When a lawyer learns information during the course of representing an incapacitated person, a vulnerable adult, or someone who owes a fiduciary duty to such a person that is required to be reported under A.R.S. § 46-454, the lawyer ethically may disclose the information to authorities. [ERs 1.4, 1.6]
A lawyer appointed solely as guardian ad litem for a juvenile where the juvenile has separate counsel is not in an attorney-client relationship with the juvenile and, therefore, not bound by ER 1.6's ethical duties of confidentiality. See Ariz. Op. 86-13 for the ethical issues posed when a lawyer is appointed as both counsel and guardian ad litem for a juvenile. [ERs 1.2, 1.6, 1.14]
An attorney in a personal injury case, who has received his full fee, may accept the client's portion of the personal injury settlement, as a gift from the client, if: (1) the attorney complies with the requirements set forth in ER 1.8 regarding business transactions with clients; (2) the attorney does not attempt to prepare a legal instrument to perfect the gift; and (3) the client is competent to make an informed decision. These requirements do not apply to token gifts from clients. [ERs 1.5, 1.8, 1.14)
Committee discusses when an attorney may disclose his client's threat to commit suicide after the conclusion of one lawsuit.
NOTE: Subsequent to this Opinion, ER 1.6(d)(6) was added to ER 1.6.
Ethical obligations of attorney determine whether client has the capacity to act adequately in her own interest. In so doing attorney may disclose confidential information to diagnostician; no conflict with two other clients of attorney's firm who may have manipulated client for their personal benefit.
Attorney may advise client arrested for DWI to refuse to submit to chemical tests, the preferable course, however, is to advise client of consequences for such conduct.
Attorney may accept employment as both the guardian ad litem and attorney for a minor child in dependency proceedings provided no conflict of interest arises. Attorney representing minor child should follow the wishes of the client as much as possible. Guardian ad litem cannot waive attorney/client privilege.