Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Advertising, Reporting Opinions Issued by Board of Professional Conduct

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct today issued advisory opinions on lawyer advertising and a judge’s duty to report misconduct by other judges and lawyers.

In Advisory Opinion 2017-01, the Board provides guidance for lawyers who advertise for litigation services provided on a contingent fee basis. 

Lawyers may not use statements such as, “There’s no charge unless we win your case,” or “No fee without recovery,” if the lawyer intends to recover litigation costs and expenses from the client. If a lawyer intends to recover advanced costs and expenses of litigation from the client, a disclaimer is required in the advertisement that explains the client’s obligations for repayment. The opinion holds regardless of the outcome of the litigation and it withdraws Adv.Op 98-9.

In its other opinion today, the Board outlined a judge’s duty to report the misconduct of other judges and of lawyers, in Advisory Opinion 2017-02.

A judge who has knowledge that another judge has committed a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct that questions the other judge’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a judge, is required to report it to disciplinary counsel. Similarly, if a judge has knowledge that a lawyer violated the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer, he or she must report it to disciplinary counsel or a certified grievance committee.

A report of misconduct should be made within a reasonable time after the judge knows of the violation.  Additionally, a judge who reports the misconduct of a lawyer is not presumptively disqualified from presiding over cases in which that lawyer appears.  The opinion withdraws Adv.Op. 89-32.