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Legal Ethics

Exam 5
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

Attorney had been working for Firm 1 as an associate. He resigned from Firm 1 and joined Firm 2, taking several clients with him, including Corporation. Attorney was the only lawyer at Firm 1 who did any work for Corporation.

Partner, a lawyer at Firm 2, represented Worker, an ex-employee of Corporation. Just after Attorney joined Firm 2, Partner filed an employment-discrimination suit against Corporation on Worker’s behalf. At that time, Partner did not realize that Corporation had migrated to the firm as Attorney’s client.

On being served with the complaint, Corporation sent it to Attorney with instructions to defend the suit. Attorney noticed immediately that Partner, Attorney’s new colleague at Firm 2, had signed the complaint. Attorney walked to Partner’s office to convey that Partner had inadvertently filed suit against one of Firm 2’s new clients. They discussed the matter, eventually negotiating a settlement that each of them proposed to their respective clients. Both clients agreed to the settlement, and the matter was resolved.

After Attorney had left Firm 1, one of the lawyers in that firm agreed to represent B Co., which intends to sue Corporation under the antitrust laws for alleged anticompetitive practices. When Attorney was at Firm 1, he was the only lawyer in that firm who had done work for Corporation. Prior to the present claim by B Co., Corporation had no disputes with B Co. or any matters involving the antitrust laws.


Questions

  1. Did Attorney and Partner violate the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the Rules) in settling the dispute between Worker and Corporation? Explain.
  2. Do the Rules forbid Firm 1 from representing B Co., the new client who plans to sue Corporation under the antitrust laws? Explain.

Question 1

Did Attorney and Partner violate the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the Rules) in settling the dispute between Worker and Corporation? Explain.

Question 2

Do the Rules forbid Firm 1 from representing B Co., the new client who plans to sue Corporation under the antitrust laws? Explain.

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