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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 57

Adopted October 27, 1933

The Board is in receipt of the following inquiry:

"Please advise me if it is all right for a lawyer to advance costs when filing a case for his client in the instance where his client does not have the necessary amount of money to deposit for costs."

In response:

Rule 44 of the rules of professional conduct provides:

"A lawyer may not properly agree with a client that the lawyer shall pay or bear the expenses of litigation; he may in good faith advance expenses as a matter of convenience, but subject to reimbursement."

This rule seems to be self-explanatory. A member of the bar may, in good faith, advance expenses as a matter of convenience, but subject to reimbursement.