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Prohibition against conflict-of-interest representation; former clients, C3S18 CPRA

Section 18, Canon III

SECTION 18. Prohibition against conflict-of-interest representation; former clients. – In relation to former clients, the following rules shall be observed:
(a) A lawyer shall maintain the private confidences of a former client even after the termination of the engagement, except upon the written informed consent of the former client, or as otherwise allowed under the CPRA or other applicable laws or regulations, or when the information has become generally known.
(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to the former representation, except as the CPRA or applicable laws and regulations would permit or require with respect to a current or prospective client, or when the information has become generally known.
(c) Unless the former client gives written informed consent, a lawyer who has represented such client in a legal matter shall not thereafter represent a prospective client in the same or related legal matter, where the prospective client’s interests are materially adverse to the former client’s interests. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Prohibition against conflict-of-interest representation; former clients

a. Rules on conflict-of-interest representation for former clients

Under this section, and in relation to former clients, lawyers are required to observe the following rules:

1) Maintain private confidences

Lawyers are required to “maintain the private confidences of a former client even after the termination of the engagement.”

The above prohibition is subject to the following exceptions:

1) Upon the written informed consent of the former client; or

2) As otherwise allowed under the CPRA or other applicable laws or regulations; or

3) When the information has become generally known.

2) Non-use of information relating to former representation

Lawyers are prohibited from using “information relating to the former representation.”

The prohibition is subject to the following exceptions:

1) As the CPRA or applicable laws and regulations would permit or require with respect to a current or prospective client; or

2) When the information has become generally known.

3) No engagement on same or related legal matter

If they have represented former clients in a legal matter, lawyers are prohibited from representing “a prospective client in the same or related legal matter, where the prospective client’s interests are materially adverse to the former client’s interests.”

The prohibition is subject to the exception:

1) The former client gives written informed consent.

References

Canon III, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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