Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Opinion Covers Ethical Considerations for Non-Recourse Civil Litigation Advance Contracts

Ohio lawyers cannot forget their ethical obligations if a client pursues a non-recourse civil litigation advance, according to an Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline advisory opinion.

Opinion 2012-3 notes that multiple Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to provide “candid” and “competent” advice to their clients, including what impact an advance may have on a potential settlement.

The board’s opinion cites several additional ethical considerations, including, maintaining “independent professional judgment” free from influence from an alternative litigation finance (ALF) provider, and securing the client’s informed consent before revealing his or her identity to the provider or sharing a case evaluation.

The question submitted to the board concerned Ohio Revised Code section 1349.55, which regulates non-recourse civil litigation advance contracts. The opinion described ALF as the “provision of capital (money) by nontraditional sources to civil plaintiffs, defendants, or their lawyers to support litigation-related activities.”

To read the opinion, go to:

Advisory Opinions of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline are informal, nonbinding opinions in response to prospective or hypothetical questions regarding the application of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Judiciary, the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct, and the Attorney’s Oath of Office.

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