What are a lawyer's ethical duties?

Attorneys in Florida and most other states follow a set of rules of conduct, adopted into state law, that govern their actions in representing clients, as well as their responsibilities to them. As the disciplinary arm of the state Supreme Court, the Florida Bar Association also has the responsibility for investigating claims of attorney misconduct and imposing sanctions, if deemed necessary.

The American Bar Association has set several rules that serve as a basis for many states’ ethics rules as well. They establish the ethical responsibilities of attorneys as follows:

Following client instructions

Once an attorney advises a client of his options in a case, he should act as the client wishes, despite whether he prefers to proceed differently. If the client understands his options and the possible results, it is his decision on how to proceed.

Competent work

As part of his responsibility to provide excellent work, an attorney must understand and be able to effectively apply legal trends. He must be able to analyze and interpret new laws. 


At times, clients may feel they are being left out of the loop when they do not hear from their attorneys. A lawyer must keep his client apprised of any and all changes in his case and inform him within a reasonable time.


Busy attorneys should not accept more cases than they realistically can handle. If a lawyer delays certain cases to take care of other matters, he can wind up damaging those cases. He must be certain to have the time and commitment due to each case and client before accepting a new one.

Conflict of interest

An attorney may not represent clients who are on opposing sides in a case or other legal matters. To do so may compromise one or both sides.


This rule is widely known as attorney-client privilege and its purpose is to help safeguard confidential information. This rule allows a client to openly discuss details that may be damaging or embarrassing with his attorney without fear of disclosure to others.

This information provided here is informational in nature. It is not to be taken as legal advice.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email us for a response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy



Jacksonville Office
1300 Riverplace Boulevard
Suite 401
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Toll Free: 866-542-1996
Phone: 904-396-1996
Fax: 904-396-1991
Map & Directions

Miami Office
1395 Brickell Avenue
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 305-200-8674
Phone: 305-200-8675
Fax: 305-200-8801
Map & Directions

West Palm Beach - By Appointment Only
301 Clematis Street
Suite 300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone: 561-832-5991
Fax: 561-832-5985
Map & Directions

Panama City Office
305 Cherry Street
Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-481-1386
Fax: 850-640-1247
Map & Directions

Tampa Office
10150 Highland Manor Drive
Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33610

Fax: 813-314-2163
Map & Directions