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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 135

Adopted May 21, 1937

The Board is in receipt of the following request for an advisory opinion:

"The undersigned, a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, was designated as executor in a will which he is now probating and has accepted and entered upon his duties as said executor. Can he ethically charge a reasonable attorney's fee in the estate in addition to his fees as executor, provided by law, representing himself in administering the estate? As executor of the estate, he is being sued upon certain claims which have been disallowed. Can he ethically serve as attorney in these law-suits brought in the District Court, and charge a reasonable attorney's fee to the estate, to be allowed by the County Judge?"

In response:

It is to be noted that the request invites the opinion of the Board upon a matter of legal rights rather than upon a matter of professional conduct.

Inasmuch as the court is the proper forum for the orderly presentation and determination of such a matter, the Board is of the opinion that it is not one of its functions to enunciate a rule concerning it, either by advisory opinion or otherwise. In this connection see the "Preface" to Volume 1 of Advisory Opinions.