Lawyers cannot “pay to play”

Today MoBar lawyer Ed Martin announced he will run for Missouri Attorney General -- thus pitting him against fellow MoBar lawyer Chris Koster (see http://bit.ly/yTOCMy). Political campaigning is also making news: the heated Republican presidential debate in Florida last night, for example, was a lead story on this morning's news.

This campaigning suggests this is a good moment to mention that the Missouri Supreme Court has adopted Model Rule 7.6, which states that a lawyer shall not accept government legal work or a judicial appointment if the lawyer made or solicited political contributions to obtain or receive consideration for the post. See http://1.usa.gov/ztfGi5.

So, how often is this Rule really an issue? Well, Westlaw's Multistate Ethics Cases database has zero cases that quote the Rule. And I could not find a single case relying on the rule in the new ABA Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct (7th Ed. 2011) or on Google. Are we to believe that lawyers never violate the Rule, or do they (a) never get caught or (b) when caught make the problem go away quickly and quietly?