The American Bar Association (ABA) recently released Formal Opinion 504, Choice of Law. The opinion discusses lawyers who practice in multiple states and determines which jurisdiction’s ethics rules they should use to guide their conduct in situations such as fee agreements, firm ownership, reporting professional misconduct, confidentiality duties, and screening lawyers who leave one firm to join another.
The opinion states, “When a lawyer’s conduct is in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the lawyer must comply with the ethics rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless otherwise provided. For all other conduct, including conduct in anticipation of litigation not yet filed and conduct not involving litigation, a lawyer must comply with the ethics rules of the jurisdiction where the lawyer’s conduct occurs or, if different, where the predominant effect of the lawyer’s conduct occurs.”
To read more about this Formal Opinion 504, click here to read the opinion and other relevant sources.