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Retainer Can Make Client Indemnify Lawyer Against 3rd Party

Sept. 18, 2018, 8:19 PM

Ethics rules don’t prohibit retainer provisions that require a client to indemnify a lawyer “against third-party claims that arise from the client’s behavior or negligence,” the Utah bar’s ethics committee advised in a recent opinion.

The opinion—which addressed an issue that only a handful of state bar panels have considered—required the committee to analyze the scope of Utah’s version of Model Rule 1.8(h), which prohibits lawyers from trying to prospectively limit their malpractice liability to clients.

The committee said Rule 1.8(h) wouldn’t apply to the retainer provision considered in this opinion. The rule “addresses an attorney’s prospective limitations to ...