This column, written by Mark Hinderks, of Stinson LLP, focuses on ethics questions. The discussion here is based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, but the Model Rules are often adopted in different and amended versions, and interpreted in different ways in various places. Always check the rules and authorities applicable in your relevant jurisdiction—the result may be completely different.
Question: I am a business lawyer negotiating with an opposing lawyer over the price to acquire a nonpublic company on behalf of my client. May I state to her that the business is really only worth $10 per share, although I have a confidential expert evaluation opinion at $15 per share? May I state that $12 per share is “all I can offer” if my client in fact has already given me authority to go up to $15 per share?