I am quite wary of the age old saying “the lawyer that represents himself has a fool for a client.” In order to make sure that I wasn’t about to do just that (or get myself disbarred), I made a call to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commisson’s toll-free ethics inquiry line.
Me: I want to make sure that I am not about to unknowingly break a rule of professional responsibility.It started as a serious call but ended like a drunk dial to Westlaw.
ARDC: What’s the situation
Me: I am looking to represent my firm in a malpractice action with an issue that originated before my time here.
ARDC: That’s absolutely fine.
Me: I guess my real question is can I represent my firm as a solo practitioner, separate from the firm?
ARDC: That’s fine too.
Me: I want to make some joke about inappropriate behavior, like sleeping with the boss who is now a client, but it is too late in the day for humor.
ARDC: We don’t regulate that.
Me: But now my boss is going to be my client.
ARDC: Just as long as you start sleeping with the boss before you file that appearance, you are acting ethically.