Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Conduct Board Issues Two Advisory Opinions

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct issued two advisory opinions regarding application of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.

Advisory Opinion 2020-1 advises in-house lawyers not to accept an employment agreement containing a not-to-compete covenant that would restrict the ability of the lawyer to practice.

The prohibition in the Rules of Professional Conduct against restrictions on practice is designed to allow lawyers professional autonomy and clients the freedom to retain the lawyers of their choice. The opinion suggests that in-house lawyers also serving in a business capacity may execute a covenant not to compete restricting only their future business activities.

Advisory Opinion 2020-2 explains a lawyer’s duty to communicate with a client before drafting a deed at the request of a real estate agent that differs from the deed called for in a real estate purchase agreement. The communication typically required includes consulting with the client about the means, including the type of deed to be drafted, by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished. The client has the ultimate authority concerning the objectives of the representation and a lawyer may not take direction from someone other than the client. This opinion replaces Adv. Op. 1988-30 that was issued under the former Code of Professional Responsibility.

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