State Bar of Montana

Ethics Opinion

QUESTION PRESENTED: When one Partner of a law firm represents a person in a dissolution of marriage proceeding, may another Partner of the same firm sue the represented person in another legal proceeding?


ANALYSIS: Representation requires loyalty. Rule 1.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, in the commentary thereof, states that loyalty to a client prohibits undertaking representation directly adverse to that client without that client's consent. If one attorney in a firm represents a client in an on-going matter, then no other attorney can sue that same client even if in a completely unrelated matter. The rationale is contained in the Disciplinary Rules DR 5-105 (A) (no longer in effect in Montana) in that the "independent professional judgment" of the first attorney could be adversely affected by the knowledge that his partner has sued his client, presumably meritoriously.



Quick Links

Contact Us Member Search Site Map Montana Justice Foundation Montana
Montana Law Review Montana Montana Supreme Court Office of Disciplinary Counsel UM Law School

Copyright © 2000-2014 State Bar of Montana All rights reserved.
Legal Disclaimer: While we do our best to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, the information on this web site does not constitute the provision of legal advice. Additionally, this site contains links to various government information pages and reference pages useful for legal research. We do not maintain control over the content of the linked pages, and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of any information in the linked pages. For answers to specific questions, you should consult an attorney familiar with your particular situation.