The Pennsylvania Bar Association Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which is chaired by Attorney Daniel J. Siegel, issued a Formal Ethics Opinion, Number 2022-100, concerning attorneys’ obligations to request counsel fees following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Opinion in Lorino v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Commonwealth) in December 2021. Entitled “Attorney’s Obligations to Request Counsel Fees Under Section 440 of the Workers’ Compensation Act,” the Opinion advises attorneys that they are not required to request the fees, but that, at the relevant time during the litigation, attorneys are required to discuss the issue with their clients, including whether or not to request the fees, and must abide by the clients’ decision whether to seek the award of fees.
The Lorino decision has spurred significant discussion and debate among Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers, and the opinion arose from an inquiry by one member of the Bar. The Committee decided to issue a formal opinion, which is intended to provide guidance to all lawyers about how to ethically handle situations that commonly arise in their practices.
Click here to read Pennsylvania Bar Association Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Formal Opinion 2022-100, Attorney’s Obligations to Request Counsel Fees Under Section 440 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.