September 01, 2011

Scruples: The Lawyer as Witness

An explanation of Rule 1.7 conflicts.

Michael Downey

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Dropping into a waiting chair, Paradox wasted no time. “Ethox, I’m in trouble. I need your help.”

“What’s wrong?” Ethox replied, looking up from a stack of research.

“I was helping Senior Litigator on the Jay-Kaye Partnership dissolution litigation. Our client Jay is seeking a preliminary injunction against his former partner Kaye. I drafted all the pleadings and was looking forward to some exciting work on the case. But now Kaye has filed a motion to disqualify me and the firm. Kaye claims that I am a material witness and that under ABA Model Rule 3.7, the entire firm and I should be disqualified from the case. Is this right?”


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