Prohibited Settlement Clauses

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recently issued an advisory opinion concerning restrictions on an attorney’s right to practice and solicit clients contained within settlement agreements. Of course, an effective settlement agreement attempts to eliminate all claims involving the settling parties. The goal is to put an end to the dispute, forever. But, what happens when a settlement agreement expressly prohibits the settling parties’ counsel from pursuing similar claims through other clients?

Advisory Opinion 2019-04 addresses practice restrictions in proposed settlement agreements. The opinion concluded …

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Lying During Settlement Negotiations

Attorneys are bound by strict ethical rules that mandate truthfulness in statements to others. However, when it comes to settlement discussions, many attorneys channel their inner Pinocchio and lie, exaggerate, mislead, bluff, bend the truth, and misrepresent. In an effort to be a zealous advocate and obtain a favorable result for our clients, attorneys must negotiate without revealing the true bottom line.  But, there is a point when a little lie is actually an ethical violation. Where does the line fall between puffery and improper …

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