Next week's National Law Journal (available now online if you have a subscription) will feature an article on the debate on whether the ABA should adopt changes to Model Rule 1.9. Here is an excerpt:
". . . the American Bar Association will consider competing amendments to its ethics rules governing firm-to-firm movement and conflicts of interest. The 400,000-member attorney group will hold its mid-year meeting starting on Feb. 11 in Boston . . .
. . . The recommendation calling for the most significant change — Recommendation 109 — eases the conflict of interest rule by allowing a law firm to "screen" an incoming attorney from the rest of its attorneys and to enable the firm to continue representing its client without the consent of the incoming attorney's former client.
. . . But Lawrence Fox, [the former chairman of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and an ABA delegate], said Recommendation 109 puts the convenience of lawyers ahead of the duty of loyalty to clients. . . .Fox supports Recommendation 110, . . . sponsored by the ABA Section of Litigation, . . . which . . . would allow a lawyer, whose participation with a client at a previous firm was not significant and who did not learn material confidential information, to work for an adversary law firm without client consent, so long as the transferring lawyer was screened and provided certification of compliance with screening. Recommendation 110 is a compromise, said Fox, for those who are concerned about restrictions on attorney mobility."