Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New York issues opinion on duties to prospective clients

The Ethics Committee of the New York City Bar Association has just issued a very informative new ethics opinion on the duties owed to prospective clients under Rule 1.18. You can read the full opinion here. It is a very good summary of the issues that arise in cases involving prospective clients, especially those that relate to confidentiality and conflicts of interest. Here is a summary of the opinion:
Rule 1.18 codifies the established principle that New York lawyers owe duties to prospective clients even when no lawyer-client relationship ensues. These duties are determined by the nature of the information received from the prospective client and may restrict the lawyer‟s ability to use or reveal the information or to represent adverse parties in the same or a substantially related matter. While these duties may be significant, they are less restrictive than the comparable duties owed to former and current clients and permit the use of ethical screens to take on adverse representations.
Thanks to Nicole Hyland of the Legal Ethics Form for the link.

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