Legal Ethics

Sharing Some Client Info Can Be OK When Moving to a New Firm, Ethics Committee Says

Joining a law firm no longer implies the long-term commitment it once did.

More than a third of survey respondents just three years out of law school said they had changed jobs at least once, according to a 2004 report titled After the JD: First Results of a National Study of Legal Careers by the American Bar Foundation and the Foundation for Law Career Research and Education at the National Association for Law Placement. By their seventh year in practice, 53 percent of the respondents had changed practice settings. And those numbers were reported before the current recession made jobs at law firms even more transient.

All this moving around by lawyers raises some tricky ethics issues, especially regarding conflicts of interest. The primary difficulty is reconciling the general ethics prohibition against disclosing client information with the practical reality that one of the best ways to avoid trouble when a lawyer moves to a new firm is to conduct a conflicts check.

Continue reading “Conflicts Check, Please” at this link in the January ABA Journal.

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