control the judgment of the attorney, the TPLF firm cannot be given veto power of a client’s right to terminate counsel. (IRPC 1.16). The TPLF firm must not be given any power to control the judgment of the attorney. Conclusion Working withTPLF firms is allowed in Illi- nois, but ethical issues must be addressed when representing a client in a lawsuit funded by aTPLF firm. Most of the ethical issues stem from mismanaging the client and TPLF firm relationships. Setting out the terms and ensuring the client under- stands how the contract with the TPLF firm will affect him or her at the onset of the relationship is key to maneuvering around the ethical pitfalls of the relation- ship triangle. Continuing to communicate with the client, and only with the client, will mitigate risks of violating IRPC 1.6. The client’s interests must take priority over the TPLF’s loan, and nothing can be disclosed to the TPLF firm without the client’s consent. The best way to avoid ethical pitfalls is to discuss everything with the client, including
PRACTICE AREA UPDATES
from representing a client if that represen- tation will be adverse to the representation of another client. IRPC 5.4 complements the conflict of interest rules and states an attorney shall not permit a person who pays him or her to render legal services for another to control the attorney’s professional judgment. The TPLF firm may demand to know everything about the lawsuit (e.g., what are the chances of settling and/or winning the suit?), and an attorney cannot share this information without the client’s consent. Sharing the information would not only break confi- dentiality, but also could lead to a finding that the attorney is not able to represent the client’s interests without bias. After all, the TPLF firm is not a client, and representing the TPLF firm would create a conflict of interest because the representation could be adverse to the client. If the client absconds with funds from the TPLF firm, and the TPLF firm sues the client, a conflict would exist. Further, to ensure the TPLF firm cannot interfere with the lawsuit or
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the validity of the client’s contract with the TPLF firm. The attorney must ensure that the TPLF firm has absolutely no influence over judgment calls in the lawsuit, and the client should understand how the funds awarded (if any) will be distributed. Other ethical issues must also be considered beyond those discussed here. The follow- ing website, offered by Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, has a handy checklist of other ethical issues: http://www.lawyersmutu- alnc.com/risk-management-resources/ articles/third-party-litigation-financing- and-ethical-traps-for-the-unwary-lawyer.
YLS Estate Planning Pro Bono Programs–Volunteers Needed
The Public Outreach Committee of the YLS coordinates estate planning pro bono programs for lawyers, law students, and non-lawyer volunteers to serve the community. Estate planning experience is not required, but welcomed. Training is available. Upcoming opportunities include: Wills for Heroes Monthly workshops at which volunteers create free wills, living wills, and other estate planning documents for local emergency first responders and their spouses or partners. Save-the-date for upcoming workshops on 10/13/18, 11/17/18 and 1/12/19. Serving Our Seniors Advanced directive workshops in conjunction with the Center for Disability and Elder Law to assist low-income seniors in completing Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property and LivingWills. Save-the-date for upcoming workshops on: 1/19/18 and 4/20/19. Visit www.chicagobar.org/yls and search under "YLS Volunteer Programs" for more information and to RSVP for upcoming workshops.