I’ve just published a new article for the Orange County Bar Association in its “Ethically Speaking” series titled “Implied Consent to Current Client Conflicts.”
Normally, informed written consent is required from clients with adverse interests that a lawyer simultaneously represents in unrelated matters. In the absence of such consent, the prior applicable jurisprudence provides that disqualification is “automatic.” But, the recent decision in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases, No. F078517, 2018 WL 66996022 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 20, 2018) from the Fifth Appellate District (the Groundwater Litigation) offers a novel avenue of argument that may protect against disqualification under certain circumstances, based on a client’s “implied consent” to a current client conflict of interest. Under certain circumstances, this means that a previously automatic disqualification may no longer be automatic at all.
Learn more about what is likely to come post-Groundwater Litigation, in particular related to managerial responsibility for conflicts and matters of discipline and disgorgement in the full article here.