Former Clients Rules Self-Quiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
You recently left your job at the District Attorney’s office at Enycity. You were the Assistant D.A. of Enycity for three years until you decided to “go private” and take a job at a general practice firm located in Enycity called Dave Sureovitz & Others, LLP. One of your new colleagues at Sureovitz has been retained by a client who is a criminal defendant. The client was investigated by the Enycity D.A.’s office about a month after you left your old job, so the firm doesn’t think there is an unworkable conflict of interest with taking on the client. Your colleague consults the ethical rules, and figures:
Choice 1 He can represent the client, so long as you are screened from any participation in the matter, you earn no fee from the matter, and the D.A.’s office is notified of a potential conflict.
Choice 2 He can represent the client, and remain assured that since you left the D.A.’s office a month ago, there is no conflict.
Choice 3 He may not represent the client because of your recent association with the D.A.’s office.
You recently left your job at the District Attorney’s office at Enycity. You were the Assistant D.A. of Enycity for three years until you decided to “go private” and take a job at a general practice firm located in Enycity called Dave Sureovitz & Others, LLP. One of your new colleagues at Sureovitz has been retained by a client who is a criminal defendant. The client was investigated by the Enycity D.A.’s office right before you left your old job, and so Sureovitz & Others doesn’t think there is an unworkable conflict of interest with the firm taking on the client. Your colleague consults the ethical rules, and figures:
Choice 1 He can represent the client, so long as you are screened from any participation in the matter, you earn no fee from the matter, and the D.A.’s office is notified of a potential conflict.
Choice 2 He can represent the client, and remain assured that since you left the D.A.’s office a month ago, there is no real conflict.
Choice 3 He may not represent the client because of your recent association with the D.A.’s office.
Attorney Geoff Geofferson is representing a client in a personal injury suit. The defendant, Theodore Pretzel, rammed into your client at a four-way intersection after failing to stop where the street sign indicated he must. Geofferson was a bit surprised when his client told him Mr. Pretzel’s name, because Geofferson represented Mr. Pretzel in his divorce from Mrs. Pretzel a few years ago. Geofferson told his client he has to consult the ethical rules about conflicts of interest before he can continue further. Geofferson finds:
Choice 1 He may represent the client.
Choice 2 He may not represent the client.
Choice 3 He should hand the client’s case to another colleague in his firm and have himself insulated with an “ethical wall” from the case.
Jacob Jingleheimer is contemplating his involvement in the celebrated divorce case of Simonize vs. Simonize, representing Mrs. Simonize, the complainant. Mrs. Simonize came to Jingleheimer in a state of confusion, exhaustion, and fear. Only an hour before their first meeting, Mr. Simonize reportedly dunked Mrs. Simonize’s head into their 150-gallon saltwater fish tank, threatening to arouse the angry attention of a venomous lionfish in the process. Mrs. Simonize wanted Jingleheimer to file a complaint for divorce and represent her. Jingleheimer, however, remembered that ten years previously, he represented Mr. Simonize in a domestic violence action against the woman he used to live with, Betsy Rosster. Jingleheimer recalled that Mr. Simonize obtained a restraining order against Rosster when Rosster stunned Simonize with a tazer gun and rudely shoved asparagus stalks in his ears. May Jingleheimer now represent Mrs. Simonize?
Choice 1 No, since his former client’s case was a substantially similar matter.
Choice 2 Yes, provided Mr. Simonize consents after full disclosure.
Choice 3 No, since Mr. Jingleheimer is acquainted with Mr. Simonize.
Your client, Barb Edith, is in the middle of a tough divorce from her husband, Eremey Edith. The divorce process has been made especially difficult, because the Ediths continually make up, at least verbally, and then soon enough are up in arms again. Barb and Eremey have been on quite a roller coaster of a relationship. Eventually, the suit for divorce is dropped. Barb and Eremey figure they can make do without the voluminous court documents and lawyers’ answering machine messages, plus they figure it’s better to make love and not war. Six months after reconciling, they split up. This time, Eremey comes to you and wants you to represent him in his divorce action against Barb, your former client. If Barb says no, may you still represent Eremey?
