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AAJ Code of Conduct and Professionalism

AAJ Code of Conduct and Professionalism 
As Last Amended by the AAJ Board of Governors; November 3, 2007

In the representation of clients and otherwise in the practice of the profession as trial attorneys, AAJ members shall abide by the following principles: 

  1. Zealously represent the best interests of their clients within the framework of all applicable Rules of Professional Responsibility and with the highest ethical standards of the profession.
  2. Not prosecute or counsel any action, or assert any claim or defense, which is false, frivolous, or wholly insubstantial.
  3. Engage only in advertising that fully complies with the rules of the jurisdictions in which the member is admitted or where the advertising is placed, and not engage in any form of false, misleading, or deceptive advertising.
  4. Not initiate personal contact with any injured party or aggrieved survivor, either personally or through a representative, without a specific request or for the sole purpose of attracting cases.
  5. Not initiate press contact following a disaster or incident that resulted in injury or death for the sole purpose of attracting cases.
  6. Not knowingly accept referral of a case that has been the subject of conduct that violates the provisions of this Code or other applicable rule.
  7. Disclose and explain the fee to be charged to the client and how it is calculated; the handling of costs while the case is pending and on resolution; and, if contingent upon recovery, memorialize the fee clearly in a written fee agreement.
  8. To the extent consistent with state law or Rules of Professional Conduct, ensure that all decisions to arbitrate disputes arising from contracts with clients are voluntary and that a client’s judicial rights and remedies are not waived under coercion; include no pre-dispute mandatory binding arbitration clauses in agreements with clients.
  9. Accept only cases and legal matters for which the attorney or cocounsel possesses the requisite knowledge, skill, time and resources to prosecute diligently and competently.
  10. Disclose to clients the intention to refer their case to another attorney or to engage the services of another attorney to represent their interests.
  11. Communicate promptly, frankly, and fully with clients when they inquire about their cases and at other times as appropriate to keep them informed about the progress and status of their cases.
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