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Old 05-27-2019, 04:38 PM
Steve McQwark is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 348
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
This is a state by state thing. West Virginia in particular does not allow the Chinese Wall.

The general rule is that you may not be adverse to a current client (and client involves these consultations discussed above) in any case.

You may not be adverse to a former client in a same or similar case.

The "same or similar" can come with a bunch of caveats. Imagine if I represent Fred against Barbara in a divorce. Fred confides in me that he has a serious drinking problem and wants me to know that because Barbara will use it against him for child custody purposes.

Two years later, Dave sues Fred in a car accident case. I must decline representing Dave, even though the case is not similar, because I then almost must use Fred's drinking problem against him: information that I acquired in confidence.
Interesting. My wife worked in Texas, so I assume the rules must be different here. What you say certainly makes sense for an individual attorney, but doesn't seem as if it would need to be quite so stringent for a firm with dozens of attorneys working in several different states. I assume the rule is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.