1. Client-Lawyer Relationship
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ER 1.0.     Terminology

(a) “Belief” or “believes” denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question to be true. A person's belief may be inferred from circumstances.
 
(b) “Confirmed in writing,” when used in reference to the informed consent of a person, denotes informed consent that is given in writing by the person or a writing that a lawyer promptly transmits to the person confirming an oral informed consent. See paragraph (e) for the definition of “informed consent.” If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the person gives informed consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter.
 
(c) “Firm” or “law firm” denotes a lawyer or lawyers in any affiliation, or any entity that provides legal services for which it employs lawyers. Whether two or more lawyers constitute a firm can depend on the specific facts.
 
(d) “Fraud” or “fraudulent” denotes conduct that is fraudulent under the substantive or procedural law of the applicable jurisdiction and has a purpose to deceive.
 
(e) “Informed consent” denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.
 
(f) “Knowingly,” “known,” or “knows” denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances.
 
(g) “Reasonable” or “reasonably” when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer denotes the conduct of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer.
 
(h) “Reasonable belief” or “reasonably believes” when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that the lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is reasonable.
 
(i) “Reasonably should know” when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.
 
(j) “Screened” denotes the isolation of a lawyer or nonlawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect information that the isolated lawyer or nonlawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law.
 
(1) Reasonably adequate procedures include:
 
(i) written notice to all affected firm personnel that a screen is in place and the screened lawyer or nonlawyer must avoid any communication with other firm personnel about the screened matter;
 
(ii) adoption of mechanisms to deny access by the screened lawyer or nonlawyer to firm files or other information, including information in electronic form, relating to the screened matter;
 
(iii) acknowledgment by the screened lawyer or nonlawyer of the obligation not to communicate with any other firm personnel with respect to the matter and to avoid any contact with any firm files or other information, including information in electronic form, relating to the matter;
 
(iv) periodic reminders of the screen to all affected firm personnel; and
 
(v) additional screening measures that are appropriate for the particular matter will depend on the circumstances.
 
(2) Screening measures must be implemented as soon as practical after a lawyer, nonlawyer, or firm knows or reasonably should know that there is a need for screening.
 
(k) “Substantial” when used in reference to degree or extent denotes a material matter of clear and weighty importance.
 
(l) “Tribunal” denotes a court, an arbitrator in an arbitration proceeding or a legislative body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity. A legislative body, administrative agency or other body acts in an adjudicative capacity when a neutral official, after the presentation of evidence or legal argument by a party or parties, will render a legal judgment directly affecting a party's interests in a particular matter.
 
(m) “Writing” or “written” denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or video recording and electronic communications. A “signed” writing includes an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a writing and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the writing.
 
(n) “Business transaction,” when used in reference to conflicts of interests:
 
(1) includes but is not limited to:
 
(i) the sale of goods or services related to the practice of law to existing clients of a firm's legal practice;
 
(ii) a lawyer referring a client to nonlegal services performed by others within a firm or a separate entity in which the lawyer or the lawyer's firm has a financial interest; or
 
(iii) transactions between a lawyer or a firm and a client in which a lawyer or firm accepts nonmonetary property or an interest in the client's business as payment of all or part of a fee.
 
(2) does not include:
 
(i) ordinary fee arrangements between client and lawyer; or
 
(ii) standard commercial transactions between a lawyer and a client for products or services that the client generally markets to others and over which the lawyer has no advantage with the client.
 
(o) “Personal interests,” when used in reference to conflicts of interests, include but are not limited to:
 
(1) the probity of a lawyer's own conduct, or the conduct of a nonlawyer in the firm, in a transaction;
 
(2) referring clients to a nonlawyer within a firm to provide nonlegal services; or
 
(3) referring clients to an enterprise in which a firm lawyer or nonlawyer has an undisclosed or disclosed financial interest.
 
(p) “Authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction” denotes a firm that employs lawyers or nonlawyers who provide legal services as authorized by Rule 31.1(a).
 
(q) “Nonlawyer” denotes a person not licensed as a lawyer in this jurisdiction or who is licensed in another jurisdiction but is not authorized by Supreme Court Rule 31.1(a) to practice Arizona law.
 
Comment [2021 Amdendment]
 
Confirmed in Writing
 
[1] If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit a written confirmation at the time the client gives informed consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter. If a lawyer has obtained a client's informed consent, the lawyer may act in reliance on that consent so long as it is confirmed in writing within a reasonable time thereafter.
 
Firm
 
[2] Questions can arise with respect to lawyers in legal aid, legal services organizations, and other entities that include nonlawyers and provide other services in addition to legal services. Depending upon the structure of the organization, the entire organization or different components of it may constitute a firm or firms for purposes of these Rules. For instance, an organization that provides legal, accounting, and financial planning services to clients is a “firm” for purposes of these Rules for which a lawyer is responsible for assuring that reasonable measures are in place to safeguard client confidences and avoid conflicts of interest by all employees, officers, directors, owners, shareholders, and members of the firm regardless of whether or not the nonlawyers participate in providing legal services. See Rules 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.
 
Fraud
 
[3] When used in these Rules, the terms “fraud” or “fraudulent” refer to conduct that is characterized as such under the substantive or procedural law of the applicable jurisdiction and has a purpose to deceive. This does not include merely negligent misrepresentation or negligent failure to apprise another of relevant information. For purposes of these Rules, it is not necessary that anyone has suffered damages or relied on the misrepresentation or failure to inform.
 
Informed Consent
 
[4] Many of the Rules of Professional Conduct require the lawyer to obtain the informed consent of a client or other person (e.g., a former client or, under certain circumstances, a prospective client) before accepting or continuing representation or pursuing a course of conduct. See ERs 1.2(c), 1.6(a), 1.7(b), 1.8(a), and 1.9(b). The communication necessary to obtain such consent will vary according to the Rule involved and the circumstances giving rise to the need to obtain informed consent. The lawyer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the client or other person possesses information reasonably adequate to make an informed decision. Ordinarily, this will require communication that includes a disclosure of the facts and circumstances giving rise to the situation, any explanation reasonably necessary to inform the client or other person of the material advantages and disadvantages of the proposed course of conduct and a discussion of the client's or other person's options and alternatives. In some circumstances it may be appropriate for a lawyer to advise a client or other person to seek the advice of other counsel. A lawyer need not inform a client or other person of facts or implications already known to the client or other person: nevertheless, a lawyer who does not personally inform the client or other person assumes the risk that the client or other person is inadequately informed and the consent is invalid. In determining whether the information and explanation provided are reasonably adequate, relevant factors include whether the client or other person is experienced in legal matters generally and in making decisions of the type involved, and whether the client or other person is independently represented by other counsel in giving the consent. Normally, such persons need less information and explanation than others, and generally a client or other person who is independently represented by other counsel in giving the consent should be assumed to have given informed consent.
 
[5] Obtaining informed consent will usually require an affirmative response by the client or other person. In general, a lawyer may not assume consent from a client's or other person's silence. Consent may be inferred, however, from the conduct of a client or other person who has reasonably adequate information about the matter. A number of Rules require that a person's consent be confirmed in writing. See ERs 1.7(b) and 1.9(a). For a definition of “writing” and “confirmed in writing,” see paragraphs (n) and (b). Other Rules require that a client's consent be obtained in a writing signed by the client. See, e.g., ERs 1.5(e)(2), 1.8(a) and (g). For a definition of “signed,” see paragraph (n).