Inquiry is made concerning the ethical propriety of self-representation, in court, by corporations through attorney employees.
The Code of Professional Responsibility only addresses the ethical responsibilities of attorneys' acts or conduct in relation to the unauthorized practice of law.
There is no impropriety in an attorney employee of a corporation assisting, advising, counseling, representing or appearing on behalf of the corporation in the conduct of its affairs, either in or out of court.
Any participation by corporate counsel in performing legal services to corporate customers is in violation of Disciplinary Rule 3-101(A) of the Code which prohibits a lawyer from aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law. See Formal Ethics Opinions 83-F-44 and 83-F-44(a).
This 13th day of June, 1984.
Henry H. Hancock
W. J. Flippin
Edwin C. Townsend
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD