The Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct dictate that attorneys have a duty not only to advocate for their clients but also to perform their professional duties with integrity and respect. While the Rules impose ethical obligations on licensed attorneys, how the Rules should be applied in practice is not always evident. To address ethical concerns, the Maryland State Bar Association Committee on Ethics periodically issues opinions explaining how provisions of the Rules relate to a licensed Maryland attorney’s potential conduct.
The Committee opinions are advisory and do not bind the Committee, the Maryland Court of Appeals, or the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. Rather, they only carry the weight a reviewing authority chooses to grant them. They are nonetheless essential for navigating the ethical quandaries attorneys face when practicing law in a climate that constantly changes due to sociological, technological, and legal developments.
To assist Maryland attorneys with understanding recent developments in ethics, the MSBA gathered opinions published by the Committee from 2019 through 2021 and published them in Ethics & Risk Management for the Maryland Lawyer. The opinions address a variety of issues and are organized by general topics. Maryland Bar Journal articles on ethics published during the same time period and a white paper on virtual professionalism accompany the opinions. The MSBA hopes that attorneys will find it to be a convenient tool they can use to answer ethical questions they encounter in their daily practice. It is just one of the many free benefits available to MSBA members.
Click here to access Ethics & Risk Management for the Maryland Lawyer.