1 New Ethics Opinion, 4 Proposed Opinions from NC State Bar
The State Bar Council at its meeting on April 16 adopted one new ethics opinion: 2021 Formal Ethics Opinion 1, Contemporaneous Residential Real Estate Closings (opinion addresses conflicts of interest, communication, funding issues, and accountings in contemporaneous closings for residential real property).
The Ethics Committee at its April 15 meeting, approved the publication of the following four proposed opinions, the first two of which are republished, revised versions following receipt of comments during prior publication:
- Proposed 2019 Formal Ethics Opinion 4, Communications with Judicial Officials (proposed opinion discusses the permissibility of various types of communications between lawyers and judges);
- Proposed 2020 Formal Ethics Opinion 1, Responding to Negative Online Reviews (proposed opinion rules that a lawyer is not permitted to include confidential information in a response to a client’s negative online review but is not barred from responding in a professional and restrained manner);
- Proposed 2021 Formal Ethics Opinion 2, A Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility in Identifying and Avoiding Counterfeit Checks (proposed opinion discusses a lawyer’s professional responsibility to safeguard entrusted funds by identifying and avoiding purported transactions involving counterfeit checks); and
- Proposed 2021 Formal Ethics Opinion 3, Charging Fees to Opposing Party in Residential Real Estate Closing (proposed opinion rules that a closing lawyer representing the buyer in a residential real estate transaction may not charge a fee to a separately represented seller unless the seller consents to the fee and the lawyer complies with Rules 1.5(a) and 1.8(f)).
The Ethics Committee welcomes comments on the proposed formal ethics opinions. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and are requested by June 25. Please consider copying NCAJ on any comments submitted to the Ethics Committee by also emailing email@example.com.