Questions on Counseling or Assisting Crime or Fraud
1. Although in general the client may determine the ends that may be pursued
in the lawyer-client relationship, Rule 1.2(d) puts a limit on these ends.
The lawyer cannot counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct
that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent. Of course, such assistance
by the lawyer might also make the lawyer an accomplice under the criminal
law or an joint tortfeasor under tort law. But violation of 1.2(d)
is possible through conduct that does not make one an accomplice or joint
2. A client comes to you and says that he plans to painlessly euthanize his
mother, who is suffering from Alzheimers. He fully expects to be arrested,
but thinks that the law against euthanasia in such cases is unjust.
He asks you to defend him if he is indeed arrested. May you agree under
Rule 1.2(d)? Would it make a difference if the client thought not merely
that the law against euthanasia was unjust but also that it was unconstitutional?
3. You are defending a client on a murder charge. He is out on bail,
although this took a good deal of arguing on your part, since he showed some
signs of being likely to flee the country. You client asks you what
countries do not have extradition treaties with the United States.
What do you do, under Rule 1.2(d)?
4. Your client is a loan shark and wants you to draft up a loan agreement
form. The form is to include interest rates that you know are usurious
and other terms that you know are legally unconscionable. Under Rule
1.2(d), may you draft the form?
5. A client comes to you for tax advice. He wants to know at exactly
what level of claimed deduction the IRS is likely to audit someone whom it
suspects of making fraudulent deductions for charitable contributions.
You know that the IRS never audits anyone on this ground if he claims less
than $300 of charitable contributions. May you tell your client this?
6. Consider the following scenario. You represented a company that obtained
loans from a local bank. In issuing the loans, the bank relied upon your
opinion letter, which certified that the company had sufficient valid contracts
with customers to repay the loans. You subsequently learn that the company
is in a worse financial situation than you were led to believe, because many
of the documents that you relied upon were forged by the company's officers.
You know that the company intends to apply for future loans from the same
bank. The company has agreed that it will not ask you to represent it in
further dealings in which the validity of your opinion concerning the company's
worth would be relevant. May you represent the company in another capacity?
7. You and your client are engaging in the negotiation of an agreement between
your client and a retailer. You discover that while you were out of the room
your client falsely told the retailer that no significant competitor for
your client's product is likely. In fact, you and the client know that a
competitor is about to introduce a cheaper and better version of your product
in a few weeks. Negotiations are about to continue. Under the Model Rules,
must you withdraw?