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In addition, as noted above, the “of counsel” title must not be false or misleading in other respects. 1995-8 (“sharing of space and availability for consultation on a regular basis are strongly indicative of the requisite closeness of relationship, but not conclusive absent closeness, regularity and a personal dimension in the relationship”). A review of the inquiries made to the Committee’s Ethics Hotline has shown that certain legal ethics questions occur more often than others. 6, 2009) (finding no conflict under 1.9 where no attorney-client relationship was formed in the prior, allegedly substantially related matter). Y.2d 123 (1989) (holding that interests of acquired corporation were materially adverse to interests of selling shareholder in a post-sale dispute regarding the corporation's pre-sale environmental compliance). Accordingly, the Committee has prepared a set of answers to frequently asked questions for the general edification of the Bar. the representation will involve the lawyer in representing differing interests.” Rule 1.7(a)(1). In World Hill, the court denied a disqualification motion based on an alleged prior representation, holding that “[i]t is well settled that ‘[t]o determine whether an attorney-client relationship exists, a court must consider the parties’ actions. There is no prohibition or restriction on successive adverse representations involving unrelated matters or related matters where the interests of the former and current clients are not materially adverse. (Rule 1.0(r)) Informed Consent “Informed consent” denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated information adequate for the person to make an informed decision, and after the lawyer has adequately explained to the person the material risks of the proposed course of conduct and reasonably available alternatives. An attorney who has failed to recognize or ignores the existence of an impermissible conflict involved in the simultaneous representation of multiple clients may be disqualified from representing all of the clients. The prohibition against conflicts in the representation of multiple clients furthers a number of salutary objectives. “‘[A]n attorney who undertakes the joint representation of two parties in a lawsuit [should] not continue as counsel for either one after an actual conflict of interest has arisen’ because continued representation of either or both parties would result in a violation of the ethical rule requiring an attorney to preserve a client's confidences or the rule requiring an attorney to represent a client zealously.” Sidor v. The following factors, which are not intended to be exclusive or exhaustive, may be relevant to determine whether a relationship is “continuing, regular and personal” within the meaning of Rule 7.5(a)(4): N. Because “of counsel” relationships vary significantly from firm to firm, the fact that some of these elements are not present in a particular relationship (or that other elements not listed above are present) does not necessarily make the of counsel designation inappropriate.

If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the person gives oral consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter. Satisfaction of the ‘disinterested lawyer’ test in a non-litigation context will depend on an evaluation of the circumstances of the simultaneous representations. The existence or absence of a conflict will depend on whether the lawyer is able to avoid using one client’s confidential information in the representation of another client and whether possession of that information may reasonably affect the lawyer’s independent professional judgment in the representation of the other client. Rule 1.11 governs conflicts involving government lawyers and should be consulted for guidance in addressing conflicts in those circumstances. Under Rule 1.9(c)(2), a lawyer may not reveal confidential information of the former client protected by Rule 1.6 except as the Rules otherwise permit or require with respect to a current client. Can the lawyer retain the file until the bills are paid? A lawyer generally may withdraw from the representation when the client fails to pay the lawyer's fees, but must take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client. In litigation proceedings, court rules commonly require consent of court before withdrawing.

In Sage Realty, the Court of Appeals held that (1) counsel’s former client is entitled to inspect and copy any documents which relate to the representation and are in counsel’s possession, absent “substantial grounds” for counsel to refuse access (abrogating Zackiva Commcn's Corp. A “continuing relationship” is regularly defined as a “close, regular, personal relationship.” N.

D.2d 417, (1st Dep't 1996)); (2) a law firm is not required to disclose documents that might violate a duty of nondisclosure owed to a third party, or otherwise imposed by law, or firm documents intended for internal law office review and use; and (3) generally, unless the law firm has already been paid for assemblage and delivery of documents to the client, performing that function is properly chargeable to the client. Under what circumstances may a lawyer or law firm enter into an “of counsel” relationship with another lawyer or law firm? Under the Rules, lawyers or law firms may hold themselves out as “of counsel” to another lawyer or law firm, provided: (1) they have “a continuing relationship with [that] lawyer or law firm, other than as a partner or associate” (Rule 7.5(a)(4)); and (2) the use of the “of counsel” title is not false or misleading in other respects. [1] (“In order to avoid the possibility of misleading persons with whom a lawyer deals, a lawyer should be scrupulous in the representation of professional status.”)).

Ethics opinions have approved the exercise of a retaining lien to the extent such a lien is permitted by law.

When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation."). Retaining liens provide certain rights to retain, until the lawyer's fees and expenses are paid, a client's papers, money, and other property that have come into the lawyer's possession in the course of the lawyer's professional employment.

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(Rule 1.0(e)) Differing Interests “Differing interests" includes every interest that will adversely affect either the judgment or the loyalty of a lawyer to a client, whether it be a conflicting, inconsistent, diverse, or other interest. Multiple representation can therefore cause serious hardship to one or more clients if a lawyer is forced to withdraw after having performed significant legal services. Prior representation, “Substantially related” and “materially adverse” In some instances, there may be a threshold question of whether there has been a prior representation, i.e., whether the attorney “formerly represented” a person as a client in an earlier matter. (Emphasis added.) “Confidential information,” as defined by Rule 1.6, is not limited exclusively to privileged information, but rather consists of information gained during or relating to the representation of a client, whatever its source, that is (a) protected by the attorney-client privilege, (b) likely to be embarrassing or detrimental to the client if disclosed, or (c) information that the client has requested to be kept confidential. Even after bills are settled, may a lawyer refuse the client access to portions of the file? The exercise of retaining liens has been approved as an ethical matter, but their precise contours are questions of law, not ethical command. (5) the client deliberately disregards an agreement or obligation to the lawyer as to expenses or fees.

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