Q: My attorney wants to write an article about my case. Do I have to allow that?
A: Generally speaking, not, you don't have to. The Illinois Supreme Court has established Rules of Professional Conduct to govern the actions of lawyers. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(d) provides as follows: "(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation."
The commentary on Rule 1.8(d) provides as follows: "An agreement by which a lawyer acquires literary or media rights concerning the conduct of the representation creates a conflict between the interests of the client and the personal interests of the lawyer. Measures suitable in the representation of the client may detract from the publication value of an account of the representation. Paragraph (d) does not prohibit a lawyer representing a client in a transaction concerning literary property from agreeing that the lawyer’s fee shall consist of a share in ownership in the property, if the arrangement conforms to Rule 1.5 and paragraphs (a) and (i)."
If the lawyer's written account changes the facts and circumstances so that it is not "based in substantial part on information relating to the representation," he or she may be in the clear. Otherwise, it as your case, it is your story, and he or she ought to be negotiating with you about whether they can write about it and who profits from it. I hate to say it , but I'd schedule an appointment with a different lawyer to negotiate with your first lawyer.
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