California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 1998
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MCLE SELF-STUDY

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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on professional responsibilities to clients. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. A lawyer cannot accept representation adverse to a current client if the new representation will call upon the lawyer to use confidential information of the current client.

2. If there is no rule of professional conduct prohibiting a lawyer from accepting representation, a lawyer breaches no duty by accepting such representation.

3. A lawyer's duty of loyalty prohibits a lawyer from accepting representation from a new client to sue a current client in an unrelated matter.

4. Courts may deny a law firm compensation for legal services provided to a client from the date that the law firm accepted employment hostile to the current client in an unrelated matter.

5. A law firm that represents client H in a personal injury action may represent client W against H in a dissolution matter, completely unrelated, provided that H receives a full disclosure of the consequences and consents in writing to the adverse representation.

6. A lawyer or law firm which terminates representation of client X in order not to take an adverse action against pre-existing client A nevertheless has to advise the terminated client, X, of the statute of limitations relevant to X's matter.

7. A lawyer or law firm which terminates representation of client X in order not to take an adverse action against pre-existing client B nevertheless has to refer terminated client X to competent counsel.

8. A lawyer who represents client A in a breach of contract action may nevertheless advise new client B concerning whether B has probable cause to initiate a professional liability action against A, so long as the pre-litigation advice is completely unrelated to A's breach of contract action.

9. A lawyer may terminate the representation of client X in order to thereafter accept representation of a more lucrative client Z against X in an unrelated matter.

10. After current client A's matter has terminated, a law firm may accept representation of new client B against A in an unrelated matter.

11. A lawyer that drops client A in an unrelated matter to accept representation of client B against A may be disqualified from representation of client B.

12. If a lawyer represents client A against client B in litigation, a lawyer may accept concurrent representation of client B in an unrelated litigation matter.

13. If a lawyer represents client A against client B in litigation, a lawyer may accept concurrent representation of client B in an unrelated litigation matter so long as the lawyer discloses the representation to client A.

14. If a lawyer represents client A against client B in litigation, a lawyer may accept concurrent representation of client B in an unrelated litigation matter so long as the client orally consents to lawyer's representation of client B.

15. In California federal courts, in litigation between party A v. party X, a lawyer may be disqualified from representing party A by a current client B even though B is not a party and is represented by lawyer in unrelated matters, if (1) client B had claims against party A that might or might not become the subject of a lawsuit between B and A which are also the subject matter of the litigation; (2) the law firm advances assertions in pleadings and dispositive motions that could provide party A with defenses to potential claims by client B; and (3) the law firm asserts defenses against party X's claims where client B has beneficial interest in the property which is the subject of the litigation in X's possession.

16. In California state courts, in litigation between party A v. party X, a lawyer may be disqualified from representing party A by a current client B even though B is not a party and is represented by lawyer in unrelated matters, if (1) client B had claims against party A that might or might not become the subject of a lawsuit between B and A which are also the subject matter of the litigation; (2) the law firm advances assertions in pleadings and dispositive motions that could provide party A with defenses to potential claims by client B; and (3) the law firm asserts defenses against party X's claims where client B has beneficial interest in the property which is the subject of the litigation in X's possession.

17. A lawyer that represents an independent subsidiary of a parent corporation also represents the parent corporation.

18. A lawyer that represents an independent subsidiary of a parent corporation owes a duty of loyalty to the parent corporation.

19. For the purpose of conflicts of interest, a parent corporation may prove that it is the alter ego of its subsidiary corporation and disqualify a law firm from representing an adversary if the law firm represents the subsidiary in an unrelated matter.

20. Where a law firm represents an independent subsidiary in one or more unrelated matters, and concurrently sues the parent corporation on behalf of a third party, the law firm will not be disqualified for a breach of the duty of loyalty to the parent corporation or the subsidiary, in the absence of the parent's showing that it was the alter ego of the subsidiary.

CERTIFICATION

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 elimination of bias.

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.