5. Law Firms and Associations
Related Opinions

ER 5.1.     Responsibilities of Lawyers Who Have Ownership Interests or are Managers or Supervisors

(a) A lawyer who has an ownership interest in a firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect internal policies and procedures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers and nonlawyers in the firm conform to these Rules of Professional Conduct.
(1) Internal policies and procedures include, but are not limited to, those designed to detect and resolve conflicts of interest, maintaining confidentiality, identifying dates by which actions must be taken in pending matters, account for client funds and property and ensure that inexperienced lawyers are properly supervised.
(2) Other measures may be required depending on the firm's structure and the nature of its practice.
(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Rules of Professional Conduct. The degree of supervision required is that which is reasonable under the circumstances, taking into account factors such as the experience of the person who is being supervised and the amount of work supervised. Whether a lawyer has supervisory authority may vary given the circumstances.
(c) A lawyer shall be personally responsible for another lawyer's violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
(2) the lawyer has an ownership interest in or has comparable managerial authority in the firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(i) Appropriate remedial action by an owner or managing lawyer depends on the immediacy of that lawyer's involvement and the seriousness of the misconduct.
(ii) A supervisor must intervene to prevent avoidable consequences of misconduct if the supervisor knows that the misconduct occurred.