MONTH-IN-BRIEF (Oct 2018)
ABA Ethics Committee Opinion on Large-scale Disasters
By Keith R. Fisher
Recently, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 482, which deals with ethical obligations in connection with large-scale disasters, including such diverse events as hurricanes, earthquakes, and acts of terrorism. Topics addressed include protecting client information, implementing measures to ensure the lawyer’s ability to remain in contact with clients and financial institutions holding client funds, and attorney advertising in disaster-affected areas. The author dissented in part because of a concern that the opinion was imposing “one size fits all” ethical “obligations” on lawyers regardless of context. The Professional Responsibility Committee is planning a program on this topic, among others, for the spring meeting in Vancouver.