Thursday, February 21, 2013

Risk Update: Ethical Screens, Professional Rules

Ethical Screen Upheld in Screen-Unfriendly State
Bill Frievogel notes:

  • "Doe v. Regional School Unit, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16700 (D. Me. Feb. 7, 2013). Firm A represents the plaintiff, Firm B the defendant. While at Firm B Lawyer worked more than a hundred hours on this case. Lawyer moved to Firm A. Firm A erected a screen although Maine rules do not recognize non-consensual screens. The defendant moved to disqualify Firm A. In this opinion the magistrate judge denied the motion. The court said that the defendant had not shown actual prejudice by Lawyer's move and seemed influenced by Firm A's screen. The court's analysis of the extent and nature of Lawyer's exposure to the defendant was very fact-intensive."
ABA Approves Ethics 20/20 Proposals on Foreign Lawyers, Choice of Conflict Rules
BNA provides this update:
  • "The ABA House of Delegates Feb. 11 put the organization's official stamp of approval on the second and final round of proposals from its Commission on Ethics 20/20 to update model ethics and bar admissions rules."
  • amend Model Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5, which addresses multijurisdictional practice, to permit foreign lawyers to serve as in-house counsel in the United States, so long as they do not give independent advice to their clients about state or U.S. law;
  • change the Model Rule for Registration of In-House Counsel to implement the new authority in amended Rule 5.5; and
  • update the Model Rule on Pro Hac Vice Admission to provide latitude for foreign lawyers to represent their clients in litigation in the United States, subject to numerous safeguards.

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