The Maryland Lawyer’s Rules of Professional Conduct Rule are derived from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules were designed to apply in general to all lawyers regardless of the nature of their practice. The general nature of these rules, however, presents a problem for the estates and trusts lawyer:
“[MRPC] is composed largely of general, litigation-based rules that do not address many of the difficult problems that arise in specific areas of practice. Rather than recognize the need to consider ways in which the MRPC might be adapted to meet the needs of lawyers in specific practice areas, the American Bar Association appears to insist that one rule fits all – without regard to any differences in the nature of a client and the type of representation provided.”
John. R. Price, Reporter’s Note to ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (2nd ed. 1999). The ACTEC Commentaries were designed to tailor the general MRPC to the estates and trusts practice. These Commentaries reflect the estates and trusts lawyer’s traditional role as the lawyer for several members of a family and takes into account that estates and trusts lawyers frequently represent the fiduciary of the estate or trust and one or more of the beneficiaries. Additionally, the estates and trusts practice is not essentially adversarial. The ACTEC Commentaries can be found here.