Saturday, February 1, 2014

Concurrent or Joint representation in adoption cases

The District of Columbia Bar Legal Ethics Committee has just issued a new Opinion in which it addresses ethical issues that commonly arise in private adoption matters.  The summary of the opinion states:
... Private adoptions frequently give rise to a number of significant ethical obligations, not the least of which are duties arising under conflict of interest rules, that the lawyer must squarely address with his or her client or clients, often at the onset of the representation. In many instances, a lawyer will be required to obtain the informed consent of one or more clients, and in some circumstances that of former clients, regarding certain aspects of the representation, in order to commence or continue representation. Private adoption practitioners should be particularly mindful of ethical duties attendant to communications with unrepresented persons, as well as duties of confidentiality owed to both current and former clients.
You can find the opinion here.

(In my class, we discuss some of these issues by discussing a case from Arizona called In re Petrie in which an attorney attempts to negotiate a private adoption.)  

Thanks to the Legal Profession Blog for the link.

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