Formal Ethics Opinion 97-407 (downloadable pdf)

    Formal Ethics Opinion 97-407 (downloadable pdf)

    Formal Ethics Opinion 97-407 (downloadable pdf)

    A lawyer serving as an expert witness to testify on behalf of a party who is another law firm's client, as distinct from an expert consultant, does not thereby establish a client-lawyer relationship with the party or provide a "law-related service" to the party within the purview of Model Rule 5.7 such as would render his services as a testifying expert subject to the Model Rules.
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    Model Rules 1.7(b) and 1.10(a) apply to the lawyer's representation of a client adverse to a party for whom he is serving as a testifying expert. If the duty of confidentiality to the party on whose behalf the lawyer serves as a testifying expert would "materially limit" the responsibilities of the lawyer to one of his clients, the lawyer and any firm with which the lawyer is associated may be prohibited from concurrently representing that client. Ordinarily it would not be reasonable for the lawyer to believe in those circumstances that the representation of the client will not be adversely affected, and thus client consent would not permit the representation. Moreover, even though these requirements of the Model Rules are satisfied, other law, including the law of client-lawyer privilege and the law of agency, may prohibit the lawyer and his law firm from representing the client.

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    Center For Professional Responsibility

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    5611100407

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