Monday, October 8, 2018

Texas Opinion: no interviewing potential experts in order to create conflict -- UPDATED

You may have heard stories about divorce clients "interviewing" good divorce lawyers so that their spouses would not be able to hire any of the lawyers so interviewed...

Well, on a similar note, the Professional Ethics Committee of the Texas State Bar was recently asked the following question:  "Do the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit a lawyer from retaining an expert or intentionally disclosing confidential information to a prospective expert when the lawyer has no substantial purpose other than to attempt to disqualify or otherwise prevent the expert from being used by an opposing party including testifying on the opposing party’s behalf?"

And, last month, the Committee issued its answer in Opinion No 676:  Yes, the rules prohibit such conduct.

As Karen Rubin, of The Law for Lawyers Today, summarizes it, "You can’t interview potential expert witnesses and share confidential information with them solely to taint them with a conflict that would prevent the experts from working for the other side."   Her full comment on the Opinion is available here.

Over at Ethical Grounds, Michael Kennedy offers more analysis on the opinion.

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