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What Ethical Obligations Does Your Minnesota Injury Attorney Have?

Hiring an attorney to represent you is an essential step when pursuing compensation after an injury. However, choosing the right attorney can seem daunting. Most people aren’t used to working closely with legal professionals. What can you expect?

First off, there’s one thing you should always be able to count on—ethical behavior. In fact, the Minnesota Supreme Court has established official standards for how attorneys should conduct themselves: the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct.

To help clarify what you should expect during a personal injury case, let’s take a brief look at what ethical obligations your Minnesota attorney owes you.

1. Competence

The Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct state that:

“A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”

In short, Minnesota attorneys are ethically obligated to only take on cases they can handle. This doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to win the case—only that they are reasonably equipped to try.

Before agreeing to represent you, your attorney should always be certain that they are well suited to the job. If not, they may refer you to a colleague, but they should never try to tackle a case outside of their expertise.

Most law firms provide a free consultation to help them decide if they’re up to the task.

2. Diligence

Your attorney isn’t just required to be competent to take on your case. They must also put that competence to good use. In the words of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct:

“A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.”

Your attorney isn’t allowed to slack off or phone in it. Once they’ve agreed to represent you, they’re obligated to give you the best help and advice they can. It’s their duty to use all reasonable means to pursue the maximum compensation available to you.

3. Honesty

Your attorney is also obligated to be honest when communicating with you. They should never knowingly mislead you about:

  • Your rights
  • The details of your case
  • Your chances of winning
  • Their own abilities and experience

…or anything else relating to your claim. You need to know that you can rely on honesty and transparency from your attorney at all times.

4. Confidentiality

One of the most important ethical obligations for Minnesota attorneys is confidentiality. Your attorney is not allowed to share information about you or your case with anyone except in rare circumstances.

This means that your attorney can’t discuss the details of your case with their buddies or spread any secrets around town. Anything you tell them stays confidential unless you give them permission to use it in your case. That way, you can open up and share what you have to without fear of it getting out.

There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as if an attorney reasonably believes that disclosing the information will prevent a serious crime or protect someone from injury. However, in most cases, that won’t be a concern.

You also have a right to expect total confidentiality from an attorney even if you never hire them. According to the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct:

“Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has consulted with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information obtained in the consultation…”

5. Communication

You should expect your attorney to maintain open communication with you throughout your case. This includes:

  • Keeping you updated about the status of your claim
  • Discussing the strategy they’re using to help you win the compensation you need
  • Answering any questions you may have
  • Responding to any concerns you may have

The Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct provides further clarity, stating that:

“…A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.”

6. Reasonable Fees

Minnesota attorneys are also barred from charging excessive fees for their services. Specifically:

“A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses.”

Of course, the definitions of “reasonable” and “unreasonable” may seem subjective. The Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct lists various factors that should be taken into account, including:

  • The nature of the professional relationship between the attorney and you
  • The experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney
  • The time and labor the case requires
  • The skills required to represent you properly
  • Any time limits on the case that require the attorney to act in greater haste
  • The fees usually charged for similar legal services
  • Whether the fee is fixed or contingent

Using this information, you should be able to determine whether an attorney’s proposed fee is reasonable.

Do You Need a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney?

If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation—and we can help you get it.

At SiebenCarey, we’ve spent decades helping injury victims get the financial support they need after an accident. Just contact us, and we can:

  • Explain your rights to you
  • Investigate the details of your injury
  • Build a strong case on your behalf
  • Help you win every dollar of compensation you’re owed

Click here for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Client Reviews

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Carly R.

My boyfriend was hit by a car and while all the attorneys he talked to said he didn't have much chance of a case, SiebenCarey took him on and gave him a fighting chance. He's still recovering, but SiebenCarey is making it a lot easier.

Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Daniel Ball

Really good professionals, they solved my issues in no time using the most impressive and advanced approach. Really good, highly recommended.

Jazz Smith

SiebenCarey is a professional and dedicated law organization that help accident victim.

Morgan Petoletti

My husband had an amazing experience with this firm. They listened and took the time to understand our case.

Jenna L. at Insider Pages

I have had nothing but great service with these guys. They are very knowledgable on a wide variety of subjects and topic. They will help you with any case you need!

St. Paul Local 12

Thanks for everything, your experience paid off BIG!!!

Eric Petoletti

Even though I was states away and could only talk on the phone, they listened and did everything that they could to win my case. I felt like I was a part of the family.

Renee Goneau

SiebenCarey is a great personal injury law firm that really cares about their clients.  Highly recommend!

Sarah Peterson

It was a great experience working with Jim and his entire team! Always felt well taken care of and someone was always there to answer my many questions! Thanks!

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