Choice 1 Yes, provided you have no confidential information to use against Barb.
Choice 2 No, because you represented Barb in a substantially related matter and she refuses her consent.
Choice 3 Yes, provided you obtain the consent of the ethics board.
Your client, Barb Edith, is in the middle of a tough divorce from her husband, Eremey Edith. The divorce process has been made especially difficult, because the Ediths continually make up, at least verbally, and then soon enough are up in arms again. Barb and Eremey have been on quite a roller coaster of a relationship. Eventually, the suit for divorce is dropped. Barb and Eremey figure they can make do without the voluminous court documents and lawyers’ answering machine messages, plus they figure it’s better to make love and not war. Six months after reconciling, they split up. This time, Eremey comes to you and wants you to represent him in his divorce action against Barb, your former client. If Barb consents to your representation of Eremey, may you still represent Eremey?
Choice 1 Yes, provided you have no confidential information to use against Barb.
Choice 2 No, because you represented Barb in a substantially related matter and she refuses her consent.
Choice 3 Yes, provided you obtain the consent of the ethics board.
Choice 4 Yes, because a former client may consent to your representation of her adversary.
You represented Nails Dyekstrah in a criminal battery case. A jury convicted Nails of assault and battery after Nails beat the heck out of Gary Kartei. Kartei suffered terrible injuries to his knees after Nails repeatedly bashed them with a tire iron, and then with an electric pogo stick. Kartei is still in physical therapy to this day, and can no longer play catcher on the baseball team composed of employees from the local Deli where he works. As a result of his injuries, Kartei sues Nails. Kartei asks you to represent him in his civil case against Dyekstrah. You figure since Kartei’s case is civil, and since Nails’s case was criminal, you will not be subject to discipline. You consult your online ethics manual. What do you find?
Choice 1 You may not represent Kartei, no matter what.
Choice 2 You may represent Kartei, provided you obtain Nails’s fully informed consent.
Choice 3 You may represent Kartei, without exception, because Nails’s case was criminal and Kartei’s case is civil.
As in-house counsel for a bagel distributor, The Universal Bagel, you took care of all the issues in the firm related to food preparation and quality. The most memorable case got its start when the store sent a dozen bagels to The Four Reasons restaurant. One bagel caused a violent reaction. Almost lost among the numerous poppy seeds topping this delectable dough was a wee cockroach, her life snuffed out during the boiling stage of the bagel’s creation. The roach scared a restaurant customer silly, and your firm was sued on a number of novel legal theories. A few years later, you took your experience with you and set up shop as a sole practitioner. A prospective client came to you for legal help, claiming he was walking past the retail arm of The Universal Bagel when he slipped on some lox spread and crashed into plate glass in the front of the store. May you represent the client given that you used to be in-house counsel of his adversary?
Choice 1 No, because it would be like switching teams in the middle of a game.
Choice 2 No, because the matters are the “same or substantially related.”
Choice 3 Yes, because the matters are unrelated.
You represent Jorge Busch in many of his personal affairs, including his employment contracts, medical malpractice issues, and his trust and estate needs. You draft Busch’s will, leaving everything to his mother, Barbie. A year or so later, Busch asks you to redraft the will and leave everything 50/50 to Barbie and Dave Korash, a friend of Busch and owner of a club that Busch frequents. You take care of Busch’s request. After Busch dies, Barbie challenges the validity of the second will on the grounds of undue influence by Korash. Are you entitled to represent Barbie in her will contest?
Choice 1 Yes, as this is a substantially different matter.
Choice 2 Yes, because Barbie’s interests are not adverse to those of the Busch estate.
Choice 3 No, because as the representative of Busch, your interests are materially adverse to those of Barbie.

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