The Board of Commissioers on Grievances and Discipline of The Supreme Court of Ohio has released an opinion of the issue of whether, during settlement of a matter, it is ethical for a lawyer to propose, demand, and or agree to personally satisfy any and all claims by third persons as to settlement funds.
Here is the Syllabus of the Opinion 2011-1:
It is improper for a plaintiff’s lawyer to personally agree, as a condition of settlement, to indemnify the opposing party from any and all claims by third persons to the settlement funds. Such agreements are not authorized by Prof. Cond. Rule 1.15(d) and violate Prof. Cond. Rules 1.8(e) and 1.7(a)(2). Further, it is improper for a lawyer to propose or require, as a condition of settlement, that a plaintiff’s lawyer make a personal agreement to indemnify the opposing party from any and all claims by third persons to the settlement funds. Such conduct violates Prof. Cond. Rule 8.4(a). The Board recommends that this advisory opinion be prospective in application.