These are some general examples of areas covered by the HRPC:
* Lack of Diligence and/or Communication - a lawyer fails to work on a client's case or fails to keep in contact with the client concerning the status of the case or to return calls.
* Misappropriation - a lawyer uses a client's money for the lawyer's own benefit without the client's permission.
* Fraud or Deception - a lawyer lies to a client, the court, or others.
* Conflict of Interest - a lawyer handles a case despite being subject to competing loyalties or interests.
* Disclosure of Confidential Information - a lawyer gives someone else information which the client has requested be kept confidential.
These are only examples; many other areas are covered by the HRPC. A lawyer may be disciplined only for violating a specific provision of the HRPC. A violation must be proven by clear and convincing evidence of wrongdoing before an attorney can be disciplined.
Unethical conduct and malpractice do not necessarily mean the same thing. Unethical conduct does not include every instance of inadequate representation or poor performance by an attorney. For example, a lawyer may make an error in judgment or other mistake in handling a client's case. A mistake or error in judgment is not necessarily unethical conduct that violates the HRPC. A lawyer in that situation may be guilty of "negligence" or "malpractice" for which the client may be able to sue for monetary loss suffered.