Rule 19-301.8 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules [MARPC 1.8]

(a) An attorney shall not enter into a business transaction with a client unless:

(1) the transaction and terms on which the attorney acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;

(2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek independent legal advice on the transaction; and

(3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the attorney's role in the transaction, including whether the attorney is representing the client in the transaction.

(b) An attorney shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, except as permitted or required by these Rules.

(c) An attorney shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the attorney or a person related to the attorney any substantial gift unless the attorney or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. For purposes of this section, related persons include a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or other relative or individual with whom the attorney or the client maintains a close, familial relationship.

(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, an attorney shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the attorney literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation.

(e) An attorney shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation, except that:

(1) an attorney may advance court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and

(2) an attorney representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client.

(f) An attorney shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:

(1) the client gives informed consent;

(2) there is no interference with the attorney's independence of professional judgment or with the client-attorney relationship; and

(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 19-301.6 (1.6).

(g) An attorney who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client or confirmed on the record before a tribunal. The attorney's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.

(h) An attorney shall not:

(1) make an agreement prospectively limiting the attorney's liability to a client for malpractice unless the client is independently represented in making the agreement; or

(2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal advice in connection therewith.

(i) An attorney shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the attorney is conducting for a client, except that the attorney may:

(1) acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the attorney's fee or expenses; and

(2) subject to Rule 19-301.5 (1.5), contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.

(j) While attorneys are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing sections (a) through (i) of this Rule that applies to any one of them shall apply to all of them.