-counsel may rules of Professional Conduct published by be: required by the local rules of a court if the American Bar Association, govern the you are not fully admitted to practice in your professional conduct of attorneys in Georgia. own right in that court; financially rewarding; the charging of fees for the representation of financially disastrous; professionally satisfy- clients is addressed in rule 1.5. When it comes ing; professionally frustrating; ethically chal- to the division of a fee between lawyers who lenging; an opportunity to vicariously commit are not in the same firm, representing a client malpractice; others i have not thought of; and in Georgia, subsection 1.5(e) of the Georgia combinations of all of the above. rules of Professional Conduct states: handling a case with co-counsel from A division of a fee between lawyers who another law firm is not simply a matter of a are not in the same firm may be made only if: handshake or coming to an agreement over 1. the division is in proportion to the ser- the phone. if you will be practicing law outside vices performed by each lawyer or, by of your home state, where you are admitted written agreement with the client, each to the bar and maintain an office for the full lawyer assumes joint responsibility for time practice of the law, or inviting as your the representation; co-counsel an attorney from out of state, 2. the client is advised of the share that each there are things that you need to read, know, lawyer is to receive and does not object understand and do, both for the protection of to the participation of all the lawyers your client, and for yourself. involved; and 3. the total fee is reasonable. ETHICAL CONSIDErATIONS First and foremost, there are ethical consid- FEE SHArING erations to associating as or with co-counsel. obviously the best practice is to make this While i have not surveyed all 94 federal dis- disclosure of fee sharing, and division of the tricts, it is safe to assume that most, if not all, responsibility, in the fee agreement signed by 22 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association handling a case with co-counsel from another law firm is not simply a matter of a handshake or coming to an agreement over the phone. If you will be practicing law outside of your home state, where you are admitted to the bar and maintain an office for the full time practice of the law, or inviting as your co-counsel an attorney from out of state, there are things that you need to read, know, understand and do, both for the protection of your client, and for yourself.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Fall 2015

President’s Message
What’s New at HQ
Tips for Selecting and Implementing a New Case Management System
How I Obtained Justice for My Client
What You Need to Know About Mass Torts & Multidistrict Litigation
London Calling: Navigating the Waters When Taking a Deposition Overseas
Ethical and Practical Considerations of Co-Counseling
Avoiding Landmines: Identifying, Locating and Serving the Non-U.S. Corporate Defendant
Powerful Weapons: Public-Private Alliances Between State Attorneys General and Private Lawyers
Multidistrict Litigation: Friend or Foe?
Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery
Getting Out-of-State Evidence: Domesticating a Subpoena
New Lawyers’ Corner: Five Tips for Hanging your Shingle
Case Updates: What’s New?
Workers’ Comp Updates
Champion Members
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Index to Advertisers

Verdict - Fall 2015

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