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Ask Colleen Grady Your Own Question
Colleen Grady
Colleen Grady, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 485
Experience:  Attorney and Counselor at Law
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I have a law partnership with a female. Her Husband was

Customer Question

I have a law partnership with a female. Her Husband was arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery. My partner does not want to pursue the charges and is asking the DA to dismiss the charges. Both My partner and her husband have asked me to represent his on the criminal charges. The judges said I could if the husband waive any conflict problems.
My question is; Is my representing him a violation of any ethical rules?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 3 months ago.

Hello. I will help you today. I have been an attorney for 27 years. I am reviewing your question and will be back to you shortly.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 3 months ago.

Can you please tell me what state you are in? I will research the rules for you.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 3 months ago.

Under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, there may be a question of the violation legal ethics. However, if there is a signed waiver. Here is the sections that apply:

Rule 1.10: Imputation of Conflicts of Interest: General Rule

Client-Lawyer Relationship
Rule 1.10 Imputation Of Conflicts Of Interest: General Rule

(a) While lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless

[In this case, the wife if your partner and could not represent her husband because she is the victim]

(1) the prohibition is based on a personal interest of the disqualified lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm; or

(2) the prohibition is based upon Rule 1.9(a) or (b) and arises out of the disqualified lawyer’s association with a prior firm, and

(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom;

(ii) written notice is promptly given to any affected former client to enable the former client to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule, which shall include a description of the screening procedures employed; a statement of the firm's and of the screened lawyer's compliance with these Rules; a statement that review may be available before a tribunal; and an agreement by the firm to respond promptly to any written inquiries or objections by the former client about the screening procedures; and

(iii) certifications of compliance with these Rules and with the screening procedures are provided to the former client by the screened lawyer and by a partner of the firm, at reasonable intervals upon the former client's written request and upon termination of the screening procedures.

(b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:

(1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client; and

(2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter.

(c) A disqualification prescribed by this rule may be waived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.

(d) The disqualification of lawyers associated in a firm with former or current government lawyers is governed by Rule 1.11.

Here is rule 1.7:

Client-Lawyer Relationship
Rule 1.7 Conflict Of Interest: Current Clients

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:

(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or

(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.

(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:

(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client;

(2) the representation is not prohibited by law;

(3) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal; and

(4) each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

As you know this is complicated. Make sure you get this in writing if you do this.

Please let me know if I can help more. If I knew your state, I would look at the those are rules. However, most states have adopted the model rules. If you are satisfied with my help, please rate me.