Sometimes clients find themselves in need of financial assistance. Money troubles are worrisome and it can be hard to ask your attorney for a loan prior to negotiations ending or receiving a settlement. Attorneys unfortunately are prohibited from loaning, giving, or advancing money to clients. The Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, are the ethical rules governing lawyers. Breaking these rules can result in losing a law license. The historical basis for this rule are champerty laws from old English common law, which prohibit this practice as it is said to encourage litigation.
The following is from the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct:
 Lawyers may not subsidize lawsuits or administrative proceedings brought on behalf of their clients, including making or guaranteeing loans to their clients for living expenses, because to do so would encourage clients to pursue lawsuits that might not otherwise be brought and because such assistance gives lawyers too great a financial stake in the litigation. These dangers do not warrant a prohibition on a lawyer lending a client court costs and litigation expenses, including the expenses of medical examination and the costs of obtaining and presenting evidence, because these advances are virtually indistinguishable from contingent fees and help ensure access to the courts. Similarly, an exception allowing lawyers representing indigent clients to pay court costs and litigation expenses regardless of whether these funds will be repaid is warranted.
Have you or a loved one been in an accident and need legal counsel? Call me today at 877.944.4373 and we can discuss your situation. In cases of clear wrong doing, I am prepared to fight for you and “I’ll Make Them Pay!®”
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.