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Canons of Professional Conduct
A searcher should preserve the confidences and secrets of a client.
Preservation of confidences and secrets of a client:
- "Confidence" refers to information protected by the attorney-client or agent-client privilege under applicable law. "Secret" refers to other information gained in the professional relationship that the client has requested be held inviolate or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would be likely to be detrimental to the client.
- Unless communicating with an attorney or agent of Da Vinci Partners, a searcher shall not knowingly reveal a confidence or secret of a client.
- Except when required by law, a searcher will not knowingly:
- Use a confidence or secret of a client to the disadvantage of the client.
- Use a confidence or secret of a client for the advantage of the searcher or of a third person.
- A searcher shall exercise reasonable care to prevent the searcher's employees, associates, and others whose services are utilized by the searcher from disclosing or using confidences or secrets of a client.
A searcher should assist in maintaining the integrity and competence of the search profession. In order to do so…
A searcher shall not have a conviction of a criminal offense involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or breach of trust, or knowingly giving false or misleading information or knowingly participating in a material way in giving false or misleading information to a client or PATENT.INFO.
- A searcher shall not engage in disreputable or gross misconduct.
- A searcher shall not:
- Engage in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude.
- Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
- Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
- Engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on the searcher's fitness to provide services as a PATENT.INFO searcher.
Fees for search services.
- A searcher shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal or clearly excessive fee.
- A fee is clearly excessive when, after a review of the facts, a searcher of ordinary prudence would be left with a definite and firm conviction that the fee is in excess of a reasonable fee. Factors to be considered as guides in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
- The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly.
- The likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the searcher.
- The fee customarily charged for similar legal services.
- The amount involved and the results obtained.
- The time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances.
- The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client.
- The experience, reputation, and ability of the searcher or searchers performing the services.
- Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
In determining the extent of the search to be performed, a searcher should exercise independent professional judgment for the benefit of a client.
A searcher should perform work for a client competently.
A searcher should assist in improving the search profession.
A searcher should avoid even the appearance of professional impropriety.
A searcher will take reasonable steps to ensure that their own activities do not constitute unauthorized practice of law.
Date of this revision: June 11, 2012
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