The Intersection of Conflicts of Interest and Imputation of Knowledge
Probate & Property Magazine: November/December 2008, Vol. 22, No. 5
By Michael H. Rubin
Michael H. Rubin is a member in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, office of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC and the chair of the Real Property Division Ethics and Professionalism Committee.
The ethical tensions that lawyers face concerning conflicts of interest involve balancing one's duties to the particular client, to the profession, to tribunals, and to other clients as well as former clients. One mechanism used by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to avoid conflict of interest problems is to impute knowledge of one lawyer about client confidences to all lawyers in the firm, regardless of whether any other lawyer in the firm has actual knowledge of the confidence.