For years, courts relied heavily on the ethics rules promulgated by the American Bar Association in determining whether to grant motions for disqualification due to attorney conflicts of interest. Recently, however, courts have begun to acknowledge that the significant changes in the legal profession, in addition to the use of motions for disqualification as a tactical device, have rendered strict application of the Model Code of Professional Responsibility and Model Rules of Professional Conduct impractical and unfair in many cases. This article suggests that rather than fighting the trend towards the sanction of screening defenses by law firms, the American Bar Association should guide the use of screening to ensure that the interests of current and former clients are properly protected. The article suggests amending Rule 1.10 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to ensure a fair balance of interests between the parties, and to decrease the use of motions for disqualification as merely a litigation tactic.
Randall B. Bateman,
Return to the Ethics Rules as a Standard for Attorney Disqualification: Attempting Consistency in Motions for Disqualification by the Use of Chinese Walls,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol33/iss2/4