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Under the Model Rule, a lawyer “shall not provide financial assistance to a client” in connection with litigation other than assisting with court costs and litigation expenses. The LSBA believed that this step is unnecessary to protect clients’ interests because the presiding court, in reviewing the settlement, can do so.In 2006, the Louisiana Supreme Court amended Louisiana Rule 1.8(e) to permit certain types of financial assistance unrelated to court costs and litigation expenses, but only under tightly-regulated circumstances. In 2002, the ABA added a signed-writing requirement to the corresponding Model Rule.It became effective on March 1, 2004, and was amended in 2006 to address financial assistance to clients.
In 2002, the ABA adopted a provision requiring that a lawyer seeking to do business with a client must advise the client of the desirability of seeking independent counsel.Paragraph (c) is nearly identical to Model Rule 1.8(c) (2002), with one substantive change.The Louisiana Rule excludes language found in the ABA Model Rule that attempts to sweep within the rule an unspecified class of relatives, namely, “other” relatives or individuals “with whom the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial relationship.” The LSBA was concerned that this language was too indeterminate to give lawyers fair notice regarding which relatives are included within its scope.Paragraph (d) is identical to Model Rule 1.8(d) (2002). or the compensation is provided by contract with a third person such as an insurance contract or a prepaid legal service plan.” This is identical to language in the former Louisiana rule, and was intended by the LSBA to relieve lawyers of the burden of securing a client’s “informed consent” to payment of fees by a third party when the client has already given consent by contracting for the payment.Paragraph (e) diverges significantly from Model Rule 1.8(e). 1976), a case in which the Louisiana Supreme Court held that a lawyer may advance “minimal living expenses” to a client to prevent the client from being forced into accepting an unfavorable early settlement. Paragraph (f) is identical to Model Rule 1.8(f) (2002), except with the addition of the following language to subsection (i): “. Paragraph (g) is identical to Model Rule 1.8(g) (2002), except with the addition of language to address aggregate settlements in “certified class action[s].” The LSBA proposed this addition to relieve class-action lawyers of the obligation of obtaining signed writings from all members of a certified class in order to settle a class-action matter.