LEO: Conflict of Interest/Former Law  LE Op. 527


Conflict of Interest/Former Law Partnership/Representation

of Adverse Party.


September 13, 1983


An attorney's former partner represented a client in the investigation of

an automobile hit and run, which resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

Thereafter, the partnership dissolved and an attorney in the former

partnership was requested by an heir of the deceased victim of the hit and

run to represent the decedent's family. Given the similarity of the two

representations, the risk of disclosure of confidential information and

the appearance of impropriety, the committee concluded that representation

of the decedent's family by the former law partner is ethically

impermissible, even though the attorney may not have been apprised of all

the facts concerning his former partner's representation. The partnership

relationship imputes knowledge to all other partners. The knowledge, and

the attendant responsibility to hold it inviolate, continues after the

attorney-client relationship terminates. [ DR:4-101(B), EC:4-6]


Committee Opinion September 13, 1983