Professional Responsibility Attack Sheet for the Florida Bar Exam

**Professional Responsibility Attack Sheet for the Florida Bar Exam**


Professional Responsibility is an essential topic for the Florida Bar Exam, encompassing the rules and ethical considerations that govern the conduct of lawyers. Florida adopts the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) with state-specific modifications. For the Florida Bar, candidates must understand the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct as well as the American Bar Association’s Model Rules. This attack sheet provides a structured approach to the most critical areas of Professional Responsibility as tested on the Florida Bar Exam.

*Lawyer-Client Relationship*

1. **Formation of Relationship**
– Understand when the attorney-client relationship begins: Agreement, implication, or when a person reasonably relies on the promise of representation.

2. **Competence (Rule 4-1.1)**
– Legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

3. **Diligence (Rule 4-1.3)**
– A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

4. **Communication (Rule 4-1.4)**
– Keeping the client reasonably informed and complying with requests for information.

5. **Fees (Rule 4-1.5)**
– Fees must be reasonable and communicated to the client.

6. **Confidentiality (Rule 4-1.6)**
– A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, disclosure is impliedly authorized, or is permitted by law.

7. **Conflict of Interest (Rules 4-1.7 to 4-1.9)**
– Direct adversity
– Material limitation
– Former client conflicts
– Imputed disqualification

*Lawyer’s Duties to the Court and Third Parties*

1. **Candor Toward the Tribunal (Rule 4-3.3)**
– No false statements of fact or law, correcting false evidence, and revealing legal authority directly adverse to the client’s position.

2. **Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel (Rule 4-3.4)**
– No unlawfully obstructing access to evidence, altering/falsifying evidence, or knowingly disobeying obligations under the rules of a tribunal.

3. **Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal (Rule 4-3.5)**
– Lawyers shall not seek to influence judges, jurors, or other officials by means prohibited by law.

4. **Communications with Persons Represented by Counsel (Rule 4-4.2)**
– No communication with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the other lawyer consents.

5. **Dealing with Unrepresented Persons (Rule 4-4.3)**
– Cannot state or imply that they are disinterested and must clarify their role if misunderstood by the unrepresented person.

*Lawyer’s Duties to the Public and Legal System*

1. **Responsibility to the Legal System**
– Uphold the law and act as an officer of the legal system.

2. **Pro Bono Publico Service (Rule 4-6.1)**
– Aspirational goal to render public interest legal service.

3. **Advertising and Solicitation (Rules 4-7.1 to 4-7.22)**
– Rules regulating advertising, solicitation, and communication with the public.

4. **Reporting Professional Misconduct (Rule 4-8.3)**
– Duty to report any violations of the Rules that raise a substantial question as to another lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness.

*Lawyer’s Duties to the Profession*

1. **Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession**
– Avoid conduct that is detrimental to the profession, including discriminatory practices in professional activities.

2. **Unauthorized Practice of Law (Rule 4-5.5)**
– A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction.

3. **Judicial and Legal Officials**
– Lawyers must not attempt to influence judges, court officials, jurors, or prospective jurors in a manner prohibited by law.

*Disciplinary Procedures*

1. **Florida Bar Disciplinary Process**
– Complaint, investigation, grievance committee review, filing of formal charges, hearing, and sanctions.

2. **Sanctions**
– Private reprimand, public reprimand, probation, suspension, disbarment, and reinstatement procedures.


This attack sheet is not exhaustive but provides a framework to quickly reference major topics. For the Florida Bar Exam, it is essential to understand the nuances of Florida-specific rules in addition to the analogous MRPC. Candidates should practice applying these rules to fact patterns, as the Bar Exam often tests the practical application of Professional Responsibility principles through hypothetical scenarios. Always check for the latest updates to the rules and the Florida Bar Examination instructions.

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