DC Bar Addresses Document Review Work Again, But This Time The Concern Is Conflicts
The DC Bar addressed potential restrictions on temp attorneys' mobility from firm to firm in Legal Ethics Opinion 352, which I think could have interesting implications for firms' rules on screening temp attorneys for conflicts.
The Rule concludes in a nutshell that temporary contract attorneys are "associated with" a law firm for purposes of ethics rule 1.10 depending on the facts of the situation (i.e. the nature of the temp's work, his/her exposure to confidences, etc). The Rule leaves leeway for firms to still make arguments to conflict out temp attorneys who once represented an adverse party but with another firm. The DC Bar thus had the opportunity to address the issue in an open-ended and non-committal way, perhaps as an attempt to make everyone happy. I don't think that document review really leaves much room to debate the "nature" of the work, but maybe there are some temp attorneys whose involvement goes above and beyond what most doc reviewers do on a day to day basis.
Temp agencies should like the rule because it gives them a greater pool of candidates to place. It would be interesting to see how this plays out -- especially among veteran temps who have a long list of potential conflicts to stand in the way between themselves and unemployment!
Labels: Document Review