STATEMENT OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
BE IT RESOLVED, that the members of The Ohio Association for Justice adopt the following Statement of Professional Responsibility:
Statement of Professional Responsibility
Members of The Ohio Association for Justice (OAJ) have long dedicated themselves to protecting the rights of victims needlessly injured or killed because of wrongful conduct and defective products. OAJ believes that the sensibilities of injured victims and their families should be respected and protected by society in general-and insurance companies, lawyers and their representatives in particular.
Clearly, OAJ members should always abide by the highest standards of professional responsibility governing conduct with prospective clients. OAJ members are especially mindful, however, of the plight of victims and their families and hereby recognize a commitment to ethical conduct intended to protect victims and their families from intrusive solicitation practices and false, deceptive or misleading advertising by lawyers.
The mission, aspirations and goals of this Academy are inconsistent with the intrusive practices of telephonic, direct mail and in person solicitation of cases and clients.
Ohio’s Constitution does not permit OAJ to regulate the conduct of lawyers. This function is the unique privilege and obligation of the Supreme Court of Ohio. This Statement of Professional Responsibility is aspirational and represents the objectives toward which every member of OAJ should strive.
In recognition of the foregoing:
1. No OAJ member should personally, or through a representative, contact any party or an aggrieved survivor in an attempt to solicit a potential client when there has been no request for such contact from the injured party, an aggrieved survivor or a relative of either.
2. No OAJ member should go to the scene of an event which caused injury unless requested to do so by an interested party, an aggrieved survivor, a relative of either or by an attorney representing an injured party or survivor.
3. No OAJ member should personally, or through a representative, make representations of trial experience or past results of litigation, either of which is in any way false or misleading.
4. No OAJ member should personally, or through a representative, initiate personal contact with a potential client (who is not a client, former client, relative or close personal friend of the attorney) for the purpose of advising that individual of the possibility of an unrecognized legal claim for damages unless the member forgoes any financial interest in the compensation of the injured party.
5. No OAJ member should file or maintain a frivolous suit, issue or position. However, OAJ members should not refrain from urging or arguing any suit, issue or position that the member believes, in good faith, to have merit.
6. No lawyer should advertise for cases which he or she has no initial intention of handling for the purpose of brokering such cases to other lawyers. Any OAJ member who enters a contract of representation should, at the time of retention, fully advise the client in writing of all relationships with other attorneys who will be involved in the representation, the role each attorney will play and the proposed division of fees among them. The client should also be promptly advised of all changes affecting the representation.
7. No OAJ member should knowingly accept a referral from a person, whether an OAJ member or not, who obtained the representation by conduct which is contrary to this statement.
Adopted May, 4 1995