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Legal Ethics

Imputed Conflicts

Imputed Conflicts

Learn what it means for a conflict to be imputed from a lawyer to an entire law firm, the general rule for disqualifying lawyers when conflicts are imputed to them, and how such conflicts may be waived by the client.


In this lesson, we’ll discuss imputed conflicts of interest. We’ll learn what imputed conflicts are, how they apply to a lawyer’s current and former law firms, and how they can sometimes be waived by the client.

Let’s begin with a lawyer’s current firm. The general rule for imputed conflicts says that no lawyer in a firm may knowingly represent a client if any one of them alone would be disqualified because of a conflict of interest. In other words, if one lawyer has a conflict of interest,...