Credit card use has been increasing steadily not only to procure merchandise and services offline, but also for purchasing professional services, virtual and physical goods online. Because payment processing and collection services have fees associated with them that are typically based on a percentage (%) of the transaction amount, the Bar has come under increasing pressure to clarify its position as to permissibility of client use of credit cards and attorney payment of processing fees as exceptions to the "fee sharing" prohibitions. American Bar Association as well as many State and Local Bar associations have issued opinions in favor of client credit card payments and permissibility of processing fees. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with particular Bar association rules governing your practice as there are nuances about treatment of advance payments by clients and what kind of bank account those payments can be deposited into. Here are some links to opinions regarding permissibility of client credit card payments and associated payment of convenience fees by attorneys:
California Bar: http://ethics.calbar.ca.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ngt5WX-QswE%3D&tabid=836
NY City Bar: http://www.nycbar.org/ethics/ethics-opinions-local/1995-opinions/1075-formal-opinion-1995-1
American Bar Association: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/YourABA/00-419.authcheckdam.pdf
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