Understanding the Guidelines of Attorney Professional Responsibility

Posted on: April 4, 2019 by Huntersure

Lawyers who represent any and every industry across the United States all take on a set of expected responsibilities that pertain to their role as a legal representative. Clients expect their lawyer to adhere to certain methods and responsibilities to keep transparency open and expectations of their legal issues discussed.

Lawyers are required by their state bar to follow a code of conduct when becoming a representative of the court of law. When an attorney strays from these responsibilities they can open themselves up to a world of legal trouble of their own. From negligence to fraud to mishandling a client’s case, attorneys can be put on trial.

The code of conduct for lawyers is extensive, but all points to the same idea of being meticulous and diligent in every step of the legal process. Here’s a closer look at some portions of the code.


The list of responsibilities is broken down into two sections: the preamble and the scope. For the preamble, the code goes into the idea of what it means to protect and serve the public as a legal representative. It sheds light on how to best conduct oneself as a lawyer and what’s expected as far as day-to-day dedication to the law.

One section states that “a lawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client’s position under the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the client but consistent with requirements of honest dealing with others.”

This helps the public as well as attorneys understand the importance of being a servant of the public and how they are meant to seek and support justice.

Moving on, the code spells out the importance of being diligent and meticulous, as mentioned above. In the event that a lawyer is found to be negligent, a client can take legal action against them. This sheds light on the need for attorney professional liability insurance, an important piece of coverage that protects lawyers in the event of a claim.

“A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation. A lawyer should keep in confidence information relating to representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.”


The second portion, the scope, describes the importance of the rules at hand. The rules of professional conduct are rules for a reason, it states. The rules apply to all lawyers, no matter if they’re practicing in the private or public sector. Failing to comply to these guidelines can invoke the disciplinary process that could end a lawyer’s career after having them disbarred.

The scope also paints a specific picture of how lawyers are protected legally when it comes to not complying.

“Moreover, the Rules presuppose that whether or not discipline should be imposed for a violation, and the severity of a sanction, depend on all the circumstances, such as the willfulness and seriousness of the violation, extenuating factors and whether there have been previous violations.”

This points out that lawyers, while being held responsible for a number of issues, do have the ability to protect their own reputation based off evidence. Lawyers owe it to their clients and their careers to follow the guidelines and understand the severity of weaving out of the borders. It comes down to service and responsibility in the eye of the law.

About Huntersure

At Huntersure, we specialize in providing quality professional liability solutions to accounting professionals. Our Accountant Liability Insurance program provides coverage for accountants, auditors, bookkeepers, and tax preparers, so no matter where your clients lie in the industry they can have the coverage they need to protect themselves and their assets. To learn more about our operation and our Professional Liability Insurance solutions, contact us today at (855) 585-6255.

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