1. If the American Bar Associa-tion proposal on
multidisciplinary practice is adopted, lawyers will be able to have nonlawyers as their
partners, even if some activities of the partnership constitute the practice of law.
2. If the American Bar Associa-tion proposal on multidisciplinary
practice is adopted, lawyers will be able to share the profits of law firms with
3. In order to be successful in disqualifying an attorney that
possesses material confidential information adverse to a party, the party must prove that
he or she had a fee agreement with the lawyer.
4. The duty of confidentiality does not extend to preliminary
consultations by a prospective client with a view to retention of that lawyer, when
employment does not result.
5. For the purposes of conflicts of interest analysis, an attorney is
deemed to represent the client when the attorney knowingly obtains material confidential
information from the client and renders legal advice or services as a result.
6. Confidential information acquired by an of counsel
cannot be imputed to the firm with which the of counsel is affiliated.
7. The law firm which lists an attorney as of counsel on
its letterhead or other listing is making an affirmative representation to its clients
that the services of that attorney are available to the clients of the firm.
8. An of counsel relationship with a law firm is not that of partner or associate, or law
corporation shareholder or officer.
9. An of counsel relationship with a law firm is close,
personal, continuous and regular.
10. The close, personal, continuous and regular relationship between
a law firm and an attorney affiliated with it as of counsel contains many of
the same elements that justify vicarious disqualification applied to partners, associates
11. There are no circumstances wherein a law firm and its affiliated
of counsel must be considered a single de facto firm.
12. Rule 3-310(E), California Rules of Conduct, prohibits attorneys
from accepting, without the clients informed consent, employment adverse to the
client, where, by reason of the representation of the client, the attorney has obtained
confidential information material to the employment.
13. Lawyers representations that they had not, and would not in
the future, discuss a conflict case with other members of the firm were enough to
establish a formal screening procedure.
14. In order to be a defense to disqualification in California, a law
firm with a conflict based upon the possession of confidential information could show that
it instituted formal screening procedures at any time after learning of the conflict.
15. The substantial relationship test requires proof of three
elements: (1) similarity between the two factual situations, (2) similarity between the
legal questions posed, and (3) the nature and extent of the attorneys involvement
with the cases.
16. The representation of a subsidiary did not necessarily create
ethical duties to its parent corporation, precluding representation of adverse interests
against the parent assuming that one was not the alter ego of the other.
17. A lawyer owes no duty to maintain a third partys
information confidential even though acquired during the representation of an underwriter,
absent the third partys reasonable expectation that the underwriter has a duty of
18. The violation of a rule of professional conduct automatically
precludes an attorney from obtaining fees incurred in the representation.
19. If an attorney engaged in a serious violation of the
attorneys responsibilities in a matter, the attorney may not be eligible to recover
for the work done on that matter.
20. Unity of interests between a parent and subsidiary corporation can be grounded upon shared legal departments, the
subsidiarys lack of independent contractual authority, integrated operations and
management personnel, and overlapping functions and personnel on the same project.
This activity has been approved
for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount
of 1 hour, of which 1 hour will apply to legal ethics.
The State Bar of California
certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities
prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum
continuing legal education.