LEO: Conflict of Interest - Representing  LE Op. 993


Conflict of Interest - Representing Client Adverse

to Client of Former Firm.


November 4, 1987


You advised that Attorney A, formerly with a law firm, has left that firm

and opened his own office. During the time Attorney A served with the law

firm, another attorney in the same firm assumed representation of a client

in the litigation of a real estate matter and filed suit on behalf of the

plaintiff in that case. The Attorney A had no knowledge nor actively

participated in the handling of the case with the old law firm. Subsequent

to leaving the firm, Attorney A has been engaged by the defendant in the

same real estate litigation matter, and has become counsel of record with

another attorney for the defendant. Apparently, full disclosure has been

made, and the plaintiff has been unwilling to waive any conflict regarding

the former law firm associate's representation of the defendant in the

case. You asked if continued representation is permissible.


We refer you to LE Op. 240 and LE Op. 940. We also call your

attention to Canons 4 and 9, and Disciplinary Rule 5-105(D) [ DR:5-105]

of the Code of Professional Responsibility. It is the opinion of the

Committee that a resumption arises that Attorney A has acquired

confidential information, based on the relationship with his former law

firm. This presumption can be rebutted. Silver Chrysler Plymouth v.

Chrysler Motors Corp., 518 F.2d 751 (CA 2 1975). According to the facts

you have presented, Attorney A did not learn of any confidential

information regarding the plaintiff's case. On these facts the presumption

appears to be rebutted.


The Committee opines, that since Attorney A was not in any way involved

with the plaintiff's case nor did Attorney A learn of any confidential

information regarding the plaintiff's case, it would not be improper for

Attorney A to represent the defendant.


Committee Opinion November 4, 1987