New CBA Conduct Code Offers Solution to Canadian Conflicts Issue
A former president of the Canadian Bar Association has been an easy mark in recent years for savvy litigants in family law cases. If they wanted to prevent her from representing a spouse in a divorce case, they made an appointment to meet with her.
Under conflicts rules, that was all it took to keep Susan McGrath, who practices in Ontario, off their case, reports the Globe and Mail. Likewise, in corporate cases, a company whose executives knew how to play this game could visit all the law firms in town for a consultation, preventing a competitor from retaining them.
Now, however, a new attorney code of conduct adopted yesterday by the CBA offers alternative rules that could be adopted by bar authorities to resolve this issue.
“The CBA hopes that its new framework will be adopted by provincial law societies, which currently apply differing criteria to assessing conflicts,” the newspaper writes. “It hopes that the courts will also be influenced into adopting what it views as a more realistic standard when making findings of conflict.”