LEO: Conflict of Interest - Representing  LE Op. 1075


Conflict of Interest - Representing Client Adverse to Former Client.


May 4, 1988


You advise that you were retained by a young Navy man to draft a

separation agreement in March, 1987, as he and his wife were separating

and wanted to settle their property. There were no children born of the

marriage. You drafted the agreement and that client and his wife signed

it. The client is now stationed in Italy and would like to obtain an

uncontested divorce on the grounds that he and his wife have been

separated for more than six months. His wife has indicated that she will

not contest the divorce. For expediency, the wife has contacted you to ask

if you will handle the divorce case. The husband has consented to your

representation in this case.


You wish to know whether or not you may represent the wife in the divorce

action, having previously represented the husband in drafting the

separation agreement.


Disciplinary Rule 5-105(D) [ DR:5-105] states that:


A lawyer who has represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter

represent another person in the same or substantially related matter if

the interest of that person is adverse in any material respect to the

interest of the former client unless the former client consents after



The Committee opines that it would not be improper for you to represent

the wife in this matter since the husband has consented to your

representation. (See also LE Op. 888 and LE Op. 792)


Committee Opinion May 4, 1988