Rule 1.18: Duties to Prospective Client

Client-Lawyer Relationship
Rule 1.18 Duties To Prospective Client

(a)  A person who consults with a lawyer about the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.

(b)  Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has learned information from a prospective client shall not use or reveal that information, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.

(c)   A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the matter, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).

(d)   When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:

(1)   both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing, or:

(2)   the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and

(i)    the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(ii)   written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.

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