In the representation of clients and otherwise in the practice of the profession as trial attorneys, MAJ members shall abide by the following principles:
Embracing our commitment to protect the rights of our citizens to pursue fair and just representation in and access to our civil justice system, to defend the right to trial by jury, to assiduously adhere to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, and to conduct ourselves with the highest degree of civility towards one another, the bar, the bench and our community, we pledge:
- Zealously represent the best interests of their clients with the highest ethical standards of the profession.
- Not prosecute or counsel any action, or assert any claim or defense, which is false, frivolous, or clearly without merit.
- Engage only in advertising that fully complies with the attorney ethics rules of the jurisdictions in which the member is admitted or where the advertising is placed, by not engaging in any form of false, misleading, or deceptive advertising.
- Not, directly or indirectly, initiate in-person or verbal contact with any injured party or aggrieved survivor, either personally or through a representative, without a specific request by the injured party or aggrieved survivor, for the purpose of attracting cases.
- Not initiate press contact following a disaster or incident that resulted in injury or death for the sole purpose of attracting cases.
- Not directly or indirectly participate in any formal or informal network, business relationship or other arrangement for the referral of cases to the attorney which the attorney knows or should know violates the provisions of this Code, the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, and/or other laws and regulations, and shall not accept any referral of any case from such network, business relationship or other arrangement.
- Disclose and explain the fee to be charged to the client and how it is calculated; the handling of costs while the case is pending and on resolution; and, if contingent upon recovery, memorialize the fee clearly in a written fee agreement.
- To the extent consistent with state law or Rules of Professional Conduct, include no mandatory binding arbitration clauses in retainer or fee agreements with clients relating to disputes between the attorney and client.
- Accept only cases and legal matters for which the attorney or co-counsel possesses the requisite knowledge, skill, time and resources to prosecute diligently and competently.
- Disclose to retained clients in writing the intention to refer their case to another attorney or to engage the services of another attorney to represent their interests, and to obtain the consent of the client prior to making such referral or engaging the other attorney.
- Communicate promptly, frankly, and fully with clients when they inquire about their cases and at other times as appropriate to keep them informed about the progress and status of their cases.
Adopted by the Michigan Association for Justice Executive Board on December 16, 2015.