ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

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viz-luv
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:30 pm

ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

Postby viz-luv » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:25 pm

I guess here is as good a place as any to leave this...not good news for employment.

"Conclusion:
Under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, a law firm is required to withdraw from representing a client in a lawsuit if the law firm hires a new lawyer who, prior to becoming a lawyer, was employed as a law clerk for the law firm representing the opposing party in the lawsuit and in that capacity helped provide services to the opposing party with respect to the lawsuit. The requirement for the withdrawal of the law firm employing the new lawyer cannot be avoided by screening the newly hired lawyer from the firm’s work on the lawsuit."

https://www.legalethicstexas.com/Ethics ... n-644.aspx

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

Postby TasmanianToucan » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:31 pm

TX paralegal here. How is this not reasonable? They're not talking about clerks for judges.

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nothingtosee
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Re: ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:40 pm

Also, the firms really dislike this, and attorneys I've spoken with think it will get changed.

Firms still need lawyers; what will this change besides 5 minutes on a conflict log?

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viz-luv
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:30 pm

Re: ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

Postby viz-luv » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:42 pm

because I am in a niche this instantly affected my work. I am now off projects because my second half is an issue. If I didn't know what clients I had ahead of time it would have been a bigger issue. So it felt very personal I suppose.

CanadianWolf
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Re: ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:53 pm

Unless I misunderstand, it seems quite clear that this constitutes a conflict which should disqualify the firm.

Doesn't & shouldn't matter whether or not the law clerk devised theories or strategies in the matter either. Presumption of exposure to confidential client information should be enough to disqualify.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: ethics opinion 644 and law clerks

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:01 pm

So this is basically just treating law clerks as lawyers for this purpose, if I understand right? Who cares? Is it the "can't screen" provision? How often is it that a law clerk works on a specific lawsuit and then goes to work for opposing counsel in that lawsuit?




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