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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 6

Adopted September 25, 1936

The Board of Governors of The State Bar of Oklahoma is requested to express its opinion in answer to the following inquiry from a member of the State Bar:

"Please advise me whether or not the following arrangement would contravene any of the rules of professional conduct: "Suppose a client should want me to foreclose a mortgage containing the usual provision for attorneys fee, generally ten per cent of the amount of the mortgage. The client wants me to retain two-thirds of the attorney fee, said two-thirds being my entire fee in the case and remit to him the balance, or one-third of the fee allowed and collected."

It is the opinion of the Board of Governors that the arrangement proposed in the letter would constitute a violation of Rule 36 of the Rules of Professional Conduct which provides: "No division of fees for legal services is proper, except with another lawyer, based upon a division of services or responsibility." The Board of Governors is also of the opinion that the proposed arrangement would constitute a violation of Cause Nine of the Causes for Disbarment, Suspension or other Disciplinary Action. See causes for Disbarment, etc., which provides: "That the following shall be considered sufficient causes for disbarment or suspension of or for the imposition of other disciplinary measures upon a person who has been admitted to the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma, ... "(9) That he has divided or agreed to divide fees for legal services with anyone other than another attorney entitled to practice law."