December 1, 2010

Practicing Senior Lawyer: Current Ethics Bytes for the Busy Senior Practitioner

By The Ethics and Professionalism Committee

Noted below are brief descriptions of four recent devel- opments in the areas of ethics and professionalism that our Committee thought would be relevant to almost all members of the Division. If you have any questions on the topics raised, please contact Marvin Karp (mkarp@ or Al Harvey (

Presumption That Lawyer Required Confidential Information  of  His  Former  Firm’s  Client  is  Rebuttable   A recent Fifth Circuit decision—In the Matter of Pro- Education International, Inc.  v.  Mindprint,  Inc.,  2009 WL 348940—has ameliorated concerns in Texas and else- where over the extent to which the confidences of a law firm’s clients can be imputed to a lawyer who leaves that firm. ABA Model Rule 1.9(a) provides that a lawyer:

shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was asso- ciated had previously represented a client (1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and (2) about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter; unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

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