Lawyers must always be truthful in their representations. Yet they must be zealous in representing clients. The tension between these two principles is perhaps never as great as when the lawyer is negotiating for a client. The lawyer may make statements about the law or fact – or simply refrain from making statements because the lawyer knows certain facts or legal precedent are adverse to a client’s interest. Lawyers may also boast, signaling that a client’s position is stronger than is, in fact, the case. Navigating these gray lines is the difference between ethical representation and impropriety. This program will provide you with a guide to ethical issues in negotiations.
• Truthful representations v. zealous representations?
• Affirmative statements of fact, value or intent in settlements.
• Silence about adverse law in negotiations.
• Silence about facts unknown to an opponent or counter-party.
• Silence about errors in settlement agreements or transactional documents.
• Non-litigation work in another state – “temporary” practice.
Opinions and positions stated by presenters of MoBarCLE programs are those of the presenters and not necessarily those of The Missouri Bar. This program is intended as information for lawyers in Missouri, in conjunction with other research they deem necessary, in the exercise of their independent judgment.
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