LOCATION: 555 Capitol Mall, Suite 1230, Sacramento, CA 95814
PHONE: (916) 996-0400 | FAX: (916) 668-5760
LOCATION: 555 Capitol Mall, Suite 1230, Sacramento, CA 95814
PHONE: (916) 996-0400 | FAX: (916) 668-5760

Following is the sixth in a series of posts from Parker Law Group reflecting on recent changes to the California Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC), under the category of “Lawyer-Client Relationship,” focusing on “conflict of interest involving current clients.” The Rule of Professional Conduct, as revised, is as follows:

Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients

(c)(2) the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that another party’s lawyer is a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the lawyer, lives with the lawyer, is a client of the lawyer or another lawyer in the lawyer’s firm, or has an intimate personal relationship with the lawyer.

In the CBA’s previous RPC, the requirements for an attorney representing a client in a matter where that attorney happens to have a close relationship with another party who is involved with the same matter is spelled out in its own rule (3-320). In the new RPC, as set forth above, this rule has been added to the subsection of the rules relating to “Conflict of Interest” – as Rule 1.7(c)(2).

The American Bar Association (ABA) addresses this subject in its RPC Rule 1.7(a)(2), but not as specifically as the CBA’s rule does. The ABA states that a “concurrent conflict of interest exists if … 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.”

Potential Impact: Generally speaking, this change reflects what jurists and ethical attorneys have acknowledged is the basic standard. It’s a conflict of interest and breach of duty to have an intimate relationship with your client, or fail to disclose to your client relationships impacting your representation.

The information provided herein is informational only and should not be construed as legal advice or as an agreement for representation. This is not an advertisement. If you have an issue or dispute with your attorney, or are seeking advice with respect to your obligations, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Parker Law Group is a full-service litigation and transactional law firm. Mr. Parker has represented clients in professional malfeasance disputes for over 22 years. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with Mr. Parker or his team, you can reach them at 916/996-0400 or at contact@parlawgroup.com. (An email to the law firm requesting a consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship or any agreement for representation by the firm.)

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