Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Ohralik v. Ohio State Bar Association

United States Supreme Court
436 U.S. 447 (1978)



After learning that an acquaintance, Carol McClintock, had been injured in an auto accident, attorney Ohralik (defendant) visited McClintock’s parents. He discussed the accident and applicable law, and he recommended that McClintock hire an attorney. Ohralik next visited McClintock in the hospital, where he asked her to sign a retainer agreement. McClintock said that she would need to talk with her parents and asked Ohralik to tell her parents to come to the hospital. At McClintock’s home, Ohralik secretly recorded his conversation with her parents, who told him that McClintock had agreed to sign his retainer agreement and also gave Ohralik information about the limits of their insurance policy. Ohralik visited McClintock in the hospital two days later, where she signed a contingent fee agreement assigning Ohralik one-third of any recovery. Later, Ohralik made an uninvited visit to the home of McClintock’s passenger, Wanda Lou Holbert, who had also been injured in the accident. Once again, Ohralik secretly recorded the conversation. Ohralik told Holbert that he had been retained by McClintock and advised her that she might be entitled to compensation under McClintock’s insurance policy. Ohralik offered Holbert the same contingent fee agreement he had offered McClintock. Holbert verbally agreed to have Ohralik represent her. The Ohio State Bar Association (plaintiff) undertook disciplinary proceedings and concluded that Ohralik had violated state rules of professional conduct prohibiting the direct solicitation of prospective clients for financial gain. The state supreme court upheld the findings from Ohralik’s disciplinary hearing and permanently suspended Ohralik’s license to practice law. Ohralik petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial