Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Taft attorneys are frequently referred to as the “lawyer’s lawyers” for their ability to provide sound counsel on matters of ethics and professional responsibility to those in the legal community and other professions. A wide range of professionals, including lawyers, judges and other officeholders, turn to Taft for counsel and representation concerning ethics rule interpretation, grievance or complaint responses, substance abuse cases, litigation and unauthorized practice of law charges. Our attorneys also provide counseling and other support to participants in the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program.

Taft attorneys represent and advise government officials, and those who deal with the government, on compliance with the myriad of ethics statutes and regulations that apply to those involved in governmental affairs and transactions.

We place a premium on assisting our clients with the utmost discretion, helping them achieve their goals by anticipating and avoiding ethical violations. Because ethical rules are often not straightforward, our clients trust us to deliver an accurate interpretation. We can draw on firsthand knowledge of the political process, as many of our attorneys have either served in public office or as staff members for officeholders, or have guided campaigns. That knowledge is particularly helpful in advising judges concerning ethics rules and other laws applicable to judicial election campaigns and representing them in the campaign grievance process. We offer a unique combination of experience in both ethics and campaign management.

The firm’s attorneys have been recognized nationally by peer review organizations such as Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for their legal experience.

As a result of their efforts in the areas of ethics and professionalism, our attorneys have been tapped by their peers regionally and nationally to lead ethics-oriented committees. Two of our attorneys served on the Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and one of our attorneys received the Columbus Bar Association’s prestigious Professionalism Award. The Columbus Bar Foundation holds the Chester Professionalism Institute annually to discuss important issues related to ethical standards and professional responsibility.

The firm’s ethics and professional responsibility attorneys advise and represent professionals, including lawyers, judges, candidates for public office and their campaign committees, federal, state and local officeholders, and ballot issue campaign committees. Our attorneys advise and represent judges, lawyers and those who deal with the government on how to meet their ethical and legal duties, and we defend clients against claims that they have failed to do so.

Our services include:

  • Advising lawyers, governmental officials and those who deal with the government on compliance.
  • Advisory opinions on professional responsibility and governmental ethics issues.
  • Ethical review of legal practice structure to promote best ethical practices.
  • Review of legal advertisements for compliance with ethics rules.
  • Assistance in responding to inquiries from grievance committees and other ethics regulators.
  • Defense of legal ethics matters before the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct, the Disciplinary Counsel and bar association Certified Grievance Committees.
  • Defense of governmental ethics matters before the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Ohio Elections Commission, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General and the Joint Legislative Ethics Commission.

Our firm has expertise in a wide variety of areas — from tax to estate planning to complex litigation to real estate — that provide valuable resources for understanding and defending an ethics claim.

The firm’s ethics and professional responsibility attorneys hold themselves to a level of professionalism that has enabled them to build a reputation for their honesty and integrity as they address sensitive compliance and grievance issues. We strive to provide our clients with clarity and security in resolving ethical issues. Our best cases are the ones that never happen because of our pragmatic and judicious review of strategy, communications or advertisements prior to implementation.