Look for the bookmark icons to save resources to your account for easy viewing later. Learn more about saving resources. Rule 1. Whether a lawyer, or that lawyers present or former firm, is prohibited from representing a client in a matter by reason of the lawyers successive government and private employment is governed by Rule 1. Paragraph a concerns the situation where a lawyer once personally represented a client and now wishes to represent a second client against that former client.
Also, why should lawyers be subject to different standards than other professional guilds? Professionals should be held to higher and clearer ethical standards, especially those professionals who represent the law of the land.
First Client Interview (without introduction)
Understandably, the legal profession does not require physical contact as in the medical field. But that does not mean that lawyers should be excused from representing their clients in a reasonable manner.
The rule makes it seem like all lawyers in general are unscrupulous, money-hungry pimps who abuse their positions of influence though a number of them probably are.
In my opinion the rule subtly suggests that exchanging favors for fees is just standard practice for all attorneys. On a different note, part of this particular ethical issue lies in the fact that many clients involved in violations do not report such incidences to authorities.
Such courageous client responses might help prevent abuses more than any rules ever could.
You can refer to our reviews page if you want to know what our clients have to say about us. There are enough people in the planet. While could his judgement. But thankfully you can still have sex with your therapist.
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Dating a former client would not usually be a problem. Of course, an attorney should avoid any situation in which it appears the attorney is taking advantage of a client or former client due to the nature of the attorney-client relationship. Jan 17, Regardless of where you practice, your state has probably adopted a rule about conflicts of interest with current clients. The American Bar Association Model Rule of Professional Conduct (j) sets the standard. It unequivocally states: A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed Author: Robyn Hagan Cain. 2. Paragraph (a) concerns the situation where a lawyer once personally represented a client and now wishes to represent a second client against that former client. Whether such a personal attorney-client relationship existed involves questions of both fact and law that are beyond the scope of these Rules. See Preamble: Scope.
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Jul 06, I learned, over the course of many years, if a client parted ways with a former attorney for reasons other than a conflict situation or the retirement of said attorney, they would be trouble-real trouble. Too many times, I bought the story about t. There is no ethical prohibition against dating a former client in California. It is not good busines practice and should be avoided. THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Current clients and former clients - each of these stages create different obligations and affects the attorney's ability to represent others. When a current client becomes a former client is not always clear. Since the answer can make a substantial difference in analyzing conflicts of interest, however, an attorney should seek to avoid.
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The conflict in effect forecloses alternatives that would otherwise be available to the client. The mere possibility of subsequent harm does not itself require disclosure and consent.
The critical questions are the likelihood that a difference in interests will eventuate and, if it does, whether it will materially interfere with the lawyer's independent professional judgment in considering alternatives or foreclose courses of action that reasonably should be pursued on behalf of the client.
For example, if the probity of a lawyer's own conduct in a transaction is in serious question, it may be difficult or impossible for the lawyer to give a client detached advice. Similarly, when a lawyer has discussions concerning possible employment with an opponent of the lawyer's client, or with a law firm representing the opponent, such discussions could materially limit the lawyer's representation of the client.
In addition, a lawyer may not allow related business interests to affect representation, for example, by referring clients to an enterprise in which the lawyer has an undisclosed financial interest. See also Rule 1. As a result, each client is entitled to know of the existence and implications of the relationship between the lawyers before the lawyer agrees to undertake the representation.
Thus, a lawyer related to another lawyer, e. The disqualification arising from a close family relationship is personal and ordinarily is not imputed to members of firms with whom the lawyers are associated. If acceptance of the payment from any other source presents a significant risk that the lawyer's representation of the client will be materially limited by the lawyer's own interest in accommodating the person paying the lawyer's fee or by the lawyer's responsibilities to a payer who is also a co-client, then the lawyer must comply with the requirements of paragraph b before accepting the representation, including determining whether the conflict is consentable and, if so, that the client has adequate information about the material risks of the representation.
(3) a lawyer representing an indigent client pro bono, a lawyer representing an indigent client pro bono through a notruthexchange-sow.comofit legal services or public interest organization and a lawyer representing an indigent client pro bono through a law school clinical or pro bono program may provide modest gifts to the client for food, rent, transportation. Apr 14, Indeed, just last year, the Louisiana Supreme Court declined to apply to former clients the prohibition on dating current clients. Justice Jeannette Knoll concurred to emphasize that a lawyer's ethical duties to the client don't stop just because representation is over: "Inherent in the duty of loyalty is the corresponding duty to protect the. Nov 09, In the legal world, Texas lawyers have recently drafted a rule governing lawyer interactions with clients. Rule , also known as the "Sex with Clients" rule, has been causing quite a controversy over these past few months. Texas currently does not have an ethics rule governing sexual relationships between a lawyer and their client.
However, as indicated in paragraph bsome conflicts are nonconsentable, meaning that the lawyer involved cannot properly ask for such agreement or provide representation on the basis of the client's consent. When the lawyer is representing more than one client, the question of consentability must be resolved as to each client.
Thus, under paragraph b 1representation is prohibited if in the circumstances the lawyer cannot reasonably conclude that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation. For example, in some states substantive law provides that the same lawyer may not represent more than one defendant in a capital case, even with the consent of the clients, and under federal criminal statutes certain representations by a former government lawyer are prohibited, despite the informed consent of the former client.
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In addition, decisional law in some states limits the ability of a governmental client, such as a municipality, to consent to a conflict of interest. Whether clients are aligned directly against each other within the meaning of this paragraph requires examination of the context of the proceeding. Although this paragraph does not preclude a lawyer's multiple representation of adverse parties to a mediation because mediation is not a proceeding before a "tribunal" under Rule 1.
The information required depends on the nature of the conflict and the nature of the risks involved. When representation of multiple clients in a single matter is undertaken, the information must include the implications of the common representation, including possible effects on loyalty, confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege and the advantages and risks involved.
See Comments  and  effect of common representation on confidentiality. For example, when the lawyer represents different clients in related matters and one of the clients refuses to consent to the disclosure necessary to permit the other client to make an informed decision, the lawyer cannot properly ask the latter to consent.
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In some cases the alternative to common representation can be that each party may have to obtain separate representation with the possibility of incurring additional costs. These costs, along with the benefits of securing separate representation, are factors that may be considered by the affected client in determining whether common representation is in the client's interests.
Such a writing may consist of a document executed by the client or one that the lawyer promptly records and transmits to the client following an oral consent. If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the client gives informed consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter.
The requirement of a writing does not supplant the need in most cases for the lawyer to talk with the client, to explain the risks and advantages, if any, of representation burdened with a conflict of interest, as well as reasonably available alternatives, and to afford the client a reasonable opportunity to consider the risks and alternatives and to raise questions and concerns.
Rather, the writing is required in order to impress upon clients the seriousness of the decision the client is being asked to make and to avoid disputes or ambiguities that might later occur in the absence of a writing. Whether revoking consent to the client's own representation precludes the lawyer from continuing to represent other clients depends on the circumstances, including the nature of the conflict, whether the client revoked consent because of a material change in circumstances, the reasonable expectations of the other client and whether material detriment to the other clients or the lawyer would result.
The effectiveness of such waivers is generally determined by the extent to which the client reasonably understands the material risks that the waiver entails. The more comprehensive the explanation of the types of future representations that might arise and the actual and reasonably foreseeable adverse consequences of those representations, the greater the likelihood that the client will have the requisite understanding.
Thus, if the client agrees to consent to a particular type of conflict with which the client is already familiar, then the consent ordinarily will be effective with regard to that type of conflict.
If the consent is general and open-ended, then the consent ordinarily will be ineffective, because it is not reasonably likely that the client will have understood the material risks involved.
On the other hand, if the client is an experienced user of the legal services involved and is reasonably informed regarding the risk that a conflict may arise, such consent is more likely to be effective, particularly if, e. In any case, advance consent cannot be effective if the circumstances that materialize in the future are such as would make the conflict nonconsentable under paragraph b. On the other hand, simultaneous representation of parties whose interests in litigation may conflict, such as coplaintiffs or codefendants, is governed by paragraph a 2.
A conflict may exist by reason of substantial discrepancy in the parties' testimony, incompatibility in positions in relation to an opposing party or the fact that there are substantially different possibilities of settlement of the claims or liabilities in question.
Such conflicts can arise in criminal cases as well as civil. The potential for conflict of interest in representing multiple defendants in a criminal case is so grave that ordinarily a lawyer should decline to represent more than one codefendant.
On the other hand, common representation of persons having similar interests in civil litigation is proper if the requirements of paragraph b are met. The mere fact that advocating a legal position on behalf of one client might create precedent adverse to the interests of a client represented by the lawyer in an unrelated matter does not create a conflict of interest.
A conflict of interest exists, however, if there is a significant risk that a lawyer's action on behalf of one client will materially limit the lawyer's effectiveness in representing another client in a different case; for example, when a decision favoring one client will create a precedent likely to seriously weaken the position taken on behalf of the other client.
Factors relevant in determining whether the clients need to be advised of the risk include: where the cases are pending, whether the issue is substantive or procedural, the temporal relationship between the matters, the significance of the issue to the immediate and long-term interests of the clients involved and the clients' reasonable expectations in retaining the lawyer.
If there is significant risk of material limitation, then absent informed consent of the affected clients, the lawyer must refuse one of the representations or withdraw from one or both matters.
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Thus, the lawyer does not typically need to get the consent of such a person before representing a client suing the person in an unrelated matter. Similarly, a lawyer seeking to represent an opponent in a class action does not typically need the consent of an unnamed member of the class whom the lawyer represents in an unrelated matter.
For a discussion of directly adverse conflicts in transactional matters, see Comment . Relevant factors in determining whether there is significant potential for material limitation include the duration and intimacy of the lawyer's relationship with the client or clients involved, the functions being performed by the lawyer, the likelihood that disagreements will arise and the likely prejudice to the client from the conflict.
The question is often one of proximity and degree. See Comment . A lawyer may be called upon to prepare wills for several family members, such as husband and wife, and, depending upon the circumstances, a conflict of interest may be present.
In estate administration the identity of the client may be unclear under the law of a particular jurisdiction. Under one view, the client is the fiduciary; under another view the client is the estate or trust, including its beneficiaries.
In order to comply with conflict of interest rules, the lawyer should make clear the lawyer's relationship to the parties involved. For example, a lawyer may not represent multiple parties to a negotiation whose interests are fundamentally antagonistic to each other, but common representation is permissible where the clients are generally aligned in interest even though there is some difference in interest among them.
Thus, a lawyer may seek to establish or adjust a relationship between clients on an amicable and mutually advantageous basis; for example, in helping to organize a business in which two or more clients are entrepreneurs, working out the financial reorganization of an enterprise in which two or more clients have an interest or arranging a property distribution in settlement of an estate.
The lawyer seeks to resolve potentially adverse interests by developing the parties' mutual interests. Otherwise, each party might have to obtain separate representation, with the possibility of incurring additional cost, complication or even litigation. Given these and other relevant factors, the clients may prefer that the lawyer act for all of them.
Ordinarily, the lawyer will be forced to withdraw from representing all of the clients if the common representation fails.