Ethics Opinions from the Bar Association of San Francisco
INFORMAL OPINION 1970-1
It is not unethical to make a service charge or interest charge to clients if their bills are not paid within 30 days. However, care should be taken to avoid anything that could reasonably be regarded as overreaching or unfair. For example, the fact that a further charge will be assessed should be communicated to the client in sufficient time to allow him ample opportunity to make the payment and avoid the charge.
In the opinion of the Committee there is no ethical principle which would prevent such practice.
However care should be taken to avoid anything that the client could reasonably regard as overreaching or unfairness. Specifically, the fact that a further charge will be imposed should be communicated to the client in time to give him an ample opportunity to avoid the charge by making payment. The Committee, of course, expresses no opinion with regard to any legal requirement applicable to service charges or interest rates.
All opinions of the Committee are subject to the following disclaimer:
In using these opinions you should be aware that subsequent judicial opinions and revised rules of professional conduct may have dealt with the areas covered by these ethics opinions